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Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

L C
London, United...
2 posts
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Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

Hi,

I was booked onto a budget airline flight last month that was cancelled an hour before take off.

The next available flight home was in 72h, which we couldn't wait for for various reasons - plus the airline was not providing food or accommodation - so we went ahead and booked on an alternative provider for much more than we paid for the original flights for the next morning and a hotel at the airport.

So, we've heard from the airline that apparently it was due to bad weather at the arrival airport earlier that day that meant that the airplane was delayed taking off and hence wasn't ready for us 12 hours later. I know that bad weather comes under the "unforeseen circumstances" that would mean we wouldn't be able to claim compensation, but how long before the scheduled flight time is it reasonable for us to expect that bad weather can still be a valid excuse? In the 12 hours when it was obvious that the plane wouldn't be available, should the airline have made attempts to find an alternative plane? In which case, would we have a valid claim?

Thanks for any help/advice/experience you can provide

Travelling The World
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for Alghero, Melton Mowbray, Elora
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1. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

If bad weather is the reason, it's the reason and you won't be able to claim compensation unless you can demonstrate that it wasn't really the reason.

There is no time limit as such. If the airline can demonstrate that bad weather somewhere down the line resulted in them having to cancel your flight because the aircraft wasn't where it was supposed to be, that's what matters. If an aircraft builds up delays throughout the day because its first flight of the day was delayed because of weather, meaning that it could not operate the last flight of the day (due to curfews, staff out of time etc.) even 12 hours after the initial delay, that is perfectly reasonable. It wasn't necessarily obvious that the flight would have to be cancelled until an hour or so before. It is likely they hoped they could make up enough time through the day, but clearly they couldn't.

It would help to know what airline and what route, the time of the cancelled flight etc.

Edited: 07 August 2014, 17:49
norway
Level Contributor
543 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

LC

Just claim on your travel insurance. That is why you have it. It should cover the full cost of a new ticket if your carrier was unable to provide alternative transport within 24 hrs. It will also cover any hotel and meal costs.

3. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

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Removed on: 08 August 2014, 08:05
Edited: 08 August 2014, 08:05
norway
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543 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

So whats the point in having insurance if you are stuck abroad after your flight is cancelled.

My insurance covers me so my advice is to shop around for good cover

California
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4,668 posts
43 reviews
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5. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

I've taken out travel insurance that does cover for trip interruption so will reimburse for things like meals, accommodation, additional travel expenses, and even internet usage and telephone calls. There are some set reimbursement amounts, but they do cover. Maybe it depends on the type of insurance carrier and where it's located.

UK
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49,560 posts
92 reviews
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6. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

So whats the point in having insurance if you are stuck abroad after your flight is cancelled.

=====

I think its extremely rare you would be stuck abroad if a flight was cancelled. That would generally only happen if the airline went bust (ignoring extreme ash-cloud circumstances).

In a case where there was a long and advertised delay, such as 72 hours, I would expect that I'd have to get permission from my insurance company to purchase an earlier flight.

I would not expect them to pay any old flight I took, the mere fact i didn't ask them for permission would probably invalidate any claim.

Likewise not taking the airlines offer may invalidate any claim you have against them.

I dont know if there is a set time* in the rules. I think there ought to be otherwise if 72 hours is acceptable, why not 72 months?

*Google up EU261 and have a read.

Edited: 07 August 2014, 23:16
UK
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6,926 posts
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7. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

"plus the airline was not providing food or accommodation"

I'm surprised no one has picked up on this. While there is no right to compensation if the airline can prove that the delay was for reasons "which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken" (to use the official wording), there is a right to care regardless of the reason for the delay, so - assuming the flight was departing from the EU *or* the airline was EU-based - then there is no way they could have got out of paying for your food and accommodation.

In any event (and I'm talking as someone who has recently won compensation from an airline that tried to blame the weather for a cancellation) I would argue that leaving passengers stranded for 72 hours because of earlier bad weather is definitely not something "which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken". In fact the OP's case sounds very similar to mine...so I'd say go ahead and claim. And feel free to contact me for advice!

L C
London, United...
2 posts
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8. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

Thanks everyone for your comments.

To clarify, we're not expecting to be compensated for the full whack (flights/accom/meals/etc). We were told at the airport that we'd be compensated €250 (which would ease the financial pinch), so it's frustrating now to discover that the airline is going back on that.

The whole situation was a complete disaster. I felt very sorry for the poor girls trying to handle a plane full of angry customers at 11.30 at night. I don't think they'd ever had a cancelled plane before - they really had no idea what to do.

I haven't been able to find any time scale regulations online, so it all seems a grey area to me. I was just wondering from peoples practical experience how the regs are interpreted.

9. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

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Removed on: 08 August 2014, 10:05
Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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10. Re: Compensation for delayed flight - weather disruption

Which airline? From where to where? And when?