raffy
Topic Author
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Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:55 pm

I'm curious as to what your experiences are in getting compensation for a cancelled flight in the EU. Were you able to get compensation per the EU law? How long did it take?

Here's our experience:

On June 8, 2019, I and 2 other members of my family were scheduled to depart from Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) to London Heathrow (LHR) on British Airways flight BA709, and Airbus A319-131 scheduled to depart ZRH at 7:15 AM local time and arrive at 8:10 AM local time in LHR. After that, we were to connect with Virgin Atlantic VS103 (an A340-600) from LHR to Atlanta (ATL), scheduled to arrive in ATL at about 2:40 PM.

All passengers boarded the BA plane and were ready for departure when the captain came on the PA and said that there was a technical issue with the aircraft and that engineers would have to come on board to sort it out and get us on our way. Well, to make a long story short, they were unable to sort it out and they cancelled the flight. We were told to exit the plane and that we would have to go all the way back to the check in area of the airport, claim our luggage, and go to a counter to get our flights rebooked. This was a real pain because it meant taking a long airport train ride back to the main terminal, going through Swiss immigration, and then back through immigration and security again to get to the new flight. But we did that and ended up at baggage claim. There we waited... and waited... and waited for our luggage to come. Then someone came and said that the baggage people could not open the cargo door on the plane to get the luggage out! At that point, we decided to simply go to the check in counter to get rebooked so that at least we would have a chance of getting to ATL that same day, and try to get our luggage later. By this time, of course, there was no hope of making VS103 to ATL, so the clerk booked us on BA713 leaving at 1 PM from ZRH to LHR and then connecting with BA227 from LHR to ATL leaving at 4 PM. The clerk told us head to the gate right away because it was less than 2 hours to departure time for BA713. We asked, what about our luggage? They said they would try to get our bags on the flight because they already had tags for ATL on them. So we made it to BA0713 and it departed an hour late, but we still (barely) made our connection to BA227 to ATL, which left on time and arrived on time at about 8:20 PM.

The bottom line was that we arrived in London almost 7 hours late and we arrived to our final destination almost 6 hours late. Of course, our luggage was not put on either flight and we had to file a claim. We finally got all our luggage Tuesday and yesterday (Wednesday), delivered to our home.

According to the EU law, we are entitled to a minimum of 250 euros per person because ZRH to LHR is about 790 km distance and we were delayed for more than 2 hours for a non weather related condition. Arguably, maybe we are actually entitled to 600 euros per person because we were more than 5 hours delayed into our final destination. But the final destination was outside the EU, so maybe the rules don't apply there? Not sure about the details of this law. I filed a claim on the BA website asking for 750 euros (250 euros x 3 people) and am still waiting for a reply.

What think all of you? Will I actually get anything from BA for this incident? And could I actually get 1800 euros for the 3 of us instead of 750?
 
VSMUT
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:08 pm

It's 600 euros, since it's the final destination that counts, regardless of country, and you were on an EU airline.

And yes, force them to pay out if necessary. All 1800 euros. It is your right.
 
debonair
Posts: 3440
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:22 am

Correct, only the final destination counts - if it is booked on ONE ticket, so 600EUR. If you were holding separate tickets, only the affected route would have been counted.
On top, BA should have provided you with free meals, drinks and phone calls. If not, you can claim this expenses as well - just send in the receipts or credit card statements.
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:02 pm

Thanks for the replies! Yes, I put in for the full 1800 euros on the BA website. BA made no effort to provide free meals in the airport - but they did do so on the rebooked flight from ZRH to LHR (which typically charges for meals) after they heard our story. Kudos to them for at least doing that! Since were in hurry up and wait mode, we didn‘t really have time to eat anything before our rebooked flight. Of course, we were well fed on the LHR to ATL flight.
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:18 pm

It's been roughly two weeks since I put in for our compensation on the BA website. We still haven't heard anything nor received our money yet. Any ideas from previous experience as to how long this process might take?
 
MartijnNL
Posts: 659
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:44 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:41 pm

raffy wrote:
This was a real pain because it meant taking a long airport train ride back to the main terminal (...)

The distance between the two terminals in Zurich is a little over one kilometre. How on earth could you call that a long ride? I made this 'trek' myself last Friday. It took less than three minutes.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:12 am

raffy wrote:
It's been roughly two weeks since I put in for our compensation on the BA website. We still haven't heard anything nor received our money yet. Any ideas from previous experience as to how long this process might take?


Is this a serious question?
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:30 pm

MartijnNL wrote:
raffy wrote:
This was a real pain because it meant taking a long airport train ride back to the main terminal (...)

The distance between the two terminals in Zurich is a little over one kilometre. How on earth could you call that a long ride? I made this 'trek' myself last Friday. It took less than three minutes.


Yes, it was when combined with having to go back through Swiss immigration (which took about 10 minutes or so) and then walk all the way back to the check in area of the airport. And then combine that with having to go BACK through Swiss immigration (another ~10 minutes), BACK through security (another ~15 minutes) to get to the 3 minute train ride to the second terminal, etc. and it all added up. BA should have had some sort of customer service counter (perhaps in conjunction with other airlines) in the terminal they fly out of to handle passengers from delayed flights as well as any other passenger service issues so that passengers don't have to go all the way back to the main terminal and then have to come back through security. I'm not a big fan of most American international airports, but this is one area where most of them do things a little better than at Zurich - most of them have airline service centers near the aircraft gates where passengers who have missed flights and need to be rescheduled can go without having to go back to the main check in area of the airport. They take care of the checked luggage and at least try to put it on the correct flight without one having to claim it. I've had to use those counters a number of times.
Last edited by raffy on Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:32 pm

IPFreely wrote:
raffy wrote:
It's been roughly two weeks since I put in for our compensation on the BA website. We still haven't heard anything nor received our money yet. Any ideas from previous experience as to how long this process might take?


Is this a serious question?


Yes, it is. I was just wondering how long this process would take based on other people's experiences in getting compensation for non-weather related flight delays that exceed the delay times listed in EU's laws.
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 10523
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:13 pm

MartijnNL wrote:
raffy wrote:
This was a real pain because it meant taking a long airport train ride back to the main terminal (...)

The distance between the two terminals in Zurich is a little over one kilometre. How on earth could you call that a long ride? I made this 'trek' myself last Friday. It took less than three minutes.


Speculating and playing Devil's advocate here, its worth considering that different people have different issues and needs.

For instance, I used to travel quite regularly with my elderly grandparents - even with assistance, it was a trek for them to navigate airports.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 10523
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:14 pm

raffy wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
raffy wrote:
It's been roughly two weeks since I put in for our compensation on the BA website. We still haven't heard anything nor received our money yet. Any ideas from previous experience as to how long this process might take?


Is this a serious question?


Yes, it is. I was just wondering how long this process would take based on other people's experiences in getting compensation for non-weather related flight delays that exceed the delay times listed in EU's laws.


It often takes months. I suggest you chase up BA via social media and / or email.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
MartijnNL
Posts: 659
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:44 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:56 pm

Thanks raffy for the reply. I understand it was more than just the 'long' train ride. It all added up to an unpleasant experience.

Six weeks ago I was at the airport of Tromsø in Norway waiting for my flight to Bergen with a connection to Amsterdam. The departure was scheduled for 10.30 am. It was a few minutes before 10.00 am and according to the arrival information the incoming flight was about to land. Shortly after that I noticed on the screen with departure information that the outbound flight had been cancelled. Staff said it was because of a technical problem. A little strange if you ask me. The flight was probably cancelled because of low passengers numbers.

Anyway, the airline wanted to rebook me, but told me that was only possible at the check in counter. Gate staff apparently couldn't do it, so I had to leave airside which I found to be really annoying. I expected a long stay at the airport, but within minutes I was given a boarding pass for the 10.20 am flight to Oslo with a connection to Amsterdam. I looked at my watch to see I had less than fifteen minutes till departure. Luckily security took only a couple minutes. In the end I took to the sky ten minutes earlier than originally planned.
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:45 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
raffy wrote:
IPFreely wrote:

Is this a serious question?


Yes, it is. I was just wondering how long this process would take based on other people's experiences in getting compensation for non-weather related flight delays that exceed the delay times listed in EU's laws.


It often takes months. I suggest you chase up BA via social media and / or email.


Yeah, I kind of figured it would take a long time. Great suggestion about social media. Being of the "older" generation, I hadn't really thought of using that as a tool in dealing with corporate entities, even though I have and use social media accounts for personal purposes! So I'll probably do both social media and email. I'll try to report back here when I get my compensation and let folks know how long it takes. That would be a good data point.
 
raffy
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:25 pm

Latest update on this saga: I did call BA yesterday and the lady said she had to "research it further" and call me back today to see if I can get the full 600 euros per person for the 5+ hour delay to my final destination. She was prepared to give me 250 euros per person. I am wondering if the combined ticket between BA and VS was going to affect things and if BA would try to get out of being responsible for the international flight since it was on a different (although still British) carrier from BA. It still seems that we should get the full 600 euros per person in compensation since 2 British airlines were involved here from the beginning and they rebooked us on BA for both flights back to ATL after we missed the VS flight.

But they did rebook me on a BA flight back to ATL.

I booked this ticket online with Priceline originally and there were two separate confirmation numbers were given, but each one contained all flights (ATL-LHR, LHR-ZRH, ZRH-LHR, LHR-ATL). The ticket was booked using a Virgin Atlantic ticket number (beginning with 932) - not sure how that plays into the equation here.

I'm supposed to hear from BA today - I'm sure they're going to do everything they can to avoid paying 600 euros per person for this, but I'll do what I can to hold them to it!
 
raffy
Topic Author
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Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:40 pm

Another update: I received an email from BA today indicating that they will pay the full 600 euros per person and to expect the money in my account within 3 to 5 business days! Needless to say, I'm happy with this decision!

Here's what I did:

1.) I put a claim on BA's website in the "delayed or cancelled flight" tab shortly after arriving back at home.
2.) I called BA about 3 weeks later at their USA claims telephone number (which is only open from 9 AM to 1 PM eastern time) and spoke with a nice lady who opened up my case file. At first she offered the 250 euros per person for the ZRH-LHR flight cancellation, but when I told her that I went on to ATL, she said she had to research it further. Obviously she did and BA agreed to give us the full 600 euros per person amount.

I hope this is helpful to others who have been in this predicament!
 
tommy1808
Posts: 10422
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:42 am

raffy wrote:
. Obviously she did and BA agreed to give us the full 600 euros per person amount.


They have just figured out that people following up on their claim will follow through. And since there is no wiggle room. ....

If you had other costs, food, lost vacation day and such, that comes in top btw....

Best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 2754
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:49 am

Good to hear it went through, I had one last year where the BA flight was cancelled and I got home 20hrs late from ORD on the Friday night and I had the 600euro (£526) in my bank by the Wednesday the next week.

I have one claim in at the moment which is a bit more complicated, late departure from YYZ to JFK due to aircraft suffering weather delay on previous segment which meant I missed my flight back to London and so as a result missed my connecting flight to leeds and had to go to NCL and get a car. We'll see how quick it goes...

Fred
Image
 
VSMUT
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:26 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
raffy wrote:
. Obviously she did and BA agreed to give us the full 600 euros per person amount.


They have just figured out that people following up on their claim will follow through. And since there is no wiggle room. ....

If you had other costs, food, lost vacation day and such, that comes in top btw....

Best regards
Thomas


It is deliberate that BA tried to offer €250 first. They know that people like OP here don't know the rules completely, and I am sure many accept the first offer without realizing it.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:34 pm

VSMUT wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
raffy wrote:
. Obviously she did and BA agreed to give us the full 600 euros per person amount.


They have just figured out that people following up on their claim will follow through. And since there is no wiggle room. ....

If you had other costs, food, lost vacation day and such, that comes in top btw....

Best regards
Thomas


It is deliberate that BA tried to offer €250 first. They know that people like OP here don't know the rules completely, and I am sure many accept the first offer without realizing it.


Yup, they feel the water temperature and cave in eight away if that person isn't happy with it.
Countless lost court battles, and one pissed of passenger successfully having a bailiff's seal applied to a Ryanair 737 for trying to ignore him contained enough lessons...

Best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:07 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
raffy wrote:
. Obviously she did and BA agreed to give us the full 600 euros per person amount.


They have just figured out that people following up on their claim will follow through. And since there is no wiggle room. ....

If you had other costs, food, lost vacation day and such, that comes in top btw....

Best regards
Thomas


Thomas,
Thanks! Yes, that is probably what happened here. We wound up not having any other costs because we didn't have any time to sit down and eat at ZRH while we were trying to figure out what was going on with our flight and connections. Once we did, we had to hustle to the gate and so didn't have any time to pick up anything. And our flight to LHR left about an hour late, so we just barely made the flight to ATL - so again, no time to eat or pick up anything in LHR. On the ZRH-LHR flight, my wife sat a few rows in front of me and my son and explained our situation to the flight attendant, and so BA actually covered our food on that flight (which one normally would have to pay for). Kudos to them for doing that. While BA's ground staffing and handling of a flight cancellation left a lot to be desired, I must say that their in flight service was quite good in our case on both flights (ZRH-LHR and LHR-ATL).
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
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Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:44 pm

And I finally received the money from BA today in my bank account. The whole process took a little over a month from when the incident happened. I received the full 600 euros per person compensation. I hope this thread is helpful to any of the rest of you who have similar experiences with BA or any other EU airline. File for your compensation, call them at least once to check on the progress, and emails and social media don't hurt either.
 
mandargb
Posts: 247
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2001 8:00 am

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:01 pm

My Experience is similar.
We were on AF for NUE-CDG-and further.
Here is some bit interesting experience.
1] NUE - CDG was a morning 6.30 or so flight I checked previous night about status, and also the joon aircraft had arrived in nuremberg.
So we get up early and reach airport around 5.15AM.
I checked mail, and they had informed me at 2.30 that flight is going to be leaving an hour later!.
We had 3 hours layover in CDG which came down to 2 now. Not an issue.
We land in CDG. And the aircraft exit we are told next flight is cancelled for the day.

2] Anyway, @CDG it is bit, bitter passenger experience.
We were escorted out of the customs area, and were on street side rep counters for doing the next bookings.
There were only 5 or so agents to address all 300+ pass on that flight.
After spending almost 4 hours in that line, our number came.
Initially they offered, flight to destination 2 days later, but would not give us our baggage.
We could somehow could manage to get flight same night on another codeshare airline.
Interesting part was we had to show them such code-share flight exists and they should book us on that. Service reps there did not know this information (or so they were telling us).
We reached destination 12 hours later than our original schedule.
AF could have improved this experience, by doing all these things air side and not wasting their and our time.

3] After the journey, I applied to air france for cancelled flight, and gave reference to this EU rule in my on-line application.
In about a month we got a call from AF that they are giving us 600Euors equivalent money, per person for this cancellation.
Within a week from that cheques arrived home.
Looked like in US, this thing is handled for air france from Atlanta (Delta ?)
But refund experience was overall reasonable.
 
raffy
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Compensation for Cancelled Flights in the EU

Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:57 pm

Wow Mandar, so yours is another example of being forced to go to the ground side after a cancelled flight to get rebooked. We had to wait about 30 minutes or so in line to get our rebooking and it was nowhere near as painful as your experience at the airport.

I really wish EU airlines could figure out how to keep one on the airside after a cancelled flight for rebooking, etc. That is one thing that US airlines do better, at least in the US.

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