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ECJ: Airlines Must Pay Pax For Normal Tech Delays  
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2901 posts, RR: 3
Posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4033 times:

One of the loopholes of Regulation 261/2004 seems to have been closed: the European Court of Justice ordered Alitalia to pay the compensation under Regulation 261/2004, stating that technical problems with planes cannot be considered extraordinary circumstances, unless the carrier can prove that the event was beyond its control.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...1085&sid=au81vMJLJC0c&refer=europe

Congrats to the ECJ!

[Edited 2008-12-22 10:33:03]


I scratch my head, therefore I am.
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4027 times:

Exactly.

1. I have old planes and/or don't maintain them well
2. Plane goes tech
3. I claim the delay is an act of god/gremlins
4. You are out of luck on compensation.

Nice scam if you can sell it.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27034 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4019 times:

About time all these loopholes where closed .

Well done .


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3966 times:

Don't worry the airlines will just raise their fares to cover this added expense imposed upon them by the EU. Europeans should be thankful that they don't get all the government you pay for.

User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3902 times:
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Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Thread starter):
Congrats to the ECJ!

Not sure it should be congratulations to anyone.

At the time they were introduced, the airlines were under the impression that the regulation was to compensate passengers who had their flight delayed, cancelled, consolidated or overbooked for commercial reasons. In effect the aim was to discourage airlines from inconveniencing passengers to suit their own commercial needs, and if they did inconvenience passengers for commercial reasons to ensure they were given adequate welfare at the time.

Now I can't really think of a reason where a company will gain commercially from a technical delay!

Since airlines will already look after their passengers in the event of a technical delay where possible by providing meals and hotel accomodation etc, I don't see that it's reasonable to be forced to pay high levels of compensation (which were designed to penalise airlines for the reasons set out above) to every one of hundreds of passengers as well.

All that's going to happen is that the airlines are going to recover the costs from their passengers in the form of increased airfares... So in effect the few passengers who are subject to long delays and are paid compensation will be subsidised by the majority of passengers who are not.

The compensation at €250-€600 is designed to penalise airlines who pay fast-and-loose with their passengers travel plans, which is not the case for a technical delay which couldn't reasonably be foreseen.

Especially in the current economic climate, forcing airlines to pay compensation which may well be much greater than the original airfare in the event of an unforeseen technical delay will force everyone to pay higher airfares - and may further drive more airlines to the wall financially. An airline failure will cause far more disruption to people's travel plans and hardship than a 4 hour delay!

The simple fact of life is aircraft are machines and they break, to make that a reason to pay massive compensation for every passenger is laughable.

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineHeeBeeGB From Finland, joined Sep 2007, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3868 times:



Quoting Crosswind (Reply 4):
The simple fact of life is aircraft are machines and they break, to make that a reason to pay massive compensation for every passenger is laughable.

Spot on, I don't claim compensation from a bus or taxi if it breaks down.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3792 times:



Quoting Crosswind (Reply 4):
Not sure it should be congratulations to anyone.

At the time they were introduced, the airlines were under the impression that the regulation was to compensate passengers who had their flight delayed, cancelled, consolidated or overbooked for commercial reasons. In effect the aim was to discourage airlines from inconveniencing passengers to suit their own commercial needs, and if they did inconvenience passengers for commercial reasons to ensure they were given adequate welfare at the time.

Now I can't really think of a reason where a company will gain commercially from a technical delay!

Since airlines will already look after their passengers in the event of a technical delay where possible by providing meals and hotel accomodation etc, I don't see that it's reasonable to be forced to pay high levels of compensation (which were designed to penalise airlines for the reasons set out above) to every one of hundreds of passengers as well.

All that's going to happen is that the airlines are going to recover the costs from their passengers in the form of increased airfares... So in effect the few passengers who are subject to long delays and are paid compensation will be subsidised by the majority of passengers who are not.

The compensation at €250-€600 is designed to penalise airlines who pay fast-and-loose with their passengers travel plans, which is not the case for a technical delay which couldn't reasonably be foreseen.

Especially in the current economic climate, forcing airlines to pay compensation which may well be much greater than the original airfare in the event of an unforeseen technical delay will force everyone to pay higher airfares - and may further drive more airlines to the wall financially. An airline failure will cause far more disruption to people's travel plans and hardship than a 4 hour delay!

The simple fact of life is aircraft are machines and they break, to make that a reason to pay massive compensation for every passenger is laughable.

Congratations Crosswind: This was one of the best replies I have ever read on a.net. If there are more people that think like you in the UK, there is still hope.


User currently offlineSeaBosDca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5531 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3737 times:



Quoting Crosswind (Reply 4):
At the time they were introduced, the airlines were under the impression that the regulation was to compensate passengers who had their flight delayed, cancelled, consolidated or overbooked for commercial reasons. In effect the aim was to discourage airlines from inconveniencing passengers to suit their own commercial needs, and if they did inconvenience passengers for commercial reasons to ensure they were given adequate welfare at the time.

Assuming you have faith in the airlines to report the cause of delays correctly, this is spot-on.

But the ECJ may be thinking (and may have reason to think; I have no idea about the facts underlying the decision) that airlines are likely to report non-technical delays as "technical" in order to circumvent the compensation regulations.

If so, then requiring the airlines to offer proof that the delay was beyond airline control, such as maintenance documentation, seems like a reasonable solution. Unless the airlines are being dishonest about the cause of delays, this won't cause massive extra compensation payments, just a bit more red tape.


User currently offlineHeeBeeGB From Finland, joined Sep 2007, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3696 times:



Quoting SeaBosDca (Reply 7):
just a bit more red tape.

ECJ will be happy then


User currently offlineDavidkunzVIE From Austria, joined Mar 2007, 431 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3682 times:

Couldn't that lead to flights being operated despite technical concerns? I say yes.


DH3 DH4 CR1 CR2 CR7 CR9 F70 732 733 734 73G 738 752 762 763 772 742 743 319 320 321 333 343
User currently offlineNYC2theworld From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 664 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3660 times:



Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Reply 9):
Couldn't that lead to flights being operated despite technical concerns? I say yes.

And God forbid something happens on that flight and they fly even though the aircraft wasn't airworthy due to a maintainance issue that was put off due to the fact they didn't want to pay compensation. That airline would be dragged through hot burning coals.



Always wonderers if this "last and final boarding call" is in fact THE last and final boarding call.
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25329 posts, RR: 85
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3616 times:
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Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
1. I have old planes and/or don't maintain them well
2. Plane goes tech
3. I claim the delay is an act of god/gremlins
4. You are out of luck on compensation.

Well, there's that, I suppose, if you so distrust the airlines. But if there is a genuine technical problem, then:

(1) I don't want to fly on the aircraft.

(2) I don't believe the airline should be fined for addressing the problem.

(3) I don't expect to be compensated for the delay.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineMillwallSean From Singapore, joined Apr 2008, 1257 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3558 times:



Quoting HeeBeeGB (Reply 5):
Spot on, I don't claim compensation from a bus or taxi if it breaks down.

Actually I know quite a few European countries where you get compensated if the train and bus are delayed over a certain time. Stockholm quite closed to you used to be one of them, not sure if they still are but this impressed me a lot when I was there. Part of the service contract. Public transport in Stockholm is run by a french company by the way.

I don't see what the problem is or that this should be news. The legislation is pretty clear and technical issues are within the control of the airline. Most airlines already follow this and wont have to adapt or for that sake raise any prices.

We have a EU law that every carrier that flies within our territory has to follow.
The law is on the consumers side and makes sure that they don't get stranded without money and accommodation in case the transport they have booked break down.
The airlines cant abandon them if the problem is within their area of responsibility. technical faults are within their responsibility whether they like it or not.

This legislation will of course apply to any aircraft departing from an EU airport, not just European carriers. Asian, American and African carriers have adopted quite well to the legislation as it is.
It will not apply when a technical fault outside the airlines scope has occurred.

Having legislation that is based on the consumers right and not based upon business demands is a concept many of us anglosaxons are unfamiliar with, but its quite the norm on the continent. I don't expect this to be the last of the clarifications ruling in favour of the consumer and I don't expect Michael OLeary to support a single verdict coming from the ECJ...



No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25329 posts, RR: 85
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3547 times:
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Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 12):
I don't expect Michael OLeary to support a single verdict coming from the ECJ...

Not for the first time, I probably have some sympathy with Michael O'Leary.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3532 times:

there's a reason why the EU has one of the lowest growth rates in the world. Rules like this just slowed the growth rate further.

Of course airlines are going to pass their costs on to consumers.


User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3486 times:



Quoting Crosswind (Reply 4):
Now I can't really think of a reason where a company will gain commercially from a technical delay!

But there again, define 'technical delay'. Both you and I know that the term is used frequently by many airlines to cover a multitude of issues, and nothing at all to do with being a fault of the aircraft.

Quoting Crosswind (Reply 4):
The compensation at €250-€600 is designed to penalise airlines who pay fast-and-loose with their passengers travel plans, which is not the case for a technical delay which couldn't reasonably be foreseen.

As I briefly said above, this IMO is what the issue is about, and not definitively about a fault to an aircraft.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 14):
there's a reason why the EU has one of the lowest growth rates in the world. Rules like this just slowed the growth rate further.

Absolute nonsense!

Quoting HeeBeeGB (Reply 5):
Spot on, I don't claim compensation from a bus or taxi if it breaks down.

Perhaps not a bus or taxi, but I can assure you that it's applicable to trains in the UK.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 3):
Europeans should be thankful that they don't get all the government you pay for.

Would you care to explain that further please?

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
Exactly.

1. I have old planes and/or don't maintain them well
2. Plane goes tech
3. I claim the delay is an act of god/gremlins
4. You are out of luck on compensation.

Nice scam if you can sell it.

 checkmark  Exactly, and one of the few who can actually see what the real issue and judgement is to combat.


User currently offlineGosimeon From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3454 times:

In Europe, we have this attitude: I paid €X to got to Y Location with Z Airline. I paid them my fee in full and if they, for WHATEVER reason, do not get me to my destination and within reasonable time, then why the heck should they keep my money?

Seriously. I don't understand those on here that are claiming it's unfair because the plane might have gone tech and the airline can't do anything about it. Tough titties to the airline, the consumer shouldn't be down a few hundred Euro unless they missed their flight. It was their money to begin with. This industry can take the consumer for a ride alot of the time; no pun intended, so this judgment is VERY encouraging and I look forward to further safe-guarding of airliner consumer rights into the future.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25329 posts, RR: 85
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3445 times:
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Quoting Gosimeon (Reply 16):
I paid them my fee in full and if they, for WHATEVER reason, do not get me to my destination and within reasonable time, then why the heck should they keep my money?

Within my experience, every airline I have ever flown (and I've flown some lulu's) has always got me to my destination within a reasonable time frame or has refunded my money.

 confused 

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3434 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 11):
(3) I don't expect to be compensated for the delay.

Why not? How long a delay is okay?

In the USA, it's technically four hours before the airline is supposed to fix the problem or make other arrangements for the pax, including finding other carriers, finding another plane, putting you on a different flight on that airline, or providing somewhere to stay/something to eat + compensation.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineGosimeon From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3434 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 17):
Within my experience, every airline I have ever flown (and I've flown some lulu's) has always got me to my destination within a reasonable time frame or has refunded my money.

I know people who have had flights cancelled and because a flight a few days later wasn't a good enough offer to them, they were given vouchers to redeemed against their next booking with their airlines, and could not get a refund no matter how hard they tried. It was a "technical" fault, so the airline wasn't obliged. No harm in having this stuff in law to prevent things like that happening to others.


User currently offlineNYC2theworld From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 664 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3431 times:

The difference between mass transit systems and airline is with a mass transit system, you do not pay to ride a specific time. For example, if I got to my commuter train agency's website, a one-way adult ticket can be used anytime during the day WITHOUT penalty.

However, with the airline; you choose a specific date and time and pay for that specific date and time to get you to your destination (annd may end up paying a premium or discount because of it). If the airline cannot fulfill their end of the contract, then, a penalty is to be awarded. Does that mean airfares have to go up because more money has to be spent maintaining planes, possibly...but isn't that a good thing?



Always wonderers if this "last and final boarding call" is in fact THE last and final boarding call.
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25329 posts, RR: 85
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3414 times:
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Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 18):
Why not? How long a delay is okay?

Mostly, the delays I've experienced have been no more than an hour or two, for a variety of reasons, including tech and weather.

I would not expect to be compensated for that and certainly, in the case of tech, I would prefer the aircraft was considered safe by the engineers.

Once, at BOM, the delay was eight hours because of the late arrival of the incoming aircraft, but we were offered the chance to transfer to another airline, or a refund. I chose to wait and was looked after well by the airline.

I have never had what I consider to be an unreasonable experience with any airline, but I suppose everyone has their own definition of unreasonable.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3409 times:

Picture this, you are standing at the check-in or gate and the airline says the flight is cancelled or massively delayed due to "technical" issues. Well, how are you going to dispute that? Are they going to bring our the maintenance log for the pax to inspect? Are you going to lodge a FOI request?

Hell no. I think it's brilliant to compensate. Cut the crap excuses. Here in MEL the train system is subbed to a private company to run. If a train is delayed or cancelled for any reason (some exemptions being accident on the line etc) then they automatically pay a large fine to the Victorian government. Personally I think it should go direct to the pax.



B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25329 posts, RR: 85
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3406 times:
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Quoting Gosimeon (Reply 19):
I know people who have had flights cancelled and because a flight a few days later wasn't a good enough offer to them, they were given vouchers to redeemed against their next booking with their airlines, and could not get a refund no matter how hard they tried.



Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 22):
Picture this, you are standing at the check-in or gate and the airline says the flight is cancelled or massively delayed due to "technical" issues.

The title of the thread is "normal" tech delays.

I would not consider cancellation (without refund) or "massively delayed" normal. Do you?

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3369 times:
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Quoting AirNZ (Reply 15):
But there again, define 'technical delay'. Both you and I know that the term is used frequently by many airlines to cover a multitude of issues, and nothing at all to do with being a fault of the aircraft.

After spending over 4 years in my last job as an Operations Controller/Senior Operations Controller/Duty Manager for a large UK airline, I don't recally any instance where we blamed technical problems for a delay when it was down to something else. Not once.

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 15):
As I briefly said above, this IMO is what the issue is about, and not definitively about a fault to an aircraft.

I don't have a problem with forcing airlines to compensate passengers who's travel plans have been affected by an airlines deliberate actions, but a technical fault with the aircraft is not a deliberate act by an airline. If you read the EU regulation which gives passengers rights to meals, phonecalls, hotel accomodation etc - all things that the airline I worked for provided amyway years before the EU regulation came into force, and not just for technical reasons, also for weather delays and external strike action etc. Airlines spend huge amounts looking after their customers in this way.

Now if the situation becomes severe enough for the flight to be cancelled due to the technical problem, the airlines are obliged to provide all the above, plus an alternative flight (at their expense) or a full refund for that leg(s) PLUS the €250-€600.

That is a massive financial burden for the airline...

As travellers, and hopefully intelligent people, I'd like to think we can all accept that we've paid a price to go somewhere. Aircraft are complex (and very safe) machines operated to some very tough standards, sometimes problems occur - but if the airline looks after me during the delay, keeps me informed, and provides either an alternative way of getting to my destination or a refund of the money I paid - I think the've done all I can reasonably expect them to.

Completely different situation to if they overbooked my flight and my seat was taken by someone else, or the flight was cancelled by commercial because there were only 20 people booked... Then my inconvenience was caused by the airline's deliberate action and I should be compensated.

The levels of compensation are designed to act as a deterrent to airlines who seek to overbook/cancel excessively, and to protect their passengers.

In the event of a technical problem (which will be costly for the airline if it is severe enough to be requiring compensation) I don't see how the passenger compensation acts as a deterrent to an airline discouraging them having technical problems in the future! It isn't within their control to prevent any/all problems with their machines!

Quoting Gosimeon (Reply 16):
Tough titties to the airline, the consumer shouldn't be down a few hundred Euro unless they missed their flight. It was their money to begin with. This industry can take the consumer for a ride alot of the time; no pun intended, so this judgment is VERY encouraging and I look forward to further safe-guarding of airliner consumer rights into the future.

If the flight is cancelled, a refund or alternative will be offered - nobody's going to lose out on the price they paid for their ticket. The compensation is a step too far in the event of a technical delay. Particularly given how fares have fallen, the compensation levels are quite high in this regard. As the ECJ interprets the regulation; I pay €100 for a Paris-London with BA, the flight is cancelled due to a technical problem, I receive a meal, 2 phone calls and opt to be rebooked on the next flight just over 2 hours later. I then also claim €250 comensation! I'm quids in, but it's a massive burden for the airlines.

As I said originally, if this decision is upheld, ALL passengers travelling to/from the EU will pay for the compensation out of their ticket prices which will be increased as a result of this.

Given the choice, I'd prefer not to pay more for every flight I book, just so I may one day possibly receive some money because a mechanical component on an aircraft breaks...
I just don't think it's reasonable!

Regards
CROSSWIND


25 474218 : It an old comment from an American actor/social commentator named Will Rodgers, he died in the crash of a Lockheed Vega that also killed Willey Post
26 AFGMEL : I'm not sure I understand the question and the title is slightly ambiguous. Who decides what "normal" is? If the flight is delayed, the airline shoul
27 Gosimeon : No but an airline might when it suits!
28 WorldTraveler : sure it is.... Europe has higher expectations on quality of life than what exists elsewhere in the developed world - whether it be regarding employee
29 MillwallSean : And since Europe has on average 30% public sector that isn't supposed to produce a profit comparing growth rates is like comparing apples and oranges
30 Mariner : I can't think how a "normal" delay of an hour or two is going to disrupt any of that. If it is such an expedition as you describe, then they should b
31 Ikramerica : Longest tech delay I've had: 14 hours, last month, TPA-LAX. And this tech delay was something they could have prevented (DL) because the plane we wer
32 Mariner : I'm sure a lot of people have horror stories. It's odd that I don't, given the amount of traveling I've done. I have a lot of horror stories, but the
33 Post contains links BuyantUkhaa : Either that, or they don't come up with timely solutions, such as the case of the Vienna-Rome-Austria flight that the court case deaqlt with. Exactly
34 Leskova : Given the fact that crashing planes cost quite a bit more than compensating passengers, I'm inclined to say no. And rightly so! Aha... yes... right..
35 HB-IWC : Working in Operations Control myself, I salute your contribution to this thread, and I can confirm most if not all of the points you make. Technical
36 BuyantUkhaa : Great post! Much appreciated.
37 Atomsareenough : though it probably wouldn't be considered "technical", it's happened to me several times before where flights were severely delayed because the crew
38 Post contains links BuyantUkhaa : It seems you're right. The press release can be found here: http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp08/aff/cp080100en.pdf Background info here:
39 Post contains links Crosswind : As you rightly say, there are "grey" areas, mainly in respect to reactionary delays to the original tech issue - which can often combine with other p
40 MillwallSean : In regard to delays this is what the legislation has to say. for ref : Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 Delays: The Regulation introduces a three-tier syst
41 Sflaflight : As a free marketer, I say good job EU. No one is for free enterprise more than myself, but many corporations need oversighting because they can't do i
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