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EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic have been named as among the worst carriers for handling compensation claims.
AirHelp, a company which handles customer claims for delayed flights, examined more than 30 airlines and gave them scores based on punctuality, the length of time taken to make a pay-out and the number of times legitimate claims were refused.
EasyJet ranked the second-worst carrier while Virgin Atlantic came in third place out of 34 airlines rated.
Despite scoring high for on-time performance, easyJet found itself near the bottom of the list with an overall rating of 5.8 out of 10 thanks to a poor score for claim processing.
AirHelp told MailOnline: “EasyJet’s claim processing helps to skew its score downwards. Based on the score, this makes the UK budget airline among the lowest scoring airlines in the world.”
An easyJet spokesman defended the airline's record on compensation payments and said: “We do not recognise these findings. EasyJet has been commended by its regulator the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] for its handling of EU261 claims and we will always pay compensation when it is due."
Virgin Atlantic also questioned the validity of the report. A spokeswoman for the airline added: "We do everything we can to respond as quickly as possible and on average pay all eligible EU261 claims 14 days after receipt.
“Unlike claims management companies who deduct up to 25% of the compensation payment for themselves, we will pay the full amount of all eligible claims straight to our customer’s bank account.”
The worst airline for the handling of compensation claims was Portuguese carrier SATA. British Airways was ranked as the ninth best carrier and Flybe was ranked in 14th place.
The best performer was Qatar Airways, followed by KLM, Air Baltic, Air France and Lufthansa.
Recognising that airlines disputed the findings, Nicolas Michaelsen, the company's co-founder, said: “We are not doing this to go to war with the airlines.
“On the contrary, we want to give them a tool, so that they can better understand and see their customer’s pain points, and so that flyers can get the best experience possible – both in the air and on the ground.”
AirHelp's top 10 worst performing airlines for compensation claims:
- Virgin Atlantic
- TAP Portugal
- Aer Lingus
- Norwegian Air Shuttle
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