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Answered EU Compensation Rules Question

p--and--t

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A question for the brains trust as I have no real understanding of the EU rules regarding airlines.

Its pretty long winded, but to try and overt wasting peoples time, I thought I'd lay out the full picture.

Two of us were booked on a BA ticket MEL to LHR via SIN. Both sectors were in whY.

Separately purchased from BA were actual Exit row seat numbers and legroom upgrades for the sector SIN-LHR at a cost of $142pp plus exchange and cc fees = $146.26

The flight MEL-SIN was actually on QF as a code share.

On arrival in SIN, the signboards showed no departure time for the onward BA flight to LHR .

We went to the transfer desk to ask what was happening. We were advised BA kept changing the departure time delay from 3hrs to 5hrs and now they were uncertain if it would go at all. A couple of calls were made and we were told the flight wasn't going and we would be transferred to QF1 for the onward journey. As seating was very limited we were placed separately in "no extra legroom" seats in the rear cabin.

During the multi hour layover in SIN, I lodged a complaint/claim on the BA website asking for a refund of the exit row fees as the service was not provided.

Five weeks later after emailing them again I received a response from BA that says in precis

"Thanks for letting us know what happened when you were travelling from Singapore on 26 July. I apologise for the delay in my reply. I completely understand how frustrated you must have been when your flight was delayed. I’m sorry for the problems we caused you.
You’re clearly disappointed with your seat because it didn’t have as much leg room as you’d expected. The seat maps are for guidance only and not true to scale. The extra space between rows doesn’t indicate legroom.
We’re very grateful you’ve taken the time to contact us and let us know what happened, as it’s only through feedback from our customers that we’re able to focus on areas where we can improve.
......Case closed"


I later found out the BA flight did actually go, fourteen hours late. And I guess I am just another dumb customer to them that doesn't understand what legroom is or what an exit row is.

Now I am guessing, because they put us on another flight that left about the same time as the original schedule and it cost them $$ because they had to pay QF for a last minute pair of seats, and we arrived in LHR less than 30 mins later than originally scheduled that BA will duck and weave as much as possible.

Just for the sake of completeness, because of the lack of adequate response from BA, lodged formal complaints with PayPal with supporting evidence and they have refunded the exit row charges in full. So we are not out of pocket.

I guess the question of the brains trust, what are BAs obligations in this scenario???
 

serfty

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So you specifically paid for extra legroom seats.

The reply from BA is typical in that it does not address the actual issue.

You should be entitled to a full refund.

 

Princess Fiona

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You are not entitled to any EU 261 compensation as you did not arrive late. BA should definitely refund the fees paid for the seat allocation though.
EDIT
You have it from PayPal so I don’t think you will get anything further
 

p--and--t

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You are not entitled to any EU 261 compensation as you did not arrive late. BA should definitely refund the fees paid for the seat allocation though.
EDIT
You have it from PayPal so I don’t think you will get anything further
Thanks, as I said I'm not out of pocket thanks to PayPal, but was looking to find out what BA should have done for me (e.g. I would have thought at least refunded the extra I paid for exit rows, over and above the original tickets) and not just blown me off.
 
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Thanks, as I said I'm not out of pocket thanks to PayPal, but was looking to find out what BA should have done for me (e.g. I would have thought at least refunded the extra I paid for exit rows, over and above the original tickets) and not just blown me off.
Princess Fiona is correct. There's no EU compensation due, only the refund of the seat charges. The agent replying to you was misinformed. It's frustrating, but can happen at all airlines. It would have been sorted eventually.

As you now have your refund, there's nothing left given your arrival time was only slightly delayed.
 

Princess Fiona

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Thanks, as I said I'm not out of pocket thanks to PayPal, but was looking to find out what BA should have done for me (e.g. I would have thought at least refunded the extra I paid for exit rows, over and above the original tickets) and not just blown me off.
BA should have refunded you the exit row payments not blown you off. Since you now have them from PayPal I think the case is indeed closed.
 

serfty

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BA should have refunded you the exit row payments not blown you off. Since you now have them from PayPal I think the case is indeed closed.
Going by the Compensation thread on the Flyertalk BA forum, it appears to be SOP for BA customer service to 'blow claimants off'.
 

drron

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I think it is actually a British thing not just BA.I once treated a fellow on an English service pension and 50 years after first being on it because he had moved to Australia it was still 2GBP a week.
Anyway he had a bypass so decided to write to those in charge and see if he could get the amount increased.The letter he got in reply was a classic."In view of the wonderful treatment you have received from the doctors in Australia restoring you to good health we have reduced your pension to 1 GBP per week."
So the BA response does not surprise me.
 
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As this was a northbound flight, no one would be entitled to any compensation as isn't EU261 restricted to flights departing the UK not arriving there?
EU carriers are bound by EU261 to and from the EU. Non-EU carriers are bound by EU261 only when departing the EU (and in cases where connecting flights on the same ticket might also be delayed at transit points outside the EU).
 

clementine6

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Recently my husband and I flew from Manchester to Paris on FlyBe. Due to a power snafu at MAN 83 flights were cancelled and 13000 pax had their travel delayed by up to 24 hours. FlyBe made no attempt to rebook us, we had to buy new tickets for the next day at three times the price we paid for our original tickets.When we requested compensation they refunded the cost of the original tickets only. When we complained they said take it up with Air France as they actually operated the flight (though we bought the tickets from FLyBe). This seems manifestly unfair to me. Any advice? They just stonewall
 
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The airline would have been responsible to you for a duty of care - meals and accommodation. And of course your refund.

Beyond that, this probably sounds to me like it might be a rare exemption to EU261 compensation applying - something that seems truly outside the airline's control and may constitute extraordinary circumstances.

You have two possible options. you could put in a request for EU261 yourself directly with the airline. This may go easily or not. If you want to take the guesswork and effort out of it, you could go to one of the online claims companies. They will take between 25%-35% of a successful claim, but you don't have to do anything except lodge the claim. They will deal with the airlines if they believe you are going to be successful (and if not, they will tell you quickly, and at no cost to you).

That aside, you still had a valid ticket, and it would have been good for travel on another service. You should have been able to make alternative arrangements, for the same price, by calling the airline. I appreciate they didn't proactively rebook you, but you also have to take some responsibility for this yourself. however, the timing of the new flight might not have been suitable for you?

Finally, you might also contact your travel insurance company. It's possible - depending on your policy - you might be able to claim the difference between the refunded fare and your new fares.
 

clementine6

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Thanks. We did try to contact the airline, we were told to rebook ourselves online, but when we tried to do that the system showed that our flight had left on time (instead of showing that it had been cancelled) and wouldn't allow us to rebook, so we had no option but to book new tickets. We were quite willing to travel in any flight at any time, we just wanted to get home. We are not looking for compensation for the delay, we understand that this was beyond the airline's control, but if we had not bought new tickets we would still be in Manchester
 
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I'm afraid this might be a case of where you needed to be a bit more persistent to achieve the outcome you wanted. if you couldn't change on line you needed to speak to an agent to do it manually. I had a similar instance with a cancelled BA flight out of Gatwick.. online options vanished, call centre wasn't any help. I had to go to the airport and literally waited at the check-in counter until the next flight to Amsterdam closed and I took the seat of a no-show. Go me in 10 hours before the 'best available' anyone else could offer.

you might try your insurance if you had it for this trip. You have nothing to lose writing to the airline, but it might be a struggle.
 

clementine6

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Ok thanks. What do you make of FlyBe's insistence that we take this up with Air France because they operated the flight? Seems like nonsense to me
 

p--and--t

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No it is not.
Thanks PF.

I checked a couple of sites and, yes the flight was covered by EU regulations, despite what some have said on here.

I'm not looking to claim because I got there on a different flight (transferred to QF) and in addition the amount in dispute has been refunded (by PayPal)

But for clarity for those who said the original flight (BA SIN-LHR) wasn't covered by EU legislation, here is what I found

The flight must match one of the following scenarios:
  • It departed from a country within the EU and arrived within the EU no matter which airline operated the flight
  • It departed from a country within the EU and arrived out of the EU no matter which airline operated the flight
  • It departed from a country out of the EU, arrived within the EU and was operated by a European airline (i.e. BA)
 
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Thanks PF.

I checked a couple of sites and, yes the flight was covered by EU regulations, despite what some have said on here.

I'm not looking to claim because I got there on a different flight (transferred to QF) and in addition the amount in dispute has been refunded (by PayPal)

But for clarity for those who said the original flight (BA SIN-LHR) wasn't covered by EU legislation, here is what I found

The flight must match one of the following scenarios:
  • It departed from a country within the EU and arrived within the EU no matter which airline operated the flight
  • It departed from a country within the EU and arrived out of the EU no matter which airline operated the flight
  • It departed from a country out of the EU, arrived within the EU and was operated by a European airline (i.e. BA)
To be fair, only one person was in error in thinking EU261 rules didn't apply to the BA flight.

But both PF and I agree that EU261 compensation does not apply as you arrived within 30 minutes of the scheduled time of arrival. Therefore EU261 doesn't kick in.

The refund of your exit row seats is another matter, which you have now resolved.
 

p--and--t

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To be fair, only one person was in error in thinking EU261 rules didn't apply to the BA flight.

But both PF and I agree that EU261 compensation does not apply as you arrived within 30 minutes of the scheduled time of arrival. Therefore EU261 doesn't kick in.

The refund of your exit row seats is another matter, which you have now resolved.
Ok. I agree I didn't phrase that post very well. Sorry.

The intent of the thread was a lazy uninformed guy trying to learn about the EU regulations and how they would be applied to that original booking.

Getting off my lazy arssss, and doing more googling I think I now understand how it would have applied. Happy for additional input:
  • As the flight was BA and heading towards Europe, the regulation applies to the flight.
  • As the original flight was delayed 14hrs, combined with the flight sector distance, Eu600 compensation was in contention.
  • Depending on the "reason" for the delay (which was not revealed), BA would more than likely be required to pay the compensation as there didn't seem to be weather or similar factors beyond their control. However there may still have been an argument.
  • As the transfer desk in SIN moved us to another flight that arrived at the same destination less than 3 hours late, the compensation was removed from contention.
  • Because the replacement flight followed a similar schedule to the original flight there would be no extras needing to be supplied (refreshments, phone calls, accommodation)
  • As we were booked in whY and the replacement flight was whY, class of travel did not come into the equation.
  • The additional charges for an exit row are not a part of the compensation regime and other methods for recovery from BA are necessary.
 

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