EU261 claim

Old Feb 7, 19, 1:16 pm
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EU261 claim

I would need advice from the members in this group please. Are we able to claim under EU261 or can the airline really hide behind extraordinary circumstances?

BA686 into INN was rerouted to MUC after failing to land. I was booked into BA687 INN - LHR. After about 1 hour it was announced that we would be bussed to MUC to make the flight into LHR. Scheduled departure was 10:15 am. we finally arrived in MUC at 16:30 with a scheduled departure for 17:30. We were boarding but for some inexplicable reason were left in the bus on the apron for another 20 minutes. Once we finally did get on board, we were told the flight crew would need to change because of regulations and we would have to wait on the new crew which was flaing in from the uk. we finally left MUC at 19:48.

BA claims that it was due to harsh weather at INN that they could not land there and had to divert to MUC. In INN it was 3 degree plus and raining. in MUC it was snowing heavily. The regular landing slots at INN were succesfully taken by Transavia, OS and Easyjet within 20 minutes either side of BA686 scheduled landing time. BA gave all pax a Ä15 F&B voucher in INN and in MUC.

Hoping for your feedback
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Old Feb 7, 19, 1:21 pm
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If the weather at INN was ok why did you think they diverted to MUC?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 1:30 pm
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Something all passengers should perhaps remember:
In most cases, airlines are very, very badly inconvenienced and incur very high costs by diverting. Therefore, they do not divert unless it is genuinely needed.

Ergo, the answer to a question like "was it necessary to divert?" would almost invariably be "Yes it was".

Just because another flight got in around that time, it doesn't mean the conditions were right for other flights to get in.

Last edited by LTN Phobia; Feb 7, 19 at 7:20 pm
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Old Feb 7, 19, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
If the weather at INN was ok why did you think they diverted to MUC?
Everybody who can look out a window and can't see a cyclone descending on them believes that they are an expert meteorologist.

I, on the other hand, am thankful for the care and caution air carriers such as BA take and am fairly confident than an experienced BA Captain would, on the one hand land if the conditions appropriate to the specific aircraft permit, and would divert if not fully safe to do so.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 1:44 pm
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You may want to look at the main EC261 thread, which is available via the forum's Dashboard, since that gives more background. Extraordinary Circumstances certainly covers weather, and BA won't take the decision to divert just on a whim. But there is also the issue as to whether BA did took all reasonable measures to minimise disruption. You can appeal BA's decision via CEDR or your small claims court, if you feel you have a strong case. The fact that other services ran may strengthen your case, but it may be due to weather and ATC restrictions en route from London specifically, plus the fact that INN is one of the most problematic airports in Europe from a pilot's perspective.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
If the weather at INN was ok why did you think they diverted to MUC?
Here's the flight history (I assume, OP correct if wrong!):

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/f...ba686#1f61a973

In summary:

8.03 UTC - enters holding pattern
8.12 UTC - leaves holding pattern
8.21 UTC - landing aborted, goes around, enters holding
8.52 UTC - leaves hold and diverts to MUC

So my uninformed questions would be:

1) Could the BA aircraft have been operating under tighter constraints (e.g. if some equipment was unserviceable) than the planes that landed?
2) Knowing that INN is notorious, did they bring enough fuel to be able to attempt a second landing?
3) Why didn't they do a 'gas-and-go' at Munich? Surely this would have been quicker?

Yes, delays cost the airlines a ton of money. But fixing delays quickly could mean even bigger bills.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
Here's the flight history (I assume, OP correct if wrong!):

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/f...ba686#1f61a973

In summary:

8.03 UTC - enters holding pattern
8.12 UTC - leaves holding pattern
8.21 UTC - landing aborted, goes around, enters holding
8.52 UTC - leaves hold and diverts to MUC

So my uninformed questions would be:

1) Could the BA aircraft have been operating under tighter constraints (e.g. if some equipment was unserviceable) than the planes that landed?
2) Knowing that INN is notorious, did they bring enough fuel to be able to attempt a second landing?
3) Why didn't they do a 'gas-and-go' at Munich? Surely this would have been quicker?

Yes, delays cost the airlines a ton of money. But fixing delays quickly could mean even bigger bills.
The next flight in was a U2 flight (U22105) also made an approach around 0845 and another at 0920 going around on both and eventually diverting to SZG. Another U2 flight (U28291) made an approach at 0910 and did manage to get in first time. Clearly it doesn't look like it was the best of days to be trying to get in to INN.

In terms of the actual weather (historic metars which I won't copy in at the risk of boring everyone but which can be viewed here) there seems to have been a lot of low cloud, rain, and snow that morning which will have obscured visibility. With no precision approach the minimum descent altitude is relatively high at INN, unlike MUC which has four cat3 approaches available enabling autolands in near zero visibility.

Personally I wouldn't see any point in attempting to pursue a claim, it seems from everything we can see bad weather at INN was the reason for the diversion and delays. The crew would have also been on their first sector that day so whilst them running out of hours was unfortunate, I am not sure what else could have been done.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
The next flight in was a U2 flight (U22105) also made an approach around 0845 and another at 0920 going around on both and eventually diverting to SZG. Another U2 flight (U28291) made an approach at 0910 and did manage to get in first time. Clearly it doesn't look like it was the best of days to be trying to get in to INN.
Okay, then the OP is going to be on an uphill battle about the weather.

The only thing the OP could try is how BA dealt with the delay - they were scheduled to leave INN at 10:15, but only left MUC at 20:42. If the OP can show that by trying a little harder, what took 10-and-a-half hours should have taken 6 hours, then maybe he can get his compensation?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
Okay, then the OP is going to be on an uphill battle about the weather.

The only thing the OP could try is how BA dealt with the delay - they were scheduled to leave INN at 10:15, but only left MUC at 20:42. If the OP can show that by trying a little harder, what took 10-and-a-half hours should have taken 6 hours, then maybe he can get his compensation?
EC 261/2004 is binary. All that matters is the length of the delay at the final ticketed destination. That was 10.5 hours and accordingly qualifies for compensation unless there is an "extraordinary circumstance". There was such a circumstance and therefore there is no compensation. OP is of course due a refund of whatever it was that he purchased to eat during that time unless BA covered that with vouchers or food.

KARFA's excellent summary of the minute-by-minute issues confronted both by the BA flight and by others, shows why pointing to other flights at other times is a red herring. Landing minimums are either met or they are not. The Captain has no discretion. OP's BA flight made an attempt and at the decision point, presumably could not meet the minimums and that was it. Other flights made other attempts with one also diverting and one making it in. It is not about the general weather pattern in the general time-frame, but the very specific visibility at the moment the Captain must make the judgment to land or not.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
EC 261/2004 is binary. All that matters is the length of the delay at the final ticketed destination. That was 10.5 hours and accordingly qualifies for compensation unless there is an "extraordinary circumstance". There was such a circumstance and therefore there is no compensation. OP is of course due a refund of whatever it was that he purchased to eat during that time unless BA covered that with vouchers or food.
It's not quite so simple. You might want to google Andrejs Eglītis and Edvards Ratnieks v Latvijas Republikas Ekonomikas ministrija.

27 It follows that the air carrier, since it is obliged, under Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004, to implement all reasonable measures to avoid extraordinary circumstances, must reasonably, at the stage of organising the flight, take account of the risk of delay connected to the possible occurrence of extraordinary circumstances.
Is the OP able to argue that the backup arrangements for INN weren't good enough?
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Old Feb 7, 19, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
Is the OP able to argue that the backup arrangements for INN weren't good enough?
Generally speaking an airline would be expected to have decent backup arrangements at a hub but not at a location such as INN. I suspect the OP would be wasting his/her time by taking this further.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 12:06 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
EC 261/2004 is binary. All that matters is the length of the delay at the final ticketed destination. That was 10.5 hours and accordingly qualifies for compensation unless there is an "extraordinary circumstance". There was such a circumstance and therefore there is no compensation. OP is of course due a refund of whatever it was that he purchased to eat during that time unless BA covered that with vouchers or food.
Whilst the legislation may be binary, interpretation (eg by the courts) is far from binary and as CWS says the "all reasonable measures" comes into play. So it isn't a black & white matter.

That said I don't see much mileage in pursuing this one really.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 3:05 am
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
Whilst the legislation may be binary, interpretation (eg by the courts) is far from binary and as CWS says the "all reasonable measures" comes into play. So it isn't a black & white matter.

That said I don't see much mileage in pursuing this one really.
+1. What I might see value in is writing to customer services explaining that op felt that the way this was handled was poor, notably in terms of the unexplained additional delay to the plane that resulted in the crew exceeding their legal service time and having to be changed.

I think that BAís legal position is solid on that one, which doesnít mean the dealing was ideal (of course itís always easier to say that in insight) so they may throw in a few thousand avios as a gesture of goodwill and the op may feel a bit better. If anything, taking the legal route will prevent that sort of far more achievable resolution as once the legal team is in charge the customer service department would step completely out.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post


+1. What I might see value in is writing to customer services explaining that op felt that the way this was handled was poor, notably in terms of the unexplained additional delay to the plane that resulted in the crew exceeding their legal service time and having to be changed.

I think that BAís legal position is solid on that one, which doesnít mean the dealing was ideal (of course itís always easier to say that in insight) so they may throw in a few thousand avios as a gesture of goodwill and the op may feel a bit better. If anything, taking the legal route will prevent that sort of far more achievable resolution as once the legal team is in charge the customer service department would step completely out.
Well maybe the OP can go down the customer service line, take the avios (which will probably be described as ex gratia), and then sign the case over to a claims agency?

I'm not saying the no-win-no-fee people will take this particular one up, but at some point the mismanaged-weather-delay scenario is going to be tested in court.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 3:24 am
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
I'm not saying the no-win-no-fee people will take this particular one up, but at some point the mismanaged-weather-delay scenario is going to be tested in court.
To be honest on the scale of delay mismanagement (including of such mismanagement by ba) this case does not even register. Think problems at the hub and insufficient deicing facilities and the likes.

On on this one, Iím afraid Iíd say customer service is pretty much the only hope, and itís by no means a guaranteed success.
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