I had recently traveled to London from Warsaw with LOT Polish Airlines and had connecting flight in Zurich (both flights were on same ticket sharing same booking reference number). Flight was delayed by 40 min and because of which I was denied boarding on my connecting flight. Airline offered me another flight which was after 5 hours and gave me one food coupon. I reached my destination more than 6 hours later than scheduled. I am trying to get compensation from the Airline.

I have contacted the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA, which is the national EC261 enforcement body) but they replied with some complicated procedure and lot of legal jargon. Hence, I am thinking of applying for this compensation through some agent. Few of my colleagues suggested me few names like AirHelp, flightright, refund.me etc. However, I am little bit unsure about their authenticity, procedure and reviews. If anyone of you used such services, can you please guide me regarding this? Or suggest some alternative way without getting into large legal process.

  • 1
    Where did you fly to Zürich from, and on which airline? Have you contacted the airline directly about compensation? Jun 9, 2019 at 19:00
  • @HenningMakholm, I have added the details. I have contacted their helpdesk but they just apologized fro the inconvenience and did not comment on any compensation.
    – Dexter
    Jun 9, 2019 at 19:22
  • Can you clarify whether both flights were on the same ticket? Given the number of cheap Warsaw-London nonstop flights, I am quite surprised there would have been any incentive to travel via Zurich for this.
    – jcaron
    Jun 10, 2019 at 7:39
  • 1
    @jcaron, yes. My both flights were on the same ticket sharing same booking reference number.
    – Dexter
    Jun 10, 2019 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming both flights are on the same ticket. (If they were not, you're out of luck, and in fact you were lucky to be rebooked on a later flight at all).

You're barking up a slightly wrong tree by going to the Swiss national enforcement body. Since both the airline and your point of departure are Polish, it would more relevant for the Polish enforcement body to get involved. But ultimately there's not a lot they can do. (They can't order the airline to compensate you, or fine them for not paying up, for example).

What you should do first is to explicitly demand your EC261 compensation from the airline. What you write in the question sounds like you were just telling their customer service "I'm unhappy about this; what can you do for me?", and you were brushed off. You need to be telling them, "You owe me 250 euro in delay compensation. Please send them to me on such-and-such account."

(EC261 fixes the compensation for a delay of more than 3 hours at your final destination on a journey of less than 1500 km to 250 euro. Warsaw to London is just below that limit at 1474 km, or less if the London end was not Heathrow).

If at that point they still won't pay, you're still owed the 250 euro, but you may need to take the airline to court to force them to pay. That's where the agencies you list come in -- they're specialized law offices who in exchange for a cut of the compensation will write a professional-sounding letter to the airline on your behalf, and prosecute a lawsuit for you if that doesn't work. You can also hire a traditional lawyer to do it for you, though that will probably be more expensive than one of the compensation mills. And if the case is really clear cut (like it sounds like yours is), you might be able to file the case yourself through whatever small-claims procedure Polish courts offer.

But the first step is to make an explicit demand.

  • 1
    Of course the agencies will also be happy to make that initial demand for you in exchange for their usual cut, but that's a waste of good money. Jun 9, 2019 at 19:43
  • Thank you ! I will try contacting them again. Are those agencies I mentioned trustworthy?
    – Dexter
    Jun 9, 2019 at 20:36
  • 1
    @Dexter: I don't know any of the specific names. If I were to use one myself I would verify that the one I chose has a license to practice law in the jurisdiction I need, and let that be "trustworthy" enough to hand a 250-euro cases. Jun 9, 2019 at 20:40
  • Does the routing via Zurich affect the 1500 km? Jun 10, 2019 at 1:55
  • 5
    @Harper: It doesn't, according to the ECJ's ruling in Bossen v Brussels Airlines from 2017. Jun 10, 2019 at 8:31

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