Flight Cancelled or Delayed? Meet Croatia’s ClaimDon

Total Croatia News

June the 19th, 2019 – Travelling is a lot of fun, and often you won’t think about issues that might happen when you’re planning your vacation. One of the most inconvenient things that can happen is definitely when your flight to a destination is cancelled, delayed or you’re denied boarding. Meet ClaimDon.

A situation like this directly affects your holiday or business and makes you lose time in a place you did not plan to stay and spend money on expenses like unplanned accommodation, transfers, food, or a new ticket.

To protect passengers, the European Commission (EC) introduced regulation 261/2004. The regulation is set on standard rules on compensation and assistance for passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or the long delays of flights.

This regulation applies to all worldwide airlines when departure takes place within the EU and in the case of flights from outside the EU to a destination within the EU, only to airlines licensed in a Member State of the EU. This relatively unknown regulation is helping passengers to get compensation from airlines in case of delayed, cancelled or denied flights, up to six years back, if a passenger meets all the conditions for the compensation.

Depending on if the flight was cancelled, delayed or boarding denied, there are several rights a passenger can use and get compensation for from the airline. Some of the passenger rights include right to compensation, the right to choose between reimbursement, re-routing, returning, the right to care, which means the passenger should receive meals and drinks proportionate to the length of their, two free telephone calls, telefax or e-mails, and accommodation and transport between their accommodation and an airport if an overnight stay is required.

The compensation depends on the flight length and in the case of a delay, the length of the delay at the final destination, and compensation ranges from 250 to 600 EUR.

Even though the regulation prescribes certain rights to passengers in cases like this, airlines openly contest EU legislation and try to refuse the payment of such compensation, mostly relying on extraordinary circumstances as an excuse. Extraordinary circumstances are caused by events that the airline can’t control and for which they are not at fault.

Since passengers are not familiar with the reasons that qualify as extraordinary circumstances, airlines expand that meaning to avoid paying.

Additionally, the passenger is often unable to get access to proper information and/or has no way to contact the airline. The passenger has the right to send the complaint to a relevant organisation or body for an alternative dispute resolve in the country of origin. This procedure differs from country to country because there isn’t any prescribed deadline to get the feedback on this.

If a passenger doesn’t come to the resolution directly with the airline, the compensation process is prolonged, and most of the individual passengers will avoid the inconveniences of court procedures and the expenses they will have in such cases.

Recent research showed that a mere 35% of passengers only are aware of compensation possibilities, and only 3.6 % know their rights. An estimated number shows there were 16,1 million of passengers, who, in 2017, could ask for refund or compensation.

When we know that in just seven days, there were 1,635 cancelled flights and 48,162 flight delays at the same time, we can see there is quite a number of people who experienced situations like this during their travel plans. In case a passenger is aware of his rights promised by regulation 261/500, he can start the process on own or hire a company to do it for him.

The individual process depends on passenger determinedness and knowledge, on the airline, and on the circumstances of the case. If a passenger chooses to engage a company that will do the process of applying for compensation and getting the airline to reimburse part of the expenses, they first need to submit their case and see which rights they’re entitled to.

The first Croatia based company carrying out the service of obtaining compensation from airlines in the event of flight cancellation, delay or denied boarding in accordance with the EU Regulation 261/2004 is ClaimDon – and they have been doing it since 2017.

TCN had a chat with Teodora and Tino from the ClaimDon team, and they told us this idea started after experiencing flight cancellations themselves, and Teodora explained how she went through the whole process of claiming her rights. Afterwards, they researched the market and created an automated system to make the service simple to use.

Additionally, they worked on getting the legal support and attorneys specialised in this field to have them participate in legal action if the airline doesn’t agree on the direct agreement. Teodora said most of the client cases are positively solved if all of the necessary documentation and a basis for compensation are there.

The biggest issue they face is mostly the duration of the process. They are working on obtaining rights to get compensation or the right to be reimbursed for additional expenses when a passenger wants to start the compensation process but doesn’t have the knowledge, will or time to do it on their own.

The automated system estimates the rights and the compensation depending on the individual case. After submitting a claim, the company takes over the process of dealing with the airline. They work on a principle of ”no win no fee”, which means they charge for the service only if they successfully resolve the case and then donate part of the fee to a charity of the passenger’s choice.

The first thing they do is to start direct communication with the airline, and in case of no positive outcome, attorneys throughout the EU are contacted, and all of the lawyer’s fees are covered. This process can take time, but the outcome should be positive in the end if all of the requirements are met.

Companies like ClaimDon serve as a tool for the passengers. 

Additionally, one of the goals is to inform passengers of their rights and what to do in case of a flight being cancelled, delayed, or boarding denied. If you get to know your rights more, you can know what to do in unfortunate circumstances when your journey doesn’t go as planned.

You can find more about how to apply for compensation on ClaimDon’s website or fill in the form here.

For more information on Croatian companies, follow our dedicated business page.


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