EU 261 and SKG irrops

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Old Jan 10, 17, 1:25 pm
  #1  
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EU 261 and SKG irrops

Hi everyone,

As you might or might not know, there was some serious snow/fog in SKG today, resulting in most flights being cancelled. i was booked SKG-ATH-LHR , and obviously all the SKG-ATH flights in between 3 and at least 6pm were cancelled causing me to miss the flight.

Now, when I tried to rebook, the A3 CS agent told me over the phone that in cause of force majeuse IRROPS(e.g weather), A3 only rebooks using other A3-metal flights(not even A3 codeshares with e.g LH).So, I was told the earliest I can get to LHR was.... Friday ,whereas I would have reached LHR tuesday if weather wasn't a problem. Therefore I decided to spend an extra weekend in thessaloniki and will now leave on sunday.

Now, obviously EU 261 compensation doesn't apply in circumstances where weather is horrible, but right to care still applies, right? Doesn't that mean that A3 will have to pay for a hotel plus 3 meals a day plus transportation at least until Friday?

Moving forward, I know EU 261 says that I have to be rebooked to my final destination as early as possible. I also know that EU 261 doesn't specifically say that A3 is forced to use other carriers to get me to my final destination. So, here are my questions:

1) Is my understanding of duty-to-care correct? Should I expense a hotel plus food bills/transportation for these days?
2) Isn't Tuesday to Friday a little bit extreme of a delay for an intra-europe flight? Do I have a case against A3's CS team for longer-than-necessary delays?(I'm A3 gold if that matters at all)
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Old Jan 11, 17, 2:29 am
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Originally Posted by HEhatesusall View Post
Hi everyone,

As you might or might not know, there was some serious snow/fog in SKG today, resulting in most flights being cancelled. i was booked SKG-ATH-LHR , and obviously all the SKG-ATH flights in between 3 and at least 6pm were cancelled causing me to miss the flight.

Now, when I tried to rebook, the A3 CS agent told me over the phone that in cause of force majeuse IRROPS(e.g weather), A3 only rebooks using other A3-metal flights(not even A3 codeshares with e.g LH).So, I was told the earliest I can get to LHR was.... Friday ,whereas I would have reached LHR tuesday if weather wasn't a problem. Therefore I decided to spend an extra weekend in thessaloniki and will now leave on sunday.

Now, obviously EU 261 compensation doesn't apply in circumstances where weather is horrible, but right to care still applies, right? Doesn't that mean that A3 will have to pay for a hotel plus 3 meals a day plus transportation at least until Friday?

Moving forward, I know EU 261 says that I have to be rebooked to my final destination as early as possible. I also know that EU 261 doesn't specifically say that A3 is forced to use other carriers to get me to my final destination. So, here are my questions:

1) Is my understanding of duty-to-care correct? Should I expense a hotel plus food bills/transportation for these days?
2) Isn't Tuesday to Friday a little bit extreme of a delay for an intra-europe flight? Do I have a case against A3's CS team for longer-than-necessary delays?(I'm A3 gold if that matters at all)
There is currently ONE seat available today (Wednesday) 17:20 from SKG, into LHR at 21:15. Maybe you could call back and see if you can get that. There's also one seat open tomorrow (Thursday) morning to LGW.

Failing that...

I believe you're correct about point one above. The problem comes in retrospectively re-claiming the cost of three days stay - they could delay for a long time or argue that you could have done it cheaper etc. (note, I've no actual experience of this with A3). I would get back to them and insist that THEY organise the hotel for you and pick up the tab. This way they might reconsider their decision when they weigh up that cost against booking you on another carrier. Make sure you speak to someone senior.

EDIT actually... what about the GOLD benefit that guarantees you a seat on ANY flight. They should actually bump someone from a flight today or tomorrow for you. (I know people have failed to get them to honour this benefit in the past, but it might be worth a try). I bet those LHR flights are strategically over-booked anyway.

Last edited by Knobbgb; Jan 11, 17 at 2:36 am
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Old Jan 11, 17, 4:44 am
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Originally Posted by Knobbgb View Post
EDIT actually... what about the GOLD benefit that guarantees you a seat on ANY flight. They should actually bump someone from a flight today or tomorrow for you. (I know people have failed to get them to honour this benefit in the past, but it might be worth a try). I bet those LHR flights are strategically over-booked anyway.
I tried this during the latest strike and no luck. Does not apply in such cases.
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Old Jan 11, 17, 5:10 am
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Well, it's funny. I tried contacting CS and they pretty much told in case of weather IRROPS they won't EVER rebook me on a different metal

I counter-argued saying that in winter schedule, so of the islands might only have 1 flight per week to SKG. In case of weather irrops, and in case the next flight is fully booked already, do they expect me to stay in an island for 2 weeks? He blatantly answered "yes" ...

I really consider this policy a direct violation of EU 261's spirit. Although I know of cases where such delays already happened(e.g DY-Norwegian where it left stranded passengers for over a week in the US) in a simple intra-EU flight this is simply unacceptable. The CS wouldn't even budge when I told him that for the extra days, my hotel and dinner prices would cost more than them rebooking me in one of their codeshare passengers(e.g SKG-MUC with A3 and MUC-LHR with A3, operated by LH).

@Knobbgb thanks for the advice, but as far as I can see, no way I can reach ATH in time today, the SKG-ATH 541 flight seems to already be delayed by about 3 hours so no way I'm making the ATH-LHR connection

As far as the guaranteed booking scheme, CS told me that in case of IRROPS rebooking this benefit is not available!
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Old Jan 11, 17, 5:47 am
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The guaranteed booking scheme only applies, as I understand it, to revenue bookings - so a re-booking would indeed not count.

In terms of the delay in getting you on a flight, this does indeed seem to be stretching EC261 provisions to the absolute limit. Unfortunately there is absolutely no case law whatsoever that has established even that "earliest convenience" re-routes need to be on a different carrier, let alone the timescale to do that - so what it amounts to is that you'd be the guinea pig if you chose to make your own arrangements and tried to take A3 to court afterwards. I frankly wouldn't fancy your chances of success, although equally A3 won't be keen to see it come to court, so they might just pay up - so that all really depends on your personal appetite to risk and how much you need to get home.

What A3 definitely must continue to do is provide you with Duty of Care until such time as they can put you on a flight. Personally I'd be inclined to book that myself and claim it back rather than accept what A3 offers you, and indeed it might be to your advantage to eat in the hotel given that will put everything on one bill (therefore making it much easier to deal with). There really aren't any enormously expensive hotels in SKG, so I can't see you'd fall foul of them claiming you acted unreasonably. If you booked into the Holiday Inn near the Bus Station, no-one should bat an eyelid.
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