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Old Oct 14, 13, 8:53 am   #1
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EU 261/2004 Compensation with AirBerlin

Hi All,

has anyone experience with the 261/2004 Compensation at AirBerlin? Here is the scenario: I bought a ticket with my TopBonus miles to bring my aging mother from the US to visit the wife & I for a few months here in Berlin. Flight over was without incident but the flight back was delayed on departure at TXL for over five hours and arrived at JFK just under five hours late. I completed the EU 261/2004 Form and sent it to AirBerlin by registered mail. I recently received a letter indicating that they had my claim and then shortly thereafter an email offering the following:

1) Travel voucher in the amount of EUR 120.00 redeemable on all airberlin group operated flights, regardless of travel type (validity: 24 months)

OR

2) 10,000 topbonus award miles

OR

3) Cash payment of EUR 75.00

along with a URL which i could visit to choose one of the three options. If I found none to my liking I could just wait and they would process my claim personally after reviewing the particulars. Needless to say, having spent 50K miles and 400 for taxes and fees, the offered options seem a bit light. Has anyone experience with AirBerlin Compensation claims? I am unsure whether I should wait for AB to follow their processes or should I go ahead and forward my information to the Luftfahrt Bundesamt and rely on them to handle.

thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.
cheers,
William
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Old Oct 14, 13, 10:47 am   #2
  
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Originally Posted by William13 View Post
Hi All,

has anyone experience with the 261/2004 Compensation at AirBerlin? Here is the scenario: I bought a ticket with my TopBonus miles to bring my aging mother from the US to visit the wife & I for a few months here in Berlin. Flight over was without incident but the flight back was delayed on departure at TXL for over five hours and arrived at JFK just under five hours late. I completed the EU 261/2004 Form and sent it to AirBerlin by registered mail. I recently received a letter indicating that they had my claim and then shortly thereafter an email offering the following:

1) Travel voucher in the amount of EUR 120.00 redeemable on all airberlin group operated flights, regardless of travel type (validity: 24 months)

OR

2) 10,000 topbonus award miles

OR

3) Cash payment of EUR 75.00

along with a URL which i could visit to choose one of the three options. If I found none to my liking I could just wait and they would process my claim personally after reviewing the particulars. Needless to say, having spent 50K miles and 400 for taxes and fees, the offered options seem a bit light. Has anyone experience with AirBerlin Compensation claims? I am unsure whether I should wait for AB to follow their processes or should I go ahead and forward my information to the Luftfahrt Bundesamt and rely on them to handle.

thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.
cheers,
William
I agree that the options are light!

If the delay was on a flight from TXL-JFK then your mother is due 600 euros in cash compensation not vouchers or miles so long as the reason for the delay is not due to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been prevented even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

IMO you (or rather your mother) should make enquiries from the airline to ascertain what the reason for the delay was due to.

I cannot advise on how you should advance your claim in Germany but in your position would probably raise a complaint to the LBA before taking action to recover the compensation in your equivalent of small claims court.

You may need a letter of authority from your mother to ensure you have the power to issue proceedings in her name.
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Old Oct 14, 13, 11:01 am   #3
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Thanks Centipede100 - I have my eye on the €600 as well - though I am of course a reasonable man ;-)

Good idea to inquire as to the cause of the delay - we were first told it was an hour delay, then one hour became two, then four, then after boarding five hours late they waited on the ground for a while. Interesting, it would seem to me that since they've already offered some compensation, they may be out of luck if they try to claim it was 'extraordinary circumstances'. From what I've heard of this TXL > JFK flight - the delay was all too ordinary!
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Old Oct 14, 13, 3:51 pm   #4
  
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Originally Posted by Centipede100 View Post
I agree that the options are light!

If the delay was on a flight from TXL-JFK then your mother is due 600 euros in cash compensation not vouchers or miles so long as the reason for the delay is not due to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been prevented even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

IMO you (or rather your mother) should make enquiries from the airline to ascertain what the reason for the delay was due to.

I cannot advise on how you should advance your claim in Germany but in your position would probably raise a complaint to the LBA before taking action to recover the compensation in your equivalent of small claims court.

You may need a letter of authority from your mother to ensure you have the power to issue proceedings in her name.
The 600 euro is after a 6+ hour delay, a 5 hour delay qualifies for 300 or 400, if I recall correctly.

I too had a similar experience with AB and got the same offer as you. I ignored/refused it. So now it's wait and see what happens.
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Old Oct 14, 13, 7:16 pm   #5
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EU 261/2004 Compensation with AirBerlin

€600 for four hours or greater.
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Old Oct 14, 13, 7:42 pm   #6
  
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600 for four hours or greater.
Ah, I just double checked, you're right. My mistake.
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Old Oct 15, 13, 1:36 am   #7
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thanks for your reponses. Djokison, will be interested to see how they respond to you as well. Misery loves company!
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Old Oct 15, 13, 5:17 pm   #8
  
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Hypothetical for those in the know, since I (fortunately) have never had to claim compensation under 261: if you are connecting from one airline to another on the same ticket and are delayed, is it the responsibility of the carrier who caused you to miss your connection to dispense compensation, or the operating of the connecting flight since they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for carriage to your final destination? I have to assume it's the former, but wanted to be sure.
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Old Oct 15, 13, 6:45 pm   #9
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EU 261/2004 Compensation with AirBerlin

Should be former and assuming EC261 is applicable to both carriers.
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Old Oct 15, 13, 7:13 pm   #10
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Before turning his nose up at the AB offer, OP should do the research to make certain that his mother is entitled to the EU 261/2004 compensation. If she's not, she gets Eur 0 under the rule and nothing from the customer service gesture offer.

Some things are clear, e.g., weather or ATC delays are likely outside the carrier's responsibility while technical issues are likely within its responsibility. But, there has been a good deal of writing recently suggesting that carriers are not paying compensation and are prevailing on technical faults when the part in question had been properly installed, was within its tolerance period (it' supposed to last 1,000 flying hours and it's only been 250) and it nonetheless fails although inspected.

All of this a long way of saying that there are far too few facts in the OP to determine what OP's likelihood of success might be.
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Old Oct 16, 13, 7:45 am   #11
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my limited research would indicate that, yes, she/we are indeed entitled to compensation.

* EU carrier leaving from an EU airport.
* Delay more than five hours on departure and just less than five on arrival.
* Delay was not weather or ATC related.

AB never stated it was a technical fault - though the fact that they kept moving the departure time back hour by hour leads one to think that it might have been, as they sought to locate necessary resources for repair. So, given those parameters, it seems to me worth waiting on an evaluation of the claim, rather than accepting the offer of AB's autoresponder.
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Old Oct 25, 13, 10:41 am   #12
  
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I had an experience with 261 compensation from airberlin described here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/airbe...pensation.html

In summary:

I received about 65% of the 600 amount one year after the flight, via court in Germany.

After the flight, airberlin did not respond to my emails and to my mailed letter.

I sent a complaint to LBA and after about three months received a response from LBA telling me that they will not take any action and that the case is closed. No reason given. Absolutely useless.

I went to euclaim, and they sent the letter to airberlin on my behalf - no response. Euclaim passed the case to their lawyers in Berlin and the lawyers sent a letter to airberlin. Airberlin paid 50% of the compensation as a "goodwill" and not admitting anything. The lawyers filed a lawsuit and the court in Berlin ruled against airberlin to pay the remaining 50% of the compensation plus interest and court costs.

Euclaim deducted their cut and after wire transfer fees and currency exchange losses, I finally received about 65% of the amount due.
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Old Jan 7, 14, 9:16 am   #13
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Just a final update for anyone in a similar situation with AirBerlin:

in mid December i received an email from AB indicating that they would indeed pay me the 600 Euro compensation and i should send them my account info for the funds transfer. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I immediately replied with the requested information and, lo and behold, some 14 business days later what did appear in my bank account but six hundred shiny euros! A happy ending! Just to reiterate - i did nothing but file the original claim with them and then did not respond to their initial lowball offer. A pleasant winter surprise!
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Old Jan 8, 14, 4:17 am   #14
  
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Originally Posted by William13 View Post
Just a final update for anyone in a similar situation with AirBerlin:

in mid December i received an email from AB indicating that they would indeed pay me the 600 Euro compensation and i should send them my account info for the funds transfer. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I immediately replied with the requested information and, lo and behold, some 14 business days later what did appear in my bank account but six hundred shiny euros! A happy ending! Just to reiterate - i did nothing but file the original claim with them and then did not respond to their initial lowball offer. A pleasant winter surprise!
Good result and thanks for posting the eventual outcome.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 8:23 pm   #15
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Good to their they are not hiding around some BS excuse.

I was on DUS-HAM last year. Security screening staff at HAM went on strike but it should not affect arrivals into HAM. In fact, LH canceled all their departures out from HAM but operated operated 9 out of 10 DUS-HAM flights including those that departed before and after the AB flight.

AB denied claim due to strike.

Last edited by seawolf; Jan 9, 14 at 8:30 pm
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