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EU Court Ruling, Airlines Must Pay Compensation  
User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3222 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4794 times:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...s+after+European+ruling/article.do

From the London Evening Standard newspaper today, this could prove expensive !
Airlines must pay for cancelled flights due to "technical reasons"


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3996 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4785 times:

That's apparently about the December 2008 ECJ decision, so the Evening Standard is a bit late with its reporting  Smile

User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4677 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4760 times:



Quoting Readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Airlines must pay for cancelled flights due to "technical reasons"

Not exactly a shocker, as it is within the airlines control.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19522 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4698 times:

Wow, you mean an airline has to take responsibility for its own technical issues and must appropriately compensate passengers when they fail to maintain their aircraft in such a manner as to ensure an on-time departure?

There are a number of airline apologists who will claim that this is unfair to the airlines, that passengers are a bunch of whiny brats who should be grateful to get to travel at all. Unfortunately, that very attitude is what leads to court rulings like this.

In good business, you take care of your customer and you don't need a court order or ruling to tell you to do that.

Airlines will now have to decide whether it is more expensive to increase their maintenance costs to avoid such delays or whether it is more expensive to pay for these delays. But if I just paid for a cruise and your poor maintenance or your inability to manage your crew or your inability to have a plane available to operate the scheduled flight is the reason why I missed my cruise, then I think you should be responsible for it.

Now, if the flight is delayed due to an ATC delay or weather, then that's out of your control. HOWEVER... I have had several flights delayed/canceled due to strange "weather" phenomena that cause a bunch of men to open the engine cowling and puzzle around at its innards. And yet the airline says "weather."

In those cases, that is fraud -- a crime -- and it's time that the authorities dealt with that severely.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4667 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
I have had several flights delayed/canceled due to strange "weather" phenomena that cause a bunch of men to open the engine cowling and puzzle around at its innards. And yet the airline says "weather."

In those cases, that is fraud -- a crime -- and it's time that the authorities dealt with that severely.

That should be investigated and whomever is found responsible should be personally liable for compensating the passengers.


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4677 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4654 times:



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
That should be investigated and whomever is found responsible should be personally liable for compensating the passengers.

Which isn't possible in most countries as the company would have to prove your goss negligence....



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineOcracoke From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 681 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4598 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Airlines will now have to decide whether it is more expensive to increase their maintenance costs to avoid such delays or whether it is more expensive to pay for these delays

This will lead to two possible things:

1) Passengers will be paying for these costs through higher ticket prices.

2) Airlines might now start pressuring their maintenance department to say...."that's really not that broken...we can fix it later." Are we willing to hop in a plane where there is great pressure from management upon the maintenance personal to start overlooking certain maintenance issues, just so that the airline will keep costs down? And don't think something like this wont happen. Human nature.

It's best to keep hands off anything to do with maintenance. As far as an engine being open and calling that a weather dealy, that I agree with. But if it is truly a maintenance delay...hands off. Or would that family from Vienna rather have tried their luck on an airplane with a broken engine?


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7695 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4584 times:
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I bet I know of at least one airline which will just take no notice of this whatsoever. Can you guess which one?  wink 


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4557 times:



Quoting JRadier (Reply 5):
Which isn't possible in most countries as the company would have to prove your goss negligence....

Fraud transcends gross negligence.


User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3222 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4555 times:



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):
I bet I know of at least one airline which will just take no notice of this whatsoever. Can you guess which one? wink

Does it begin with "A" ?



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7695 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4528 times:
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Quoting Readytotaxi (Reply 9):
Does it begin with "A" ?

Nope.  wink 



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6793 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4470 times:



Quoting JRadier (Reply 2):
Not exactly a shocker, as it is within the airlines control.

It is?

You're telling me that when parts break, the airline is to blame? Airlines usually pay for controllable cancellations, as opposed to weather which is uncontrollable.

But to legislate this is just the worst sort of draconian socialist BS, just more grist for the mill.

I'm surprised this didn't make our US porkulus bill.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21507 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4433 times:



Quoting Ocracoke (Reply 6):
This will lead to two possible things:

You mean government intervention often has unintended consequences? Say it ain't so, Joe!



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13987 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4336 times:

This might lead to a major human factors problem in maintenance, especially with several maintenance companies closing down or downsizing (anyone read the thread about SR-Technics in Dublin?) and therefore engineers and technicians, as well as pilots being afraid to lose their jobs.
There definitely WILL be managers trying to put pressure on their MX staff to ignore technical problems to avoid an AOG situation (I had this happen to me before with a previous company) and there WILL be engineers and technicians doing it because of fear to get laid off (usuall, when staff is being reduced, those who are not sufficiently"company minded", e.g. bysticking too much to procedures and not willing to bend rules, will be getting the sack first.).

Also, where do you set the limits?
Airlines already have to provide an Continous Airwirthiness Programme (CAME) in which they state how to keep the aircraft airworthy, e.g. by having a maintenance schedule set up by an approved maintenance organisation, which is based on the manufacturer's Maintenance Planning Document.
Theycan't just do a D-check on each aircraft every year and they can't prevent something from breaking occasionally.

Jan


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4294 times:



Quoting Slider (Reply 11):
You're telling me that when parts break, the airline is to blame?

It's not a question of blame. It's a question of responsibility. Airlines should be held responsible for providing the service contracted at the time contracted. If that means that airlines need to keep a spare aircraft ready at their hubs, that's tough. If a limo service contracts to pick you up from an airport at 16:30, you should not accept the excuse that one of their cars broke down. They need to have enough cars to fulfill their contracts knowing that cars sometimes break down. The airlines need to do the same.


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4677 posts, RR: 50
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4229 times:



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 8):

Fraud transcends gross negligence.

The company would still have to prove it was a deliberate action by the employee and they tried to correct it. Not a situation you want.....

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 14):
It's not a question of blame. It's a question of responsibility.

Exactly. It's a pretty 'simple' calculation of the customer service level. On one hand you have the costs that are associated with keeping the aircraft flying (spares, more mechanics etc) and on the other hand you have the costs of cancellations. You can calculate these (roughly) for every customer service level (for example the % of cancellations) and you simply take the one where the overall costs are the lowest. It's basic logistics.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13987 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4221 times:



Quoting Zvezda (Reply 14):
Quoting Slider (Reply 11):
You're telling me that when parts break, the airline is to blame?

It's not a question of blame. It's a question of responsibility. Airlines should be held responsible for providing the service contracted at the time contracted. If that means that airlines need to keep a spare aircraft ready at their hubs, that's tough. If a limo service contracts to pick you up from an airport at 16:30, you should not accept the excuse that one of their cars broke down. They need to have enough cars to fulfill their contracts knowing that cars sometimes break down. The airlines need to do the same.

Then expect airline fares to increase dramatically. You can't compare a 80.000 Euro limousine with a 60 million aircraft (no to speak of all the other expenses which just occur by having one sitting around.

Jan


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4677 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 4184 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
Then expect airline fares to increase dramatically. You can't compare a 80.000 Euro limousine with a 60 million aircraft (no to speak of all the other expenses which just occur by having one sitting around.

That's what people said when the EU introduced the forced compensation rules at first. I can't say that they've increased 'dramatically'. Now I can't speak for everyone, but I've yet to notice that 'dramatic' increase.

About the the costs of the spare, you're missing perspective. Sure, an aircraft is far more expensive, but an airlines turnover is a lot larger as well. I can't substantiate it, but I've got the feeling that they place pretty much the same burden on the costs for either company.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4165 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
Then expect airline fares to increase dramatically. You can't compare a 80.000 Euro limousine with a 60 million aircraft (no to speak of all the other expenses which just occur by having one sitting around.

Then the airline can pay the compensation when they fail to deliver what they contracted.


User currently offlineA320211 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4095 times:



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):
I bet I know of at least one airline which will just take no notice of this whatsoever. Can you guess which one?



Quoting Readytotaxi (Reply 9):
Does it begin with "A" ?



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 10):
Nope.

An R?  Wink


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6424 posts, RR: 54
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

Flight was invented 105 years and two months ago. Still today it seems difficult for some airlines to realize that a ticket is a two sided contract.

When a passenger shows up with overweight baggage, then he pays acording to the contract. Fair enough. That's part of the contract.

But it is also part of the contract to bring the passenger to his destination for the price listed on the ticket. The airline business is a transport business, not a way for the airlines to fly their planes when they think it is beneficial.

If you ship a container with Amtrac from NY to LA, then you may read on your internet tracking data that the train went off track in Kansas City and is stuck there. Should that make you travel to Kansas to salvage your cargo? Or should you still expect your container to be delivered in LA as soon as possible with no extra expenses for you?

It's the same when Airbus and Boeing fails to deliver an A380 or B787 on time according to the purchase contract. They pay compensation according to the contract rules.

Imagine that an airline has a contract with an oil company to deliver fuel at an airport - there are many thousand such contracts out there. And then the oil company one day states: "Sorry, we are out of fuel". They will have to pay all airline losses unless they can prove that the fuel shortage was due to a strike, earth quake, terror act or such. They cannot simply state that their fuel truck had a flat tire, or their truck driver had a flu. So please be patient, you will have your planes fueled one day.

It is up to airline management to decide what level of redundancy (spare planes/crews) they want to invest in, and what level of compensation costs they want to risk. And/or to make agreements with alternate carriers. Doing this efficiently and cleverly you save money on compensations, and attract especially premium pax for better punctuality statistics. Which again is a deciding factor whether your airline also in the future is an operating airline, or just a page in the history books.

Of course the passengers will pay for it in the end. Just like any taxi passenger indirectly pays for the taxi accident insurance, even if he does't expect to be involved in a traffic accident. And sure doesn't expect to have to pay for the damage in case of an accident.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21507 posts, RR: 60
Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4000 times:



Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 20):
It is up to airline management to decide what level of redundancy (spare planes/crews) they want to invest in, and what level of compensation costs they want to risk. And/or to make agreements with alternate carriers. Doing this efficiently and cleverly you save money on compensations, and attract especially premium pax for better punctuality statistics. Which again is a deciding factor whether your airline also in the future is an operating airline, or just a page in the history books.

I think this could be a very positive ad campaign for a company too.

Advertise that they actually care about getting you there when they are supposed to, and do everything they can to do so, "unlike the competition"
Advertise that they try to keep spare aircraft available to minimize delays and "get you where you are going"
Advertise that they go above and beyond when it comes to preventative checks to keep their planes in the air when needed for "safety and reliability"
Advertise that saving $50 on an airfare is meaningless if you miss your meeting or a day of your vacation and that they spend extra because they know that "your time is valuable"

Part of the reason we are where we are is that because there are government set standards for how to maintain an aircraft, airlines tend to use that as all they have to do, rather than the minimum acceptable standard that should be surpassed if possible.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7695 posts, RR: 21
Reply 22, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3993 times:
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Quoting A320211 (Reply 19):
An R? Wink

Could be, could be!  wink 
 checkmark 



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineTheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3962 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Now, if the flight is delayed due to an ATC delay or weather, then that's out of your control. HOWEVER... I have had several flights delayed/canceled due to strange "weather" phenomena that cause a bunch of men to open the engine cowling and puzzle around at its innards. And yet the airline says "weather."

In those cases, that is fraud -- a crime -- and it's time that the authorities dealt with that severely.

How do you know that it wasn't just a routine check? Just because cowling is open it doesn't mean there is a problem!

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 14):
They need to have enough cars to fulfill their contracts knowing that cars sometimes break down. The airlines need to do the same.

Airlines often have some 'spare' aircraft but sometimes a few break at the same time. And if airlines have to get a lot more, who is going to pay for it?? Think we all know the answer to that.......................!!


User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13987 posts, RR: 62
Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3948 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 21):
Part of the reason we are where we are is that because there are government set standards for how to maintain an aircraft, airlines tend to use that as all they have to do, rather than the minimum acceptable standard that should be surpassed if possible.

I see internal punctuality ratings for the pilots (one airline I know does this already for fuel burn), pilots not reporting snags anymore to prevent delays (we have this already with pilots who don't want to get stuck over night at some outstation in the booneys, flying home with a known defect), more pressure in the delay report game (which anybody in the industry knows, already now every delay of more than five minutes requires a report to management, and the different departments try to blame each other), pressure on maintenance to cut corners to get the planes out on time etc.. Do you guys really think that the authorities have the manpower and will to ACTUALLY enforce the regulations (unless something happens and you'll see a few months of frantic activity with audits and the killing of a few scapegoats until public attention has gone back to sleep).
So far both the flight crews and us are the last line of defence, but with airlines going bankrupt and people losing their jobs, both flight crews and technical staff will become more reluctant to speak up, as not to risk their jobs. Many will rather risk the possibility of going to jail in the rare case of an accident being blamed on them, than the certainity of being made redundant for not performing as the management likes them to do.

Jan


25 Leskova : For some reason, I do still see most airlines as having staff that's intelligent enough to realise that a crashing aircraft will end up costing them
26 Cairo : Why is it your philosophy to force two formerly free parties to live by a contract feature the government mandates? The contract between you and the
27 MD11Engineer : Don't laugh, I had exactly this problem some years ago with a customer (airline) manager (with me working for a third party maintenance provider). The
28 Gulfstream650 : And that's basically the attitude which is the problem with airlines in the USA in my opinion.
29 Zvezda : It's called market failure. Show me where there is competition among airlines in terms of conditions of carriage. Government regulation is bad, but s
30 JRadier : Exactly. If you think maintenance is expensive, try an accident!
31 Cairo : I hear you and agree the market fails and when it does the government can play a role -- but I don't think this is one of those cases. It's not like
32 Babybus : It's about time the EU introduced fines for ATC delays. That's the other chestnut the airlines like to hit you with. They might be a bit quicker off t
33 DCAYOW : Then the train systems: RENFE, Bahn, Eurostar, FS, VR, SJ, SNCF and others should compensate me when they fail to deliver contracted services due to
34 Ocracoke : As it stands now, I agree. However, start putting pressure on the maintenance department, and who know who will crack under that pressure. Look what
35 Pyrex : Oh you mean the way they are already paying for those darn FAA regulations about aviation safety and whatnot? Socialism? Forcing someone to live up t
36 JRadier : Apart from those mentioned by pyrex, the dutch railways (NS) have a money back guarantee as well.....
37 Vfw614 : German Rail has to compensate as well. Rules have become even stricter recently. It always amazes me that so many people believe that airlines shold b
38 Cairo : They ARE living up to their promise and they ARE complying with their contract....which states that if they are late or cancelled their only obligati
39 Ikramerica : Also, SNCF have a delay compensation program. It involves an envelope they pass out and instructions on how to get compensation. Also, if the train h
40 Zvezda : In my experience (1000s of flights), most airlines do not make a reasonable effort to avoid delays because they are not the ones who suffer the costs
41 Vfw614 : Contract law is not about who writes what into a contract at his pleasure. Contract law is about what is upheld in a court of law when it gets messy.
42 Ikramerica : And this applies to airlines, where there is an oligopoly situation where they "match" fares and services in order to give the least amount of servic
43 DLPhoenix : A court ruling is not government intervention. The fact of the mater is that the the entity that has the authority to decide who is right in case of
44 Leskova : We had a delay of roughly 90 minutes last Sunday evening on a train ride from Hannover to Frankfurt: we were handed the compensation coupons without
45 Cairo : I worked for AA for 8 years and continue to be an ad-hoc consultant for OneWorld...delays and cancellations are a tremendous cost to the airlines as
46 OzGlobal : It's getting a bit tired to keep hearing the self contradictory logic wheeled out by some Americans who pride themselves on a service culture, have a
47 Vfw614 : There are only two parties to any single contract, however long one party has used the same contract in the past when dealing with other parties. And
48 AirNZ : Can you possibly explain to me how making airlines (or anything for that matter) responsible for what they are supposed to deliver has anything remot
49 Ikramerica : I did not say this. Get your quotes right! Why are you singling out "Americans" in this situation, when there are NON-Americans who also object to so
50 FrmrCAPCADET : Regarding cancellations/ flight insurance What seems to upset people is airlines treating this as a 'gotcha' situation, whereby they extract large amo
51 DocLightning : Until all the airlines provide the same contract and thus you essentially have a monopoly. That's when the government needs to step in. People can't
52 JoeCanuck : What is preventing an airline from cranking out an unrealistic schedule to which it can rarely adhere? JFK, for instance, has repeatedly been held up
53 MillwallSean : I am puzzled why people complain when airlines are forced to live up to the law? Can someone give me one clear answer on why airlines doesn't have to
54 JoeCanuck : Sadly, the economies of the EU aren't doing so hot at the moment, either. Regardless, the EU members are fully entitled to enact any law they deem fi
55 DocLightning : So 5% of the time is 1:20. And my experience (admittedly I live near SFO and I last lived near JFK) is that the figure is more like 20%. In fact, ove
56 OzGlobal : I not speaking of people who disagree with a certain law, but the use of the term "Socialist" here. Many people, myself included, are non-believers i
57 Leskova : They did WHAT??? That's a perfect reason to avoid Air Canada like the plague right there... unbelievable... there is a reason why some rebookings/rer
58 JoeCanuck : When you book online with AC, they have a $3 charge for checking bags. If you wish to save the $3 but decide after booking to check a bag, they will c
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