Who to Compensate?


With the recent events of the volcanic ash cloud over the European Union which grounded more than 95000 flights as result of 6 six days ban imposed by the FAA, millions of passengers were stranded abroad. It is reported that while the flights were being cancelled, some airlines took it upon themselves as a moral obligation to provide their passengers/customers, some were least bothered.

So it all happened. Passengers were left with two choices. Wait where ever they are (extend their stay) until the airspace opens or ditch the flight and arrange other means to get home. One not so mobile BAE employee, travelling with his wife and two young daughters said:

' On the first day i waited. I camped at the Madrid Airport (Spain). Next morning i rented a car, then taxi, then ferry and then a taxi again to finally reach home after 5 days (Bristol, UK). The extended travel plans took about 1200 quids out of his savings account' 

Now in the aftermath of the volcanic event, angry passengers are demanding compensation from the airlines for the all extra expenses they incurred due to extended stay (accommodation/food for those who stayed and travel costs fro those brave ones who set out to find their own way). Passengers personal travel insurance is a 'no-blamer' since it conveniently ignores any compensations in the events of 'ACTS BY GOD'.

Now the European union aviation laws state that if a flight gets cancelled, the airline is responsible for all the 'reasonable' expenses, the definition of 'reasonable' is unclear. Many airlines argue that they have done their part when they provided free coffee/dinner and bedding to the stranded passengers at the airports. 

Ryan Air (the worlds most economical airline) CEO was reported as saying:

"A passenger payed 30 euros for his flight, i can refund him but i dont see Ryan Air paying thousand of Euros of compensation"

If we think from the business perspective, the aviation industry also took a billions of dollars of hit. Most national carriers are at the mercy of their governments to bail them out to be still operational. Ever their insurance policies ignores the 'ACTS OF GOD'. So is it fair to ask them for compensation? Think about the following cycle:

Airlines pay you the compensations --> Airlines Go Bankrupt --> Airlines Require government Bailout money --> Government uses the tax payers money (What else) --> Government raises taxes. 

So in the end, whose paying? The general people. So my advice to the passengers is, take the hit for now !


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