The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports on complaints from the German Association of Judges about the high number of lawsuits brought by passengers against airlines. Legal disputes over compensation for canceled or delayed flights are increasingly being brought to court. In a statement from Tomasz Pawliszyn, CEO of the world's largest passenger rights organization AirHelp, the portal denies responsibility for overloaded courts - and blames the airlines for the problem.
“At AirHelp, we support passengers around the world and work with airlines that respect consumer rights. In these cases, we are able to process claims quickly and fairly without ever having to go to court.
We are shocked by the current behavior of some airlines in Germany. This makes the country a negative example in Europe. It is imperative for airlines to respect the law. If the courts are overloaded, this can easily be remedied by having airlines do their part to resolve the cases. We attach great importance to ensuring the validity of passengers' claims. We verify each claim against multiple flight reports and our own extensive database. Our advanced automated systems ensure that our customers' claims are legitimate. Airlines know they can trust our data. Proof of this: 90 percent of cases in which airlines refuse to recognize their passengers' claims, we win in court. At AirHelp we will continue to fight for the rights of our customers.”
AirHelp claims to support the courts
“We are already doing the courts a great service: The Deutsche Richterzeitung reports on 18.794 proceedings at the Cologne District Court, 8.634 proceedings in the area of responsibility of BER and Frankfurt am Main Airport, 6.699 in Düsseldorf and 5.582 in Munich for the months January to July 2023. What is quite a mammoth task, but it is not the full extent.
In the same period, we found around 488.000 passengers at Frankfurt am Main airport, 310.000 at Munich airport, 200.000 at BER, 157.000 in Düsseldorf and 85.000 in Cologne who are potentially entitled to compensation.
We are already taking some measures to relieve the burden on the judiciary: We go to court when we know that we will win the case in the respective cases. Since we are aware of the immense amount of work involved, we are already supporting our team here with AI-based systems that check individual applications for documents, jurisdiction and also their chances of success in court. In this way, we help the courts by ensuring that our customers' claims against the airlines are justified. However, our cases would not even have to go to court if airlines respected the rights of their passengers.”
Where there is no plaintiff, there is no lawsuit: AirHelp sees airlines as responsible
“We see the responsibility for the overloaded courts as the airlines, which put passengers in the position of having to take legal action in the first place. If the airlines were more cooperative and respected the rights of those affected and fulfilled their obligations, then passengers and courts could be spared lengthy legal proceedings.”