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  #1  
Old 25.10.2010, 23:08
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Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

Hi,

I'm having difficulties trying to get the financial compensation from an airline after a flight cancellation, as defined in a european regulation. I've already filed a complaint with the official Swiss authority (FOCA), which can apply a fine to the carrier, but can't support me with the legal claim of this compensation.

If I get it right, I would need a lawyer. Should I go for one to claim a relatively small value?

Thanks,

--dj
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  #2  
Old 25.10.2010, 23:10
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

But Switzerland isn't in Europe so European regulations don't apply. Check the terms and conditions of the airline to see if you are entitled to claim anything.

Edit: I mean not in the EU obviously.
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  #3  
Old 25.10.2010, 23:12
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

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But Switzerland isn't in Europe so European regulations don't apply. Check the terms and conditions of the airline to see if you are entitled to claim anything.

Edit: I mean not in the EU obviously.
Actually Switzerland has indeed adopted said regulations as part of the bilateral agreements.

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air_po...ctsheet_en.pdf
http://www.bazl.admin.ch/dienstleist...x.html?lang=en

Last edited by Snoopy; 25.10.2010 at 23:13. Reason: added link
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  #4  
Old 25.10.2010, 23:21
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

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Actually Switzerland has indeed adopted said regulations as part of the bilateral agreements.

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air_po...ctsheet_en.pdf
http://www.bazl.admin.ch/dienstleist...x.html?lang=en
Cool. And on the 2nd link there's actually a form where the OP can report the airline.
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Old 25.10.2010, 23:31
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

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Cool. And on the 2nd link there's actually a form where the OP can report the airline.
Yes. This form, after processed, may become a fine to the carrier, just that. After sending it I got a message back saying their decision is not "legally binding" - it doesn't help to get the compensation paid.
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Old 25.10.2010, 23:33
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

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Hi,

I'm having difficulties trying to get the financial compensation from an airline after a flight cancellation, as defined in a european regulation. I've already filed a complaint with the official Swiss authority (FOCA), which can apply a fine to the carrier, but can't support me with the legal claim of this compensation.

If I get it right, I would need a lawyer. Should I go for one to claim a relatively small value?

Thanks,

--dj
It all depends how much you are claiming really.
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  #7  
Old 25.10.2010, 23:35
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

To the OP:

What was your routing?
What was the reason given for the cancellation?
What alternatives, if any, were offered to you?
What did you end up doing?


Airlines have been notoriously bad in applying the European legislation, mainly because there are too many exemptions (technical reasons, etc).

I was on a cancelled flight recently and had to make 5 international phone calls to the airline to get myself home. I complained bitterly and was re-imbursed for my cell phone charges and was sent a six bottle crate of red wine. Given that they got me home 6 hours later than originally planned, but that it was company time, I wasn't that unhappy with the result....
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Old 26.10.2010, 14:10
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

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Hi,

I'm having difficulties trying to get the financial compensation from an airline after a flight cancellation, as defined in a european regulation. I've already filed a complaint with the official Swiss authority (FOCA), which can apply a fine to the carrier, but can't support me with the legal claim of this compensation.

If I get it right, I would need a lawyer. Should I go for one to claim a relatively small value?

Thanks,

--dj
Not sure if it's worth your while to go through a lawyer - time and effort can quickly exceed claim value but I did manage to eventually get compensation from a major airline last spring after the Icelandic volcano episode left me stranded on the other side of the world. They resisted a bit until I indicated our business usage of their airline as well as the potentially harmful effect having me talk voraciously about their terrible customer service within my personal and professional circles - then they paid everything, the hotel, food, alternative flight back which I booked with another airline who got me home 10 days late as against the 3 weeks they had offered me, my train fares for Australia and Switzerland and even the emergency nanny I had to organise for my kids when I couldn't get home.
So I guess it sometimes just comes down to how much leverage (they believe) you have...
Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 27.10.2010, 00:18
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

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To the OP:

What was your routing?
What was the reason given for the cancellation?
What alternatives, if any, were offered to you?
What did you end up doing?
That might be important since you would only be eligible if:
  • you departed from an airport in Switzerland or the EU;
  • for departures from airport outside of Switzerland or the EU, only if the destination was an airport in the EU or Switzerland and the flight was on a Swiss or EU-carrier.
Also, a carrier does not need to pay any compensation if the airline shows that the cancellation was due to extraordinary reasons, such as weather, security, volcanoes...
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Old 27.10.2010, 01:19
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

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That might be important since you would only be eligible if:
  • you departed from an airport in Switzerland or the EU;
  • for departures from airport outside of Switzerland or the EU, only if the destination was an airport in the EU or Switzerland and the flight was on a Swiss or EU-carrier.
Also, a carrier does not need to pay any compensation if the airline shows that the cancellation was due to extraordinary reasons, such as weather, security, volcanoes...
Here's a link to the regulation and the court cases where the "extraordinary circumstances" are, from the airline perspective, always the excuse to not pay such compensation:
Wikipedia reference-linkhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_261/2004#Court_cases_regarding_Regulation_261.2F2004

If I remember correctly, my flight was delayed (for more than two hours) and I was denied boarding as I wouldn't be able to get a connection.

Based on the internet research I've made, on the articles I found reporting the refusal of the carriers to pay such compensation, on the decisions of lawsuits on what's covered by "extraordinary reasons" and on the unclear explanations I got from the carrier, I'm 99% convinced that I'm entitled to the compensation (1% means the case was really an extraordinary one).

The regulation also says the carrier must inform me about my rights, which also didn't happened.
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Old 27.10.2010, 17:14
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

If it was easyjet, then don't hold your breath. Forget about getting the 250 euro compensation too, as there are way too many loopholes. And I hope that you have the world's most accurate expense receipts to submit if you need to claim additional expenses.

I'm speaking from bitter experience. easyjet cancelled my flight back to Basel in March, which required an overnight stay in a hotel, food, a different flight to Zurich and train home from there. After 6 months of arguing and general incompetence, I got money back for the flight, train and food; but not drink (could not prove it wasn't alcohol, not that it was and not that it should matter), and only 60% of our hotel bill (even though this was the only hotel we could stay at).

OP- don't get your hopes up about any compensation- it won't be worth the time and expense to try and justify it.
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  #12  
Old 14.06.2014, 11:26
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

On BBC TV this morning was a report that an appeal court has ruled that airlines
may nor longer use the excuse "Exceptional circumstances" for mechanical failures.

If you were booked on an EU airline (see post #3 above) and the flight was
... 1) scheduled to leave from an EU airport
or 2) scheduled to land at an EU airport

and 3) was more than 3 hours late arriving (not leaving)

you are able to claim compensation of €250 to €600 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline...ion_regulation

claims can be backdated 5 years. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-conte...LEX:32004R0261

(When I see a new link I will post it here) (Old link http://www.bbc.com/news/business-24472068 )

Last edited by Sbrinz; 14.06.2014 at 11:37.
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Old 14.06.2014, 13:58
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Re: Airline refuses to pay cancelled flight compensation

When I had issues getting the compensation from Lufthansa posting it a few times on their facebook site helped to finally get it after nearly 6 months.
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