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Do they have to compensate?

Hamilton, Bermuda
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Do they have to compensate?

So my parents were booked on a Sunwing lfight from Toronto to Paris direct return. A few weeks before they left, their return flight was changed to include a 1 hour stopover in Amsterdam. Although they were not happy about it the airline said they reserve the right to change anything therefore too bad.

On Friday they were to return to Toronto. They went to the airport and the flight was delayed, and delayed and delayed some more. Finally the airline put them up at a hotel and gave them dinner because the delay was over 12 hours by this time. They were to be back on the plane first thing in the am, delay and delay some more. Finally they took off but 1/2 or 3/4 of the way into the flight, the pilot announced they had to land in Newfoundland (nowhere near where they were supposed to land - thousands of kilometres away still) because with all the delays, the crew would exceed their # of flight hours. They landed deboarded everyone while they awaited a new crew to man the plane - waited many hours another 12 I believe, reboard and be on their way. All in all - they were supposed to land on Friday at 2 pm and instead landed at 10 pm Saturday - a 32 hour delay!! No weather problems, no civil unrest, strictly Sunwing problmes. They advised passengers that they were fed and housed so to not expect any compensation. I believe the flight should have been fully reimbursed.

Leicester, United...
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51. Re: Do they have to compensate?

"My parents paid alot of money for those flights, and are therefore rightfully entitled to what they paid for."

Hear hear.

London, United...
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52. Re: Do they have to compensate?

Absolutely and the law in europe very clearly agrees with you.

What is not acceptable is any airline attempting to break the law and not provide the required compensation when it is due.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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53. Re: Do they have to compensate?

Hi,

lien,

I can certainly see a definite 'tranquility' to your method.. and if that works for you, then that works for you..

My only concern with that.. and it's not you as a single traveler, is that what I find is that when one party (again, the "who" is immaterial) does not insist on contractual compliance, than then opens the door to the other party effectively 'shirking' their obligations.

As example only, I went to Cambodia (overland) last week with a friend.. and for those who have done the overland Thailand-Cambodia crossing, know that there has long been an unapproved practice of either overcharging for the Cambodia visa, requiring the fee be paid in other currencies such that the fee ends up being higher than the officially set rate..

Yes, in most cases, the amount in question is nominal to me.. on a time-value equation, I'd be far, far better off mathematically to pay it, save the time (and hassles) and move on.. but to me.. there's a larger principle in play... by taking the easier route (and this is by no means a refection of or value statement to your chosen method) I am, to a degree, implicitly agreeing to and enabling this behavior which is wrong..

To the same degree.. I think BOTH parties-- airline and passenger should hold the other accountable for what is their obligations... If the carrier has not met their obligations, then they should...and do so timely..

... and in fairness.. the passenger too.. If the passenger has not, or does not meet his/her obligations, they should expect the carrier to hold them accountable and in a timely manner as well.

Travel Safe,

South Pole
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54. Re: Do they have to compensate?

"My parents paid alot of money for those flights, and are therefore rightfully entitled to what they paid for"

but they never will get what u consider they were entitled to, will they?.

what they were entitled to (on time arrival) is gone....u can't wind back the clock

all they will get is some monetary compensation.

maybe this will make them feel better but really in the end it's all just a payoff.

nothing about the reality of the situation will change.

Leicester, United...
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55. Re: Do they have to compensate?

"To the same degree.. I think BOTH parties-- airline and passenger should hold the other accountable for what is their obligations... If the carrier has not met their obligations, then they should...and do so timely.."

Again GOPBI, what I don't see you addressing is the fundamental unfairness in the balance of obligations between airlines and passengers.

It's all very well to say that both sides should live up to their obligations, but until airlines actually have as many obligations to their passengers as passengers do the airlines, it is a pointless statement. After all, who is the paying customer here?

I agree that international conventions should be strengthened and brought into the modern world. The problem though is that contract law is governed by local jurisdictions. The only reason the EU can act across national boundaries is because the member states have agreed to a legal common framework. The fact that the UN has no legal authority as such over its member nations will make things tougher.

Bangkok
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56. Re: Do they have to compensate?

Hi,

LeicsLad,

"Again GOPBI, what I don't see you addressing is the fundamental unfairness in the balance of obligations between airlines and passengers."

==> Fairness is of course a subjective term and idea.. so I think already we're off to a hard start..

What I do think is this is a good place for the regulators to come into play... I think there's a fine-line balance here between allowing wholly free-market commerce and one that is fundamentally governmental regulated...

I don't think either one works well on an exclusive basis.. I think the answer is finding the sweet spot if you will between ample and appropriate levels of governmental regulation but still allowing individual companies to have differing policies, practices, CoC's and the like... and allow them to compete against each other based on these issues, and others, for their share of the marketplace.

CoC's like most all Contracts, written by the seller and presented to the buyer, who retains the right to accept or refuse them accordingly.. and in very, very, very few cases is there a situation where there is simply NO other carrier alternative.. Yes, some may be far cheaper, far easier, etc.. but in the end, in very few cases can it be accurately said 'I/we had no alternative"...

To me, so long as none of the carriers conspired to or otherwise engaged in any actions to discuss, agree or even share, their proposed CoC language before it became official, then I see no collusion or other anti-competitive issues in play..

Are they fair? I can't say yes or no because I don't think they're measured in those terms.. I think they're measured in terms of what is Y (the buyer) willing to accept in terms of conditions and at what price that I, "X" (the seller) put forth.. and again, so long as the CoC is not written in a manner that violates any existing governmental regulations and was not crafted in or using any anti-trust activities, then I'd call it "accepted" not fair... and not UNfair.. Accepted...

To me, if you want to talk fair (an ambiguous term in itself) my personal preference would be to have an independent, non-voter elected body (like a non-voter initialed judicial panel) determine a CoC's "equity".. or fairness... The reason I like a non-voting body as these folks would (assumptive) have minimal pressure to rule one way or the other and could rule in a manner they felt was as impartial as possible.

but again, I think before that can happen, the regulators have to step in first and establish some boundaries or framework-- what's the definition of fair? what's the measurements? What will be step in and enact regulation and what shall remain free market forces?

Travel Safe,

London, United...
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57. Re: Do they have to compensate?

>nothing about the reality of the situation will change<

No and until airlines pay compensation for very shoddy service then nothing ever will change, when they can do whatever they choose with no further liability other than internal costs, why bother to go the extra mile to provide a reasonable service in a reasonable time frame?

Madrid
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58. Re: Do they have to compensate?

nothing about the reality of the situation will change.

In the short term,probably not.But over the long term if the costs to any airline of delaying passengers increases significantly,then other options such as subcharters,additional spare aircraft and crew etc become cheaper than endless waits in hotels for many people.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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59. Re: Do they have to compensate?

Hi,

rapidex,

nothing about the reality of the situation will change.

In the short term,probably not.But over the long term if the costs to any airline of delaying passengers increases significantly,then other options such as subcharters,additional spare aircraft and crew etc become cheaper than endless waits in hotels for many people.

==> I agree.... I think airlines act somewhat like you and I do.. In many cases we make decisions about actions based (in part) on price or costs... Do I park a bit farther away and walk longer, but pay less? Do I bring food from home and carry it or pay premium prices and buy on board?

I think airlines view things in a similar manner.. What's the cost-benefit here?.. Is it cheaper for us to do X ([example only] cancel the flight and pay out whatever we're required to) versus Y (putting up reserve crews and paying reserve pay)? So long as X remain cheaper (all things being equal) that will be, in most cases, the chosen action.

Do I think the passenger is included in their decision making or thought process? Absolutely.. I think they look closely at what's the completion doing? what's the potential customer reaction etc.. but I do think that if we were to number or order the items in terms of importance, that costs would be #1...

The only part of this that I am also aware of is that ANYTIME you add costs into a business model-- be that regulations or otherwise-- those added costs do ultimately get passed on to consumers in the form of prices..

At the the end of the day I don't have a real issue with consumer rights rules per se.. only that the complete conversation must also speak to and address the costs that come with it, and who and who will those costs be accounted for.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 10 September 2012, 12:41
UK
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60. Re: Do they have to compensate?

Now you are all boiling the ocean .... but the situation is simple ... the OP's parents are implicitly entitled to payment under the agreement they had with the airline, so they should get it. Period.Full stop.

Whether its part of compensation culture, or some people are too chilled out to argue for it, whatever, is an irrelevance.

(and back into ocean boiling, the airline agreed to this payment even under their one-sided Ts&Cs by accepting their money for a ticket in/out of Europe, yet astoundingly some people here think that even those contracts arent one sided enough and passengers shouldn't even be entitled to their very limited rights !) Numbat posted in another thread chapter and verse on whether someone was eligible fro something, happy to follow rules then, not sure what happened in this case and why they dont apply here?