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Old 02.11.2010, 12:18
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Flight delays - what's the deal?

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but here goes.....

So, on our holiday to Majorca in September our outward journey was delayed by 9 awful hours (think Basel airport with 2 young kids - there is nothing to do, nothing to eat, nowhere to go..... thank god we had a laptop with us, although no internet connection).

Anyway, while we were in delay-hell the airline (the illustrious Easyjet) gave us a sheet of paper with our rights on, which clearly says that delays of over 5 hours are entitled to compensation of 250EUR. Fine we thought, at least that's something.

So we get back and then we try and make a claim.... no joy of course.

The EU regulations 261/2004 (and yes, I've read them!) say that only cancellations are entitled to montary compensation, and even then when it is not "exceptional circumstances".

But there was a case in 2007 tried at the european court, the findings of which say two things relevant to us: 1) that delays of more than 3 hours should be entitled to compensation in the same way as for cancellations, and 2) that exceptional circumstances are for weather/ terrorist / political / strikes etc. and specifically do not include technical faults with the plane (which is what this was - or at least that's what they said at the time - they actually flew a new plane in to take us).

So, I've obviously quoted all this to Easyjet and they say that the findings of the court only apply to that particular case so don't apply, and that these were "exceptional circumstances" so they won't pay anyway. Sigh.

So, now what I'm wondering is this: 1) are there any Swiss regulations I can quote at them just to make it a bit more interesting? And 2) what should be my next step? (Or should I just suck it up? If it wasn't for that bit of paper stating that we would get compensation I probably would just do that but, they said we would get it .....)

By the way, I read another thread on sleazyjet / volcanic ash claims and that has some helpful stuff in it.... but it's not exactly the same situation so if anyone has any other tips would be grateful. Thanks
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Old 02.11.2010, 12:28
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

This is one of those activities that it makes sense to outsource, given the complex nature of the legistation and the difficultly of fighting it in court.

My understanding is that long delays (>4 hours) qualify under the legislation.

You might try these guys: http://www.euclaim.com/

They're handling a number of similar claims for my wife and me.
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Old 02.11.2010, 12:30
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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So, on our holiday to Majorca in September our outward journey was delayed by 9 awful hours (think Basel airport with 2 young kids - there is nothing to do, nothing to eat, nowhere to go..... thank god we had a laptop with us, although no internet connection).
Your ID says you live in Basel. Couldn't you just go home and come back later?
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Old 02.11.2010, 12:33
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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Your ID says you live in Basel. Couldn't you just go home and come back later?
Depends on the reason for the delay. If it was a mechanical problem with the plane, they may not have known how long it would take to resolve. I've been on plenty of flights where the delay starts at 30 minutes, then is extended by an hour, and another hour, and the next thing you know it's midnight.

They're really the worst, as you really are kept captive, at best at the airport, at worst, at the GATE!
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Old 02.11.2010, 12:35
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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Your ID says you live in Basel. Couldn't you just go home and come back later?
If the flight was immediately put on a 9 hour delay, then sure. But if it's delayed by 40 minutes... and then an hour... and then a prolonged period where nobody knows what is happening...

I've been in that situation before, fortunately was on my own though. I wouldn't fancy it with little ones in tow.
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Old 02.11.2010, 12:36
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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Depends on the reason for the delay. If it was a mechanical problem with the plane, they may not have known how long it would take to resolve. I've been on plenty of flights where the delay starts at 30 minutes, then is extended by an hour, and another hour, and the next thing you know it's midnight.

They're really the worst, as you really are kept captive, at best at the airport, at worst, at the GATE!
That's true, I just assumed they would be put on the next flight but I realize they can be kept there for hours at the gate.
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Old 02.11.2010, 12:51
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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This is one of those activities that it makes sense to outsource, given the complex nature of the legistation and the difficultly of fighting it in court.

My understanding is that long delays (>4 hours) qualify under the legislation.

You might try these guys: http://www.euclaim.com/

They're handling a number of similar claims for my wife and me.
Thanks for that I'll give it a go! And yes, it's my understanding that delays are supposed to be compensated too.

And yes, it was one of those - we knew on checkin it would be delayed by 30 minutes (late incoming plane) and then it was an hour, then it was 2 hours (technical fault) then 3 hours (trying to fix it) then probably another x hours (we have to get a new plane). If they had said it would be 9 hours in the beginning then yes, we could have celebrated our first day of vacation at the zoo or something!! Instead of at gate 17 of Basel airport! Arrived at our final destination at 1am instead of the planned around 3pm. We also missed the bus transfer to the hotel which added another hour of waiting at Palma airport (which the kids were not impressed with either - but at least it has Burger King!)

I did lodge a complaint with the EU commission, not sure if that's any good, but hey it made me feel better! lol!
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Old 02.11.2010, 13:22
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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If the flight was immediately put on a 9 hour delay, then sure. But if it's delayed by 40 minutes... and then an hour... and then a prolonged period where nobody knows what is happening...

I've been in that situation before, fortunately was on my own though. I wouldn't fancy it with little ones in tow.
I had a similar problem, 9am'ish flight, Zurich to Luton. Plane was 1 hour late getting into Zurich due to French air traffic control strikes and then, just before we were to board, a technical problem caused a 1 hour delay, which became 2 hours, which became 3 hours and eventually, 5 or 6 hours later they postponed it until the next day (Saturday).

They handed out the photocopied form (note the Swiss Airport staff, not an easyJet staff member, they don't have any in Zurich) which had a UK phone number that it was impossible to get through on and instructions of how to change your flight on the web, which wasn't possible because the flight wasn't cancelled, it was postponed and the system can't do that (I was told by the pilot).

Quite frankly, when it works, it's all OK, but if somethnig goes wrong, the easyJet experience sucks. My experience is that the flights more often than not arrive later than the scheduled time at your destination and I just wish some other airline flew from Zurich to Luton.
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Old 02.11.2010, 14:31
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

You won't get compensation. End of story. We had our flight back to Basel cancelled back in March, and easyjet's handling of the situation was utterly dispicable.
2 weeks ago I was due to fly to London on EJ (Gatwick was the most suitable airport for my final destination). Turn up at the airport at 6 am to find out the plane was delayed by at least 4 hours. Of the the BA counter for me. NEVER AGAIN will I fly with EJ- they are useless.
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Old 02.11.2010, 14:48
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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You won't get compensation. End of story. We had our flight back to Basel cancelled back in March, and easyjet's handling of the situation was utterly dispicable.
2 weeks ago I was due to fly to London on EJ (Gatwick was the most suitable airport for my final destination). Turn up at the airport at 6 am to find out the plane was delayed by at least 4 hours. Of the the BA counter for me. NEVER AGAIN will I fly with EJ- they are useless.
Sorry to hear that, that sucks. And yes, we've also decided never to go EZY again.

Because this is not the first time we've had a bad experience. Delays, rude staff, no help when you've got small kids, and I just hate the scrum to get a seat. Hideous.

BA is not that much more expensive these days anyway so we're switching!

But just to say a friend of mine was stranded in the snow a year ago and she did finally get some compensation from Easyjet after a lot of moaning and hassling them. It was a nightmare, with a ruined Christmas in there too, but she did eventually get something. She didn't get cash, but she did get a couple of grand in flight credits - which, OK, after they've screwed you you probably don't want - but better than nothing.
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Old 02.11.2010, 15:01
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

We have just came back this weekend with Easyjet and I hate it. Never again! The staff on board were very nice and relax and smilly for the first time in all my experience with them. But the staff at the counter, the a**hole at the check in line up....

People running to get a place, pushing others, giving attitude, etc. That was something I don't see in other planes from other companies. It look like when people travel with them they lose their manners.

I prefer to pay more to have better service and staff. Without having to go to the total end of the airport where the donkeys and cows fields are. (It is always at the very last doors . Which is ok for what you pay, but very not practical with young kids.)
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Old 02.11.2010, 15:23
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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We have just came back this weekend with Easyjet and I hate it. Never again! The staff on board were very nice and relax and smilly for the first time in all my experience with them. But the staff at the counter, the a**hole at the check in line up....

People running to get a place, pushing others, giving attitude, etc. That was something I don't see in other planes from other companies. It look like when people travel with them they lose their manners.

I prefer to pay more to have better service and staff. Without having to go to the total end of the airport where the donkeys and cows fields are. (It is always at the very last doors . Which is ok for what you pay, but very not practical with young kids.)
I was under the impression that the ground staff in CH are not Easyjets.
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Old 02.11.2010, 16:16
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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You won't get compensation. End of story.

i have received compensation a couple of times. hassle, hassle and hassle some more.

their customer service is terrible, and getting through to them on the phone is virtually impossible, very expensive and doesn't tend to achieve much.

best to send an email stating all the facts, quoting from their web-site (carrier regulations, terms and conditions etc) where relevant, and email copies of tickets. expect some email-tennis as well, and slow response times.

they will try to fob you off, but if you have a genuine case (as it seems based on the above), then they ultimately don't have a foot to stand on - and they will know that all too well. depending on how much you want it, you'll have to fight for it !


when easyjet works, i think it's good value - the flights are usually cheap and there is a decent selection of routes.
however, when it goes wrong......well, it ain't pretty. you are left to fend for yourself, and the stress this causes is just not worth that saving in my mind, so i try to avoid them.


oh, and ALWAYS pay by credit card. if there is a dispute of any kind, then you will have the weight of your credit card company to back you up (mine has always been v good). at the very least, you can usually get the flight cost reimbursed - which might not make up for a 12 hr shift in the airport lounge, but is better than a kick in the proverbials.
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Old 02.11.2010, 16:26
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

I particularly enjoyed their first sentence to me - a month after I first contacted them -

"I am sorry for the delayed response. We have a huge queue of customers’ queries; hence, the answer of your e-mail was deferred."

well I wonder why they have a huge queue of customers "queries"

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Old 02.11.2010, 16:57
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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I was under the impression that the ground staff in CH are not Easyjets.
You are right, it was in the foreign country we were to come back here!
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Old 05.11.2010, 11:42
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

I am sorry to hear about the stress you had to go through. Flying with kids is not easy as it is already.

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We also missed the bus transfer to the hotel which added another hour of waiting at Palma airport (which the kids were not impressed with either - but at least it has Burger King!)
But... but.. didn't you see that they have KFC in the airport??
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Old 05.11.2010, 15:16
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

This is precisely why I now refuse to fly with Easyjet anymore. When things work well it's nice and cheap, but as soon as there's the slightest problem, nobody's there.

After a cancellation in Porto in January, they annouced they could not book us on any flight before 4 days!!!

It took me 5 months of daily emails, threats and paperworks to get my alternative flights paid back.

Little tips:
- when writing to them, send the mails as well to the Ombudsman, radios, tvs, and customers services
- write to them everyday, it forces them to keep your mails on top of their lists
- don't give up, even if they ask you for weird justificatives
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Old 05.11.2010, 15:21
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

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But... but.. didn't you see that they have KFC in the airport??
Shit. (Am I allowed to say sh*t?)
No way! I didn't see that.... gutted that I missed that. Still, I am a sucker for the bacon double cheeseburger anyway.
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Old 13.07.2011, 13:20
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

I'm supposed to be flying Geneva to Gatwick tonight and I see that they have hideous delays of 5 hours or so for flights from this morning. I have to travel 1 1/2 hours on the train before getting there (I always arrive 2 hours in advance for check-in and security). If Geneva Airport's website says there's a huge delay, should I stay at home or what? Because it has been known to happen that they say there's a delay and then it gets shortened. I am not best pleased, I've been looking forward to this trip so much and I always dread the actual flight for this very reason.
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Old 13.07.2011, 13:24
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Re: Flight delays - what's the deal?

you can lodge a complaint with FOCA . This probably won't get you any money but it could result in a fine for Easyjet if they find that they didn't comply with the rules. I should have done this last year but my procrastination means that I haven't yet.
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