Passengers Use Facebook To Win Compensation

Have you ever experienced flight delays of more than three hours? Have you made a claim, or simply not bothered because you felt you’d get nowhere trying?

Well, you aren’t alone in thinking you wouldn’t get any redress, however, you are entitled to compensation for a flight that is delayed more than three hours, providing the delay was not caused by ‘exceptional circumstances’. Under EU261 regulation, air passengers are entitled to receive up to €600.

Thanks to modern technology, the Internet and social media, more and more people are fighting for their rights and getting their due compensation through the power of the people!

In one such instance, a group of Virgin Atlantic passengers set up a Facebook page after their Virgin flight VS01 was delayed. Collectively, the group claimed back £47,000 after they experienced a delay of 26 hours on their flight back from Florida.

Many passengers, wising up to the collective power of a group power, are now making joint claims, and solicitors are seeing a rise in the number of groups lodging claims.

The great thing about forming groups for passenger rights is that the passengers can set up Facebook groups while delayed at the airport – it makes sense to do so with a captive audience of passengers, and all concerned are available to give their contact details at the time of the delay.

The benefits of making a group claim is that there’s lots of evidence from all passengers regarding the delay and the way in which it was handled, especially if disputes arise. What’s more, larger claims can be fast-tracked, and compensation can be awarded more quickly than individual claims.

Gatwick Airport seeks feedback through Twitter

The latest buzzword in social media has to be Twitter – the microblogging site that allows you to post micro-messages of 140 characters or less and communicate with just about anyone.

At first glance, Twitter can seem confusing and, initially, lots of people just don’t ‘get it’, but once you do it’s a great communication medium, use it for listening, following breaking news, or even better, communicating with others and getting instant feedback.

A lot of companies are seeking to integrate social media into their communications with customers, and yesterday London Gatwick Airport announced it is actively inviting passengers to give them feedback on Twitter by placing physical prompts around the airport.

As part of a pilot programme, information screens will, from this week, carry messages, suggesting how comments can be fed back to the airport via the micro-blogging platform.

This is the first stage of a programme that integrates the airport’s social media and customer service operations, and which will ultimately see Twitter being used as a feedback tool round the clock.

The monitors, which are located in the check-in areas, will periodically display the following message – ’Are you on Twitter? Get in touch with us @gatwick_airport and let us know about your experience at Gatwick today’.

Gatwick recently announced the launch of its new brand identity and its £1 billion investment programme which is set to deliver new, modern facilities at every step of the passenger journey through Gatwick. According to the head of airport communications, Samantha Holgate, “A large part of our rebranding and investment programme involves us providing our passengers with a more human and personal experience than what they might expect from an airport that sees 33 million passengers flying out to over 200 destinations every year.

“As a result, we are using online social tools as a way of talking and responding to customers as they pass through our doors.

“We do already respond to comments via our Twitter feed, however this now takes it one step further by actually integrating social media into the physical space of the airport. We’re running this as an initial pilot to gauge interest and to allow us to make the necessary changes to our customer service response and information programme.

“Over the next few months, we aim to use social media as 24 hour response tool, so for instance no matter what time of the day or night, if a passenger is at check in and has a comment to make, we will be able to capture that comment and where appropriate action it there and then”.