Why Did My Travel Companion Get Compensation But I Didnt?

Date: 20 FEB 24

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head in confusion when dealing with an airline? Perhaps you and your travel companion experienced the same flight delay, yet only one of you received compensation from the airline. This scenario is more common than you might think, and understanding the reasons behind it can shed light on the complex policies airlines follow regarding compensation.

Let's dive into the intricacies of airline compensation policies, the concept of goodwill gestures, and the strategic limitation of claims payouts.

Understanding Airline Compensation Policies

The Random Acceptance of Claims

Airlines receive a vast number of compensation claims for various reasons, including flight delays, cancellations, and lost luggage. To manage this deluge, some airlines adopt a strategy of accepting a portion of claims without thorough investigation. This approach can result in seemingly arbitrary decisions where similar claims receive different responses. The airline might choose to settle certain claims quickly to manage their workload or public image, leading to situations where one passenger receives compensation while another in the same situation does not.

Goodwill Gestures vs. Admission of Guilt

Airlines often emphasise that their compensation offers are gestures of goodwill rather than admissions of guilt or liability. This distinction allows them to maintain a positive relationship with passengers without setting a legal precedent for future claims. When an airline compensates you or your travel companion, it's their way of acknowledging the inconvenience caused while carefully navigating the legal implications of admitting fault. Admitting fault can lead to having to pay for out of pocket expenses such as food/drink, accommodation, transfers and alternative flights.

Strategic Limitation of Claims Payouts

It's no secret that airlines operate in a highly competitive and cost-sensitive industry. One way they manage expenses is by strategically limiting the amount of compensation paid out for claims. Airlines may set internal guidelines to only compensate a certain percentage of claims or to prioritize claims that meet specific criteria. This selective approach helps airlines control costs while still addressing passenger grievances on a case-by-case basis.

Research has shown that airlines REJECT 50% OF VALID CLAIMS! Shocking isn't it? 

Why Compensation Varies Between Passengers

The Role of Documentation and Claim Submission

One crucial factor influencing whether a claim is compensated is the documentation provided and how the claim is submitted. Passengers who provide thorough documentation of their delay and articulate their claims clearly and politely may have a higher chance of receiving compensation.

Understanding the Fine Print

Airlines have detailed terms and conditions that outline the circumstances under which compensation is provided. These terms often include specific criteria related to the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, and the distance of the flight. It's possible for one passenger to meet these criteria while their companion does not, based on the details of their bookings. This is especially true when the passengers are on different booking references. Always book your flights together to be treated the same.

Navigating the Complexities of Airline Policies

Airline policies regarding compensation are complex and can vary significantly from one carrier to another. Some airlines may have more generous compensation policies as part of their customer service strategy, while others take a more conservative approach. Understanding these policies can be challenging for passengers, leading to confusion and disparities in compensation. We can help; click Here to claim for your compensation.


Why do airlines offer compensation without admitting guilt?

Offering compensation as a gesture of goodwill allows airlines to maintain customer satisfaction without legally admitting fault, which could lead to increased claims or legal challenges.

Can I appeal if my claim was denied but my companion's was accepted?

Yes, passengers can appeal denied claims. Providing additional documentation or clarifying the circumstances of the delay may help your case.

How can I increase my chances of receiving compensation?

Submitting a well-documented, polite, and clear claim, understanding the airline's terms and conditions, and following up persistently can improve your chances of receiving compensation.

Is there a regulatory body that oversees airline compensation?

Yes, in many regions, such as the European Union with EC 261, there are regulatory bodies that establish compensation rules for airlines. However, policies can vary globally. Many airlines have signed up to an Alternate Dispute Resolution service (ADR) where you can appeal a failed flight delay compensation claim.

Can travel insurance play a role in compensation?

Travel insurance may offer compensation for delays or cancellations not covered by the airline's policy, providing an additional layer of protection for travelers. If the airline tells you to direct your claim to your travel insurance provider in the first instance then you should reject that advice as the airline is liable first.

What if I still get rejected for a valid claim?

We have won £1000's worth of compensation for passengers who have had a flight delay claim rejected by the airline. We know all the tricks and excuses they use and unlike the passengers we have access to advanced data relating to the weather, flight paths, departure and arrival times to the exact minute. Want to claim flight delay compensation? Start your compensation claim.


The world of airline compensation is fraught with complexities and nuances that can leave passengers puzzled. Understanding the reasons behind why one traveler might receive compensation while another doesn't — from the airline's strategic claims management to the specifics of their compensation policies — can help demystify this process. By arming yourself with knowledge and being meticulous in your claim submission, you can navigate the skies of airline compensation with greater confidence.

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Have you had a flight delay, missed connection, cancelled flight or have been denied boarding in the last 6 years? If so try our free flight checker to see how much you may be entitled to in compensation for you AND your fellow travellers.

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