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LeonB1985
Topic Author
Posts: 690
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:21 pm

EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:53 am

A quick question about new EU passenger rights...

We were booked on a flight from HAM-LHR on 29 June, which was initially delayed (due to weather in central Europe and [allegedly!] Heathrow) before being cancelled. Lufthansa rebooked us onto a flight for the following day and when we requested accommodation, booked us into the HAM Ibis Hotel. They did not, however, provide us with any phonecalls (e.g. taxi company waiting for us at LHR, relatives, employer, etc.) so I am sending a copy of the relevant mobile phone bills to them to reimburse us. The EU Passenger Right leaflet states the following, but I assume that LH needn't compensate us (apart from what they provided) due to the weather delay. Does it sound like LH have provided everything we're entitled to?

Whenever your flight is cancelled, the operating airline must give you:

• a choice of either a refund of your ticket (with a free flight back to your initial point of departure, when relevant) or alternative transport to your final destination, and

• meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation when necessary (including transfers) and communication facilities.


I don't want to be greedy, just ensure that LH have given us what we were entitled to. Also quite annoying to see the BA A319 to LHR depart from the gate next to us - no slot or weather problems for them, it seemed! Many thanks!
From the construction site that is better-known as London Heathrow Airport
 
boysteve
Posts: 890
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 7:02 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:43 am

Unfortunately Leon, LH will probably get away with this due to blaming the weather at first. The new regulations are only applied if the delay or cancellation was within the control of the airline. This excludes the weather obviously as well as many other things such as strike action. You probably got all you could from LH's interpretation of the rules. If the flight was cancelled purely because the crew would have ran out of hours on the delayed trip to LHR then I've no idea where you stand.
However, I'd recommend pursuing it further to see what response you get. It would be good to hear their reply and justification even though it may not be the one you'd hope for! I guess there will be a 'bedding-in' period whilst airlines and pax get accustomed to these new regs.
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:59 am

If the flight was cancelled d/t weather, than you were lucky to get accomodation. They could have blaimed the weather totally and could have left you at the airport.

I rather think the flight was cancelled for an other reason, maybe crewresttime or something like that.

Quoting LeonB1985 (Thread starter):
Whenever your flight is cancelled, the operating airline must give you:

• a choice of either a refund of your ticket (with a free flight back to your initial point of departure, when relevant) or alternative transport to your final destination, and

• meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation when necessary (including transfers) and communication facilities.

You forgot the part were it says cancelled d/t higher reason (fault majeur). Which includes weather!
 
SULUK
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:32 pm

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:02 am

Sorry to correct you, Boysteve, but according the new law airlines have to compensate passengers regardless of what has caused the delay or the cancellation. Even, for example, if airtraffic control is on strike (which is absolutely not in LH's control) airlines are required to provide passengers with meals, accommodation and communication facilities (on their expense).
However insisting in a few euros for phone calls is in my opinion ridiculous and not worth bothering LH staff with...
we are swissair /+/
 
LeonB1985
Topic Author
Posts: 690
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:21 pm

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:13 am

Thanks for your responses.

LH claimed that as the flight was delayed, it would not be possible to get an airport slot at LHR. From colleagues at LHR at the time, it seems that there was no problem with obtaining a slot at Heathrow. Additionally, a weather or air traffic delay would generally mean that the aircraft could come in later without having to worry about an airport slot (providing it wouldn't interfere with the night noise 'ban').

Interestingly enough (from my perspective, at least) the tow bar and tug were removed from the aircraft about an hour before we were informed about the cancellation and the bins containing the bags were never even loaded onto the aircraft, although it arrived on time. Maybe LH already felt then (roughly at our STD and an hour or more before we were notified of the cancellation) that the aircraft wouldn't go anywhere.

The whole scenario seemed a bit strange and contradictory. Passengers weren't happy hearing our flight cancelled whilst the boarding call for the (delayed!) BA aircraft at the next gate was made.

Also, a final point: The leaflet PDF file I downloaded about the new Passenger Rights rules doesn't mention any exceptions, such as weather, ATC strikes, etc. which is why I have posted here.
From the construction site that is better-known as London Heathrow Airport
 
boysteve
Posts: 890
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 7:02 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:24 am

Thankyou SULUK. However I believe you are wrong. I have lifted this from the BBC NEWS website;

Airlines won't have to pay compensation if the reason for delays or cancellations was due to "extraordinary circumstances".
Airlines are likely to argue that bad weather, strike action, or delays caused by air-traffic control or security alerts are outside their control.

Whilst I agree this is not concrete, it would take a brave person to challange an airline in court over bad weather
 
Speedbird2155
Posts: 694
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:44 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:44 am

Quoting LeonB1985 (Reply 4):
Also, a final point: The leaflet PDF file I downloaded about the new Passenger Rights rules doesn't mention any exceptions, such as weather, ATC strikes, etc. which is why I have posted here.

Unfortunately, the issue has been oversimplified by both the EU and the media and makes it out that passengers are automatically entitled to various forms of compensation for any and everything, but it is not as simply as seems. There are indeed exceptions allowed as it would be difficult to argue that an airline has the power to control every detail, including weather.

As for your particular situation, because it might have appeared to you that everything was going smoothly does not mean it was. There might indeed have been weather situations that passengers are not always aware of. As for a colleague telling you that things were okay at LHR, again this might simply appear to be so on the surface. I work at LHR and there are many days when to the passenger, operations appear normal and the weather seems to be okay, but the reality is different. The weather immediately around LHR might have been okay, but within the flight path might have been another issue. You noted that the BA flight was delayed and this might have been due to the same reasons LH gave. However, it would have been better for BA to attempt to get the aircraft back to the UK, even if it meant diverting to another airport and ferrying the aircraft later. It would then be easier and quicker to position the aircraft within the UK.

I know many people thing that airlines try to blow them off and this is furthest from the truth. Most airlines and the people that work for those airlines will be honest and will try their best to help passengers. It doesn't serve the airline to do otherwise. Sometimes however, there is only so much information we have available and can pass on.
 
tymnbalewne
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:06 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:20 am

There are two things in the EU legislation which often gets confused:

1. Duty of Care: Regardless of the reason for the delay or cancellation of a flight, the airline has a 'duty of care' for its passengers. This includes hotel accommodation; refreshments; communications.

2. Compensation: Depending on the length of delay; reason for the delay/cancellation; and when a passenger was notified; a passenger may be entitled to some measure of compensation. (Overbookings as well are covered in compensation)

Duty of care? Always in the event of a lengthy delay/cancellation
Compensation? It's a big "depends".

C.
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:22 pm

Quoting SULUK (Reply 3):
Sorry to correct you, Boysteve, but according the new law airlines have to compensate passengers regardless of what has caused the delay or the cancellation

Thats not correct.

As written before the airline is not liable if it is d/t weather!!!
 
SULUK
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:32 pm

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:39 pm

OHLHD / Boysteve:

According to my airline's guidelines (in accordance with the new EU regulations) we have to provide meals, accommodation and communication REGARDLESS of what has caused the cancellation. However, compensations such as fixed cash payments (or travel voucher) is only provided where the airline can NOT prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances.

The full text sounds like this (sorry, it's a bit long...):

This compensation (meaning $$$) does not apply if:
>we can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances, which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.
Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier and impact of an air traffic management decision;
or
>you are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before
the scheduled time of departure;
or
>you are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing you to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival;
or
>you are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing you to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

Cash compensation would be EUR250 for all flights of 1500 km or less (e.g.. HAM-LON). This compensation is doubled (with my airline, different with LH) if the passenger accepts to take a travel voucher good for a future trip on this airline.

In case of a DELAY, passengers are entitled to meals, accommodation and communication if the airline reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure for 2 hours or more in the case of flights of 1500 km or less (e.g.. HAM-LON). If it's delayed for more than 5 hours, you are entitled to a full refund and a free return ticket if you are 'stranded' at an intermediate point and the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to your original travel plan. HOWEVER, COMPENSATIONS SUCH AS CASH OR TRAVEL VOUCHERS, WILL NEVER BE GIVEN IN CASE OF A DELAYED DEPARTURE!

Passengers being DENIED BOARDING RESULTING FROM OVERBOOKING are (with few exceptions) always entitled to cash or travel voucher compensation. Different amounts exist for different flight lengths and for voluntary or involuntary denied boarding. Additional, if applicable, passengers will be provided with meals, accommodation and communication.

All this info is from our internal manuals which have completely been revised mid February this year when the new rules came into force.
we are swissair /+/
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:01 am

The funny thing, however, is that a delay/canx d/t technical reason is also listed under "higher reasons", which confuses me a bit.

SULUK:

As I do not have the copy with me, can you tell me the following:

Í had a 7h delay in march. 4 hours were d/t wx, 2 d/t no cockpit crew avail. and the add hour was because the groundstaff had problems with double seatings, etc. Would I have been entitled for any kind of compensation. I was on KLM AMS-OSL. I was told that I do not get anything because the delay was of weather.

THX in advance.
 
SULUK
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 5:32 pm

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:35 am

OHLHD:

According the rules, KLM would have been obliged to give you a meal voucher and communication but no accommodation as the flight left on the same day and no cash/travel voucher comp as it was only a delay.
In our manual however it also says that vouchers shall only be distributed if this does not further delay the flight (meaning all pax are eating in a restaurant and suddendly the weather becomes better and you could leave earlier than the published ETD but can't find the pax...) Furthermore, meal vouchers are only handed out if KLM expects the flight to depart more than 2 hours after STD. In a situation where a flight needs to be delayed due to weather, it is always difficult to determine a new departure time as meteo conditions can suddendly change... Your bad luck was in the end that probably the planned cockpit crew reached the max crew duty time and a new crew had to be found (which is not always easy in such a situation...)
However, I have to admit, as this delay was really very long and annoying KLM could have offered you something after the first 2 hours...
we are swissair /+/
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: EU Passenger Rights Question

Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:43 am

Well they did. They have some kind vouvher book. With 10€ meal vouvher for any restaurant at the airport, telephone card for 2 minutes and a 50€ voucher for any flight bought on a offical fare.

I passed it over to my sister, as I do not trravel on KLM anymore, as there was an ealier flight with SAS, but they refused to rebook me.

Besides that, it was a great spotting day  Silly

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