Aeroflot customers flex their muscles

Here’s something you don’t hear much of in the news coming out of Russia.

Thousands of Aeroflot customers, angry at being forced to wait at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport when it virtually shut down in the middle of an ice storm last December, have been sending in compensation claims – according to the Moscow News, the claims are for an average of 100,000 rubles, or $3,420 each.

“They aim to get 4000 roubles for each hour they had to stay at the airport, and want to be reimbursed for all expenses they met during the period in question, as well as a delay penalty of three per cent of flight costs, excluding taxes and additional fees.”

4,000 roubles per hour is just under $137 dollars per hour, which is a massive amount for a delay – far more, even, than the generous rates available to fliers in Europe. And it’s waaaaay off Aeroflot’s initial offer of a measly 25 roubles per hour of delay.

But, all the same, I wonder if this concerted campaign will force the Russian airline to think again and offer a more reasonable level of compensation. There’s absolutely zero chance that campaigners are going to get 4,000 roubles per hour, but any kind of victory for the campaigners (read: climbdown by Aeroflot) could be a significant boost for Russian consumer rights.

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