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Old Dec 24, 20, 3:04 pm
  #3  
cauchy
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 696
Originally Posted by rc4566 View Post
Supposed to travel JNB to LHR on the 26th but Virgin canceled the flight last night as a result of the UK banning direct flights from SA to the UK. I managed to speak to Virgin last night but the agent couldn't rebook us with another carrier and said we would need to wait for a repatriation flight but finding it hard to believe that is our only option given there are lots of indirect options to fly to the UK with other carriers. We've been in SA for 3 weeks and are ready to go home so we don't really want to sit around waiting for a repatriation flight especially with the threat of another lockdown looming here.

I've been on hold for over 2 hours today and not sure what to do if Virgin won't help. Does anyone have any advice on what to do in this situation? Would booking with another carrier and trying to claim back from Virgin be an option if they refuse to rebook us? Tickets were booked for £999 Upper Class return in the recent virgin sale so taking a refund and paying last minute one way to fly with someone else seems bad value if we have the option to get rebooked on any other indirect routing.
Virgin seems to think EC261 doesn't apply to them. They are required to pay your expenses until they rebook you, and quite possibly for flights on another airline.

The cases you'll want are

Aurora Sousa Rodríguez and Others v Air France SA. (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-cont...EX:62010CJ0083)

44 However, when a carrier fails to fulfil its obligations under Article 8 and Article 9 of Regulation No 261/2004, air passengers are justified in claiming a right to compensation on the basis of the factors set out in those articles.
Denise McDonagh v Ryanair Ltd. (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-cont...%3A62011CJ0012)

67. Articles 5(1)(b) and 9 of Regulation No 261/2004 must be interpreted as meaning that, in the event of cancellation of a flight due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ of a duration such as that in the main proceedings, the obligation to provide care to air passengers laid down in those provisions must be complied with, and the validity of those provisions is not affected.
You might need to go to county court. It's outrageous behaviour on Virgin's part, and I hope the CAA deals with them very, very harshly.
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