The entire aviation industry has faced operational issues in last the three months since Covid travel restrictions for UK arrivals were eased. Airlines and airports have suffered from severe shortages, having let go of thousands of employees during the pandemic, when demand for air travel ground to a halt.
There are an estimated 10,000 of the 160,000 EasyJet flights on sale for July, August and September expected to be cancelled. Flight cancellations As travellers seek compensation for these cancellations, experts are warning those to be extra cautious of scammers and fake travel companies. Connor Campbell, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, shares his expert advice on the key signs you should know to avoid being scammed while claiming compensation.
During the pandemic, travellers were warned of a proliferation of fake travel companies threatening to retain offering refunds and or compensation for cancelled trips, while secretly stealing personal information – and people should continue to be wary of this during the surge of flight cancellations. Often, scams occur when holidaymakers are contacted by criminals purporting to be from travel companies, tour operators and insurers offering to refund or rebook cancelled holidays.
Other ways scammers will trick people is by setting up fake websites and offering refunds and compensation to holidaymakers. Normally, fake websites or phone numbers appear when people search online for flights. Red flags can include booking the flight through the website or over the phone, but when you receive the confirmation email it’s clear that you didn’t get a proper flight ticket.
Another scenario that can occur is booking a flight on a travel website offering deals and paying with your credit card. After paying, you receive a phone call from the company saying that there’s been a sudden price increase and you need to pay an extra fee to finalise your booking. This is an immediate red flag you and a legitimate company wouldn’t do this, meaning you are being scammed. Connor Campbell shares his expert advice on how to avoid being scammed, the signs to look out for and how to safely claim compensation.
To avoid being scammed in the first place, before making any purchases make sure you conduct research on a company you come across that you are not familiar with. It is important you double-check the URL before you enter personal or payment information. Normally, secure links start with HTTPS and include a lock icon on the purchase page.
Always be wary of third-party websites and you should always be suspicious of websites that don’t have an available customer service number and no physical address. When making an online purchase, you should use a credit card instead of a debit card or your bank account- as fraudulent charges made on a credit card can usually be disputed.
When it comes to claiming compensation if you receive an email purporting to be sent by a CAA representative, delete it straight away The CAA advises affected passengers to contact their airline in the first instance.
Written by: Matthew Thomas
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