KLM continues to hold back compensation for ash cloud delays

Hotel News - 16/08/2010

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Hundreds of British travellers who suffered flight delays during the Icelandic ash-cloud crisis are still waiting for Dutch airline KLM to pay up. EU rules dictate that airlines must pay compensation covering the cost of hotels and meals for the entire time that travellers are stranded. KLM is saying it will pay for 24 hours only. The European Union is threatening the airline with legal action if it fails to comply with the compensation rules.

KLM has said that it restricted payouts in order to ensure a speedy resolution for the thousands of KLM customers who were stranded across Europe. In all, hundreds of thousands of travellers were hit by travel delays and suspensions when a huge plume of volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland force the closure of European airspace for a total of 18 days during April and May.

EU regulations require airlines to reimburse passengers for reasonable accommodation and meal costs incurred as a result of flight delays. Some passengers ended up stranded for a week or more and racked up bills in the thousands of pounds. In response to complaints from KLM passengers seeking compensation, the European Commission has sent KLM a formal, written warning saying the airline faces legal action unless it complies with the regulations.

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