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Finnair fumbles flight delays and required reimbursement

A survey by a consumer help group has determined that Finnair flights are often delayed and that passengers are often denied compensation.

Flight consumer help group AirHelp says that the Finnish carrier Finnair ranks lower than SAS or Norwegian when it comes to staying on schedule and that it often avoids compensating passengers.

Yle News is reporting that more than 50% of Finnair flights do not depart on time and that the airline often makes it difficult for passengers to receive the reimbursement required by EU rules.

Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 establishes conditions and compensation rights for air passengers experiencing delays or cancellations.

In addition to the rules for assistance to such passengers, the regulation requires compensation of €250 to €600 for delays of at least three hours, cancellations, or being denied boarding due to overbooking.

Sticking to schedule
AirHelp’s Finland country chief, Aleksi Seppo, tells Yle News that the Finnish carrier was among the worst in its class, with just 45% of flights lasting longer than five hours departing on time. “On time” flights are defined as leaving within 15 minutes of the announced departure.

According to AirHelp, Finnair ranked 61st of 75 airlines around the world on the criteria of on-time departures.

Hong Kong Airlines, with nearly 84% of flights on time, took top spot on AirHelp’s list of punctual airlines.

Seppo says that flight cancellations and delayed departures have been on the rise over the past several years, with over half of approximately 4.4 million long-distance flights more than 15 minutes late or completely cancelled.

Reimbursement by numbers
AirHelp’s survey determined that Finnair denies approximately two thirds of all applications for compensation it receives, which makes it 36th out of 46 airlines.

Norwegian throws out slightly more reimbursement cases (68%), while SAS rejects just 22% of compensation applications.

Last year Finland’s Market Court heard a case brought by the Consumer Ombudsman against Finnair over its compensation practices regarding delays.

In early 2019, the Market Court rejected the Consumer Ombudsman’s claim, but the latter maintains that the airline provided consumers with misleading information and plans to appeal the decision.

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