Pupils from Lismore Comprehensive School got a financial ‘lift’ when they were refunded money after a flight delay on a school trip.
The group of 44 pupils and their teachers were returning from a school excursion to Amsterdam when their flight was delayed by almost four hours.
Having complained unsuccessfully to the airline, the school took its complaint to the Consumer Council and was awarded compensation totalling 11,250 Euros.
Teacher Jane Houston said, “We were delayed on our return journey by almost four hours which was an unfortunate end to our trip. Having written to the airline, who did not respond, I took my complaint straight to the Consumer Council.
“The Consumer Council achieved a resolution for me very quickly and I am very grateful for that. I would probably still be waiting for a response for my complaint otherwise.
“It’s great to get 250 Euros for each of the 44 pupils.”
The Consumer Council is encouraging all consumers to know their passenger rights if travelling by air or sea.
Jenny Robinson, senior policy officer at the Consumer Council, said “The spring and summer holiday season is getting underway, therefore it’s important that passengers are aware of their rights.
“If flights and sailings are delayed or cancelled then passengers are entitled to support and assistance.
“We have a range of travel guides, including ‘Plane Facts’ and ‘Plain Sailing’, to help consumers understand their rights and responsibilities.
“These handy guides can be packed into your luggage before heading off.”
Under EU legislation air passengers whose flights are cancelled or delayed by three hours or more may be entitled to compensation from their airline, provided that delays or cancellations are not caused by extraordinary circumstances, which are beyond the airline’s control.
In addition, if your sailing is delayed or cancelled you may also be entitled to assistance and in certain cases compensation.
The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland consumers.
The aim is to make the consumer voice heard and make it count. They have a statutory remit to promote and safeguard the interests of consumers in NI.
The Consumer Council can be contacted on 0800 121 6022.