Delayed flight compensation

Old Aug 7th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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Delayed flight compensation

Hello fellow travelers,

I am trying to get compensation under the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament due to a delayed flight. The initial flight was from BAR-JFK and then a transfer JFK-LAX. BAR flight was delayed by several hours and we were bumped to the next available connecting flight from JFK-LAX, which resulted in about 5-6 hour total destination delay. I wrote to Delta (we bought tickets through their partner Air France) explaining situation and have received a strange response, in summary: "We apologize for the delay, it was caused by air traffic controller and is considered extraordinary, however, here is $100 per ticket in gift cards as a gesture of goodwill." (sounds like BS to me)

Since the flight was 4000km+ they are liable for EUR600 per ticket from what I can tell. Can I pursue further claims with them if I accept the gift cards, or should I write to them that this is unacceptable? Also, how do I get information of why the flight was delayed, I have a feeling that they are lying about air traffic controller fault, and I am not even sure that it falls under an exception to issue compensation?

What would you do? Or have you dealt with similar cases?
dima1223 is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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We ( 8 family members ) were delayed some 5 hours on our BA flight from DEN to LHR. this summer. Apparently the plane was hit by lightning. We were not offered compensation, and I didn't seek any. Too much trouble anyway. We all arrived safely and that's what matters. Flying always requires some patience and understanding. Delays are never fun and can disrupt one's schedule but in most instances it may be best to get on with your travel plans and your life.

BTW we did miss several hours of casual visiting in London, and I had to cancel our pub reservation; however, we ate in the lounge of our hotel being too tired to go out and everyone thought it was one of the best meals on the trip.
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Old Aug 7th, 2016, 03:17 PM
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historytraveler departed from the USA so rule 261 does not apply. It may not apply in dima's case either if it was actually an air-traffic control problem and not the fault of Delta. The rule applies for things like flight crew not available, mechanical problems, etc. Definitely not for weather-related or airport security related, etc.

Dima you'll have to do some research to try and find out exactly what held up your flight out of Europe. In our case, the airline gave us the run-around saying that it was airport-related, but we checked and found flights on other airlines were not delayed that day. Also our flight attendant had mentioned to us that at first there was a mechanical problem, and by the time it was fixed the flight crew was not allowed to fly our route (too many hours) so a new crew had to be located. We ended up filling out all the paperwork and finally got our 600E per person. I believe I did most of my research over on flyertalk as there are some "experts" on the forums there with lots of info regarding this rule and how to proceed. Also, a site like flightstats might actually note the reason that your plane was delayed.
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Old Aug 7th, 2016, 03:18 PM
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If it was an air traffic management decision, then you do not get compensation. There must be a record of events that day. Do not know how you would get it.
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Old Aug 7th, 2016, 03:32 PM
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Why would you presume they are lying about the air traffic controller? You think they delayed the flight just for fun? Airlines don't want late flights for no reason, either.

Yes, air traffic controllers can delay flights as they decide when a plane can leave. I don't know all the reasons they do that, but they do as there isn't a runway available for the flight for various reasons, or because they need to reduce air traffic congestion at your destination airport for a particular time. If there are weather problems at the destination that causes visibility problems, they can delay at the departure point, also.

I've had flight delays due to air traffic control when I was already on the airplane and we had to sit there about an hour until okayed for takeoff. Never once did it occur to me that the airline was doing this intentionally for no reason.

You can't tell if they are liable for anything because you don't know the reason for the delay. There are websites that track info and reasons like flightstats.com, flightaware.com etc but I don't know if they keep history logs for every flight in the world for long periods.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 08:21 AM
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Are you complaining about the long JFK-LAX layover? The same thing happened to me in May but mine was a layover in LAX. for 5 hours. All I got was a text from Delta saying sorry for the delay. And I really did not expect anything.
I wandered around LAX for 5 hours and did not see one celebrity!! Two women were walking around the terminal with service dogs for stressed out passengers and I fell in love with a black French Bull dog. Made the time go faster.
I would have loved to get the gift cards but that's travel for you!!
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 08:45 AM
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Trip interruption insurance, always buy it on long flights. Cheap if needed. Watch the huge complaints Delta will get today. My niece got caught up in the southwest mess and took her 72 hours to get home via another airport that cost her a train ticket and taxi to Penn station. No compensation as of yet. They didn't offer them hotels or food during all the delays. Lightening is an act of God. Zero comps.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 11:57 AM
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<about 5-6 hour total destination delay>

That sure doesn't seem like much of a delay. Is that truly "compensatable"?
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 12:07 PM
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What Sass said: I've never heard of compensation for delays attributable to traffic controllers' decisions.

Once, I did get into it with (former) US Air over a delay caused by mechanical problems. They said it was "out of our control." I said that was nonsense. Who else controls how mechanically sound a plane is?

The grudgingly gave me a first-class upgrade.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 12:11 PM
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<Why would you presume they are lying about the air traffic controller? You think they delayed the flight just for fun? Airlines don't want late flights for no reason, either.>

This is a ridiculous set of comments.

Airlines lie about the reason for a delay all the time. It's a business decision to lie in order to avoid paying compensation.

No, they don't delay flights "for fun", but they make mistakes all the time that cause travel delays.

They may not "want late flights", but they get them because of human error and decisions that they make *for which they are responsible*.

I don't know if the OP's case is legitimate, but I see no reason why he shouldn't research to see if he can be compensated.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 12:15 PM
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I agree OP should research the reason for the delay. Airlines are always trying to get out of paying compensation.
You could use one of the specialist agencies to assist you though they will take a cut of anything you are entitled to.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 12:19 PM
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That's actually a pretty significant delay under EU law.

Here's a decent summary (but of course the devil is in the details with any given claim).

https://www.airhelp.com/en/know-your-rights

Note that if the delay or cancellation is from "extraordinary circumstances," i.e., outside their reasonable control, the airline is not required to compensate you. It appears that Delta is perhaps invoking that exception here by indicating that it was an air traffic control issue.

I'd further note that "writing" to Delta isn't how one invokes the law. Rather, the customer is to an submit an official claim form:

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes...nt_form_en.pdf
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 12:55 PM
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United did lie to us about the delay of our flight out of London, and like Delta did with the OP, they offered us a certificate. When we made it clear to them that we had the true facts they doubled their offer. Then when we finally filled out the official forms and sent them in, we got our refunds. There were 4 of us, so 2400E in compensation was well worth a few hours of research and paperwork. I believe it was almost 3 months after the flight delay that we were finally compensated.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 12:59 PM
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I believe the EU compensation applies to flights originating from an EU airport. In June we had a 3 1/2 hr delay from Copenhagen to Newark, NJ flying SAS. We were told both at the gate and on the airplane that it was due to a technical problem. We filed an online compensation request from SAS and were immediately given case number. Within a month or 5 weeks we received a refund in the amount of $330 US per ticket.

This is a quote I found:

Where does the law apply? Since EC 261 is a European law, it only applies to EU airspace. However, you don`t have to be an EU citizen to claim compensation . If your flight departs from any airport in the EU or if your flight arrives at any airport in the EU (or from Iceland, Norway, or Switzerland), then you could be eligible for financial compensation if your flight is overbooked, canceled, or delayed by more than three hours.

It appears that if you left from a US airport you are not entitled to compensation. I am sorry that the law does not seem to benefit your circumstances.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 01:04 PM
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historytraveler departed from the USA so rule 261 does not apply.

Just for the record:
historytraveler travelled on British Airways, a EU carrier.
EU airlines fall under Regulation 261 no matter if flights departed FROM the EU or fly TO the EU.
Non-EU airlines only fall under Regulation 261 for flights FROM the EU.

Nevertheless, delays caused by unforeseeable circumstances like extra maintenance after lightning strike are NOT covered by Regulation 261.

We were not offered compensation, and I didn't seek any. Too much trouble anyway.

Well, if that delay had been caused by anything that is covered by Regulation 261, your party of 8 would have been entitled to a cash payment of € 4,800 or $ 5,300 (altogether).
Not sure if filing a claims form would have been "too much trouble" for me in that case.
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Old Aug 8th, 2016, 11:49 PM
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Thank you all, I appreciate it. I guess the main problem is now to see if Delta is telling the truth or not, which I can't figure out how to find out except the 3rd party tracking websites. Flighttracker didn't really have anything, or how do I decipher this:

Jun 28 06:17 8:17 AM 2:17 AM Gate Adjustment AEQP Changed To 777
TAIL Changed To N867DA
Jun 29 07:57 9:57 AM 3:57 AM Time Adjustment
Scheduled Runway Departure Changed To 06/30/16 10:05 AM
Scheduled Runway Arrival Changed To 06/30/16 11:31 AM
AEQP Changed From 777 To 772
Jun 29 08:01 10:01 AM 4:01 AM Time Adjustment Scheduled Runway Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 11:31 AM To 06/30/16 11:30 AM
Jun 29 08:02 10:02 AM 4:02 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Gate Departure Changed To 06/30/16 09:55 AM
Jun 30 00:16 2:16 AM 8:16 PM Time Adjustment Estimated Gate Arrival Changed To 06/30/16 01:01 PM
Estimated Gate Departure Changed From 06/30/16 09:55 AM To 06/30/16 10:35 AM
Jun 30 05:51 7:51 AM 1:51 AM Time Adjustment Scheduled Runway Departure Changed From 06/30/16 10:05 AM To 06/30/16 10:50 AM
Scheduled Runway Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 11:30 AM To 06/30/16 12:45 PM
Jun 30 05:51 7:51 AM 1:51 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Gate Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 01:01 PM To 06/30/16 12:34 PM
Jun 30 05:51 7:51 AM 1:51 AM Time Adjustment
Estimated Gate Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 12:34 PM To 06/30/16 12:50 PM
Estimated Runway Departure Changed To 06/30/16 10:50 AM
Estimated Runway Arrival Changed To 06/30/16 12:45 PM
Jun 30 06:41 8:41 AM 2:41 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Gate Departure Changed From 06/30/16 10:35 AM To 06/30/16 09:45 AM
Jun 30 07:43 9:43 AM 3:43 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Runway Departure Changed From 06/30/16 10:50 AM To 06/30/16 11:00 AM
Estimated Runway Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 12:45 PM To 06/30/16 12:36 PM
Jun 30 07:52 9:52 AM 3:52 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Gate Departure Changed From 06/30/16 09:45 AM To 06/30/16 10:45 AM
Jun 30 08:02 10:02 AM 4:02 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Gate Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 12:50 PM To 06/30/16 12:44 PM
Jun 30 08:48 10:48 AM 4:48 AM Time Adjustment
Estimated Gate Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 12:44 PM To 06/30/16 01:03 PM
Estimated Gate Departure Changed From 06/30/16 10:45 AM To 06/30/16 11:05 AM
Estimated Runway Departure Changed From 06/30/16 11:00 AM To 06/30/16 11:10 AM
Jun 30 08:50 10:50 AM 4:50 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Runway Departure Changed From 06/30/16 11:10 AM To 06/30/16 11:20 AM
Estimated Runway Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 12:36 PM To 06/30/16 12:56 PM
Jun 30 09:14 11:14 AM 5:14 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Gate Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 01:03 PM To 06/30/16 01:18 PM
Estimated Gate Departure Changed From 06/30/16 11:05 AM To 06/30/16 11:20 AM
Jun 30 09:15 11:15 AM 5:15 AM Time Adjustment Estimated Runway Departure Changed From 06/30/16 11:20 AM To 06/30/16 11:35 AM
Estimated Runway Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 12:56 PM To 06/30/16 01:11 PM
Jun 30 09:19 11:19 AM 5:19 AM STATUS-Active
Status Changed From Scheduled To Active
Actual Gate Departure Changed To 06/30/16 11:19 AM
Estimated Gate Arrival Changed From 06/30/16 01:18 PM To 06/30/16 01:17 PM
Estimated Gate Departure Changed From 06/30/16 11:20 AM To 06/30/16 11:19 AM
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 12:24 AM
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Do I have a case with this info:
My airplane was scheduled to take off at 9:55am from BCN, but left at 12:01pm from BCN according to flightstats. I found that the tail gate of the airplane was N867DA and before the flight to BCN the airplane was delayed from JFK to BCN by 1.5 hours according to flightware. Delta Texted me at 5:20pm PST (which is 2:20am BCN time) that the flight is going to be delayed by 1 hour already. So they KNEW even before the plane landed in BCN there will be a delay! They might have not realized that it will be 2 hours, but what do I care?

I can document everything above from flightware, flightstats, and my own texts from Delta. Am I wrong here?
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 03:48 AM
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I would only bother with this if a delay seriously impacted my trip. Did you miss an onward connection? Did you lose a night in your chosen resort? Were you late for an important event like a business appointment or wedding? That kind of thing. A couple of hours and no significant alteration of my plans - its not worth the time and effort it takes to claim imho. Also, (maybe it's a British thing) if the delay is caused by something beyond the control of the airline (like an air traffic controllers strike, or adverse weather) and assuming that type of event isn't excluded from claims in the first place, I'd not necessarily feel that there was a moral obligation on the part of the airline anyway.

Btw, we have a newish system in the UK where some train operators automatically refund part or all of the cost of your ticket in the event of delays, providing you booked online and they thus have your payment details to hand already. I've had refunds from a couple of rail companies following disrupted journeys (including one from Virgin after my journey back from Glasgow was delayed by a suicide). I actually felt a bit sorry for the company in feeling compelled to compensate me for something like that beyond their control, but they did it anyway - funds back in the account the same day as travel. Maybe the airlines will start to implement similar systems. Or maybe they won't
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 04:52 AM
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dima,

I think you are right that you should first ask for clarification about that ATC anomaly that Delta claims.
They did not mention any buzz words that would clearly exempt them from liability (e.g. air traffic controller STRIKE).

The ATC "problem" could have been that the delay of the incoming flight from JFK and the consequentely later than planned departure from BCN caused that flight to lose its designated departure time slot in BCN - and/or a designated arrival time slot back in JFK. And added another hour until both BCN/Eurocontrol and JFK were able to accomodate that flight again.

If that was the case, it would not exempt Delta from its responsibilities.
And since you seem to have purchased the whole trip (BCN-JFK-LAX) on "one" ticket, the relevant time for calculating the delay is "at gate" in LAX.

When things get too complicated, you can still think about using a company to process your claim. They will take a good bite out of your compensation. But you don't have to deal with the paperwork (or legal actions).
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Old Aug 9th, 2016, 10:17 AM
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I don't think you are "wrong". I just don't think a couple delays of a couple hours each is anything all that unusual or worth being compensated for.
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