German Air Consumer Ombudsman Office SÖP Has A Month Long Backlog To Process Claims – Alternatives Available?

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The German Air Consumer Ombudsman “Schlichtungsstelle fuer öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V.” which we have recommended on multiple occasions seems to have a giant backlog to process filed claims.

It’s often recommended to use a mediation process instead of giving the case to an attorney or one of the claim services since those take a cut of the compensation due while mediation is for free.

We have featured several successful cases over the years that were mediated by the German Ombudsman SÖP (access their website here) and have recommended the service to many of our readers when they ran into issues, especially with German Airlines Lufthansa & Air Berlin.

We now received knowledge of a few cases that have been filed with the Ombudsman more than a month ago and that haven’t even been touched by the responsible team for processing.

Our reader Adrian has forwarded us correspondence with the SÖP Team where they advise extended processing times due to a backlog of cases:

Basically the email says that they have a huge amount cases to process but that the statue of limitations won’t expire in the meanwhile since the complaint has already been lodged.

The reader has lodged his file against Lufthansa on September 29th 2017 after Lufthansa didn’t react to both an electronically submitted complaint and letter mail to their legal department. The claim was about a 500 Euro EC261 compensation for two passengers.

Conclusion

It seems that the SOP now takes several months and not sure if that’s really worth the wait. I have recommended the reader to consider hiring an attorney or just use a claim service in this isolated case unless he wants to wait for much longer, possibly into the next year. Alternatively write to the Lufthansa Executive Offices where at least one of the assistants will give the case a push.

The monetary amount of compensation in this case isn’t that high (500 EUR) and maybe it’s better to just give it into professional hands to have it processed expediently. The cut that these services take is around 25-30% so one has to decide if it’s worth it. An attorney usually recoups their fees from the airline while the claim services make the customer pay.

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