Finnair and EC 261 compensation

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When seeking claims from AY, use this form: https://www.finnair.com/int/gb/infor...vices/feedbackAY will not accept claims by email, phone or in person.

Past decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) relating to Regulation 261/2004 (by judgment date in chronological order):
  • Sturgeon v Condor (Case C-402/07): Passengers who reach their final destination at least 3 hours late because their flight was delayed are entitled to the amount of compensation laid down in Article 7 of the Regulation.
  • Wallentin-Hermann v Alitalia (Case C-549/07): ‘Extraordinary circumstances’ (which release airlines from their obligation to compensate passengers) do not include aircraft technical problems (unless the problem stems from events which, by their nature or origin, are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier concerned and are beyond its actual control). See also van der Lans v KLM below.
  • Rehder v Air Baltic (Case C-204/08): Passengers can file a legal claim either in the jurisdiction of the place of departure or the jurisdiction of the place of arrival
  • Rodríguez v Air France (Case C-83/10): The term ‘cancellation’ in the Regulation includes the situation where the aircraft took off but had to return to the departure airport and passengers were transferred to other flights.
  • Eglītis v Latvijas Republikas Ekonomikas ministrija (Case C-294/10): At the stage of organising the flight, the airline is required to provide for a certain reserve time to allow it, if possible, to operate the flight in its entirety once the extraordinary circumstances have come to an end.
  • Nelson v Lufthansa (Case C-581/10): The Court reaffirmed its previous decision (Sturgeon v Condor).
  • Folkerts v Air France (Case C-11/11): Passengers on directly connecting flights who arrive at their final destination at least 3 hours late are entitled to compensation.
  • McDonagh v Ryanair (Case C-12/11): Even where a flight delay/cancellation is caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’, the airline continues to be under a duty to provide care (in the form of accommodation, meals, transfers between the airport/hotel, telephone calls)
  • Finnair v Lassooy (Case C–22/11): The term ‘denied boarding’ in the Regulation covers cases where boarding is denied because of overbooking, as well as other reasons.
  • Moré v KLM (Case C-139/11): The time limit for filing a legal claim is based on the rules governing limitation periods in the Member State where the claim is filed.
  • Rodríguez Cachafeiro v Iberia (Case C 321/11): The term ‘denied boarding’ in the Regulation includes a situation where, in the context of a single contract of carriage (PNR) on immediately connecting flights and a single check-in, an airline denies boarding to some passengers because the first flight had been delayed and it mistakenly expected those passengers not to arrive in time to board the second flight.
  • Germanwings v Henning (Case C 452/13): The concept of ‘arrival time’, which is used to determine the length of the flight delay, refers to the time at which at least one of the doors of the aircraft was opened, as long as, at that moment, passengers were actually permitted to leave the aircraft.
  • van der Lans v KLM (Case C-257/14): ‘Extraordinary circumstances’ (which release airlines from their obligation to compensate passengers) do not include aircraft technical problems which occur unexpectedly, which are not attributable to poor maintenance and which are also not detected during routine maintenance checks.
  • Mennens v Emirates (Case C 255/15): Where passengers are downgraded on a particular flight, the ‘price of the ticket’ refers to the price of that particular flight, but if this information is not indicated on the ticket, the price of that particular flight out of the total fare is calculated by working out the distance of that flight divided by the total distance of the flight itinerary on the ticket. Taxes and charges are not included in the reimbursement of the ticket price/fare, unless the tax/charge is dependent on the class of travel.
  • Pešková v Travel Service (Case C‑315/15): A bird strike constitutes 'extraordinary circumstances'. However, even if a flight delay/cancellation is caused by an event constituting 'extraordinary circumstances', an airline is only released from its duty to pay compensation if it took all reasonable measures to avoid the delay/cancellation. To determine this, the court will consider what measures could actually be taken by the airline, directly or indirectly, without requiring it to make intolerable sacrifices. Further, even if all of these conditions are met, it is necessary to distinguish between the length of the delay caused by extraordinary circumstances (which could not have been avoided by all reasonable measures) and the length of the delay caused by other circumstances. For the purpose of calculating the length of the qualifying delay for compensation, the delay falling into the former category would be deducted from the total delay.
  • Krijgsman v SLM (C‑302/16): Where a passenger has booked a flight through a travel agent, and that flight has been cancelled, but notification of the cancellation was not communicated to the passenger by the travel agent or airline at least 14 days prior to departure, the passenger is entitled to compensation.
  • Bossen v Brussels Airlines (C‑559/16): On a flight itinerary involving connecting flights, the distance is calculated by using ‘great circle’ method from the origin to the final destination, regardless of the distance actually flown.
  • Krüsemann v TUIfly (C‑195/17): The spontaneous absence of a significant number of flight crew staff (‘wildcat strikes’) does not constitute 'extraordinary circumstances'.
  • Wegener v Royal Air Maroc (C‑537/17): The Court reaffirmed its previous decision (Folkerts v Air France).
  • Wirth v Thomson Airways (C‑532/17): Where there is a 'wet lease' (with the lessor carrier providing an aircraft, including crew, to the lessee airline, but without the lessor bearing operational responsibility for the flight in question), the lessor carrier is not responsible under the Regulation.
  • Harms v Vueling (C‑601/17): For the purpose of calculating the ticket price, the difference between the amount paid by the passenger and the amount received by the air carrier (corresponding to the commission collected by a person acting as an intermediary between those two parties) is included in the ticket price, unless that commission was set without the knowledge of the air carrier.
  • CS v České aerolinie (C‑502/18): For a journey with 2 connecting flights (in a single reservation) departing from an EU member state and to a final destination outside the EU via an airport outside the EU, a passenger who is delayed by 3 hours or more in reaching the final destination because of a delay in the second flight which is operated as a codeshare flight by a non-EU carrier may bring an action for compensation against the EU air carrier that performed the first flight.

European Commission's Interpretative Guidelines (note that this policy document is persuasive, but only the CJEU's interpretation of Regulation 261/2004 is authoritative and binding): http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-conte...XC0615%2801%29. National courts do not have to follow the European Commission's Interpretative Guidelines (but are obliged to follow the CJEU's case-law). For example, although the European Commission takes the view that 'missed connecting flights due to significant delays at security checks or passengers failing to respect the boarding time of their flight at their airport of transfer do not give entitlement to compensation' (para 4.4.7 of the Interpretative Guidelines), the Edinburgh Sheriff Court took a different view in Caldwell v easyJet. Sheriff T Welsh QC held that 'the facts proved can properly be characterised as denied boarding because of the operational inadequacies of Easyjet ground staff’s management of the Easyjet queues on 14 September 2014 and their failure to facilitate passage through security check, customs and passport control when asked, in circumstances, where it was obvious the passengers were in danger of missing their flight'.

When AY+ Flight Reason AY Offered AY explanation Won/Lost, How, Time

Summer13 no status (HKG-)HEL-LHR Prior to landing, LHR was closed as the fire services there were unavailable, so the flight was diverted and landed in LTN, where passengers were offloaded. However, the plane then flew from LTN to LHR with luggage in the hold, so passengers had to make their own way to LHR to retrieve their luggage (as AY provided no ground transport arrangements), eventually arriving at LHR and reclaiming baggage over 6 hours later than the scheduled arrival time. Requested 600€ plus transport and phone call costs incurred, but AY only agreed to reimburse transport and phone call costs AY claimed that 'the delay of this flight happened in extraordinary circumstances' Filed claim through ESCP in the County Court in England. AY contested the claim. The Court ruled against AY. In its judgment, the Court cited CJEU's decision in Eglitis and Wallentin-Hermann and rejected AY's defence as the flight diversion only caused a small initial delay. AY failed to discharge its burden of proof that it took all reasonable measures, as evidenced by proper contingency plans and steps to assist passengers at LTN. The delay in arrival at LHR was significantly lengthened by this factor. AY eventually paid the damages and costs awarded by the Court.

Summer13 no status (LHR-)HEL-HKG Technical fault Requested 600€ plus phone call costs incurred, but AY only agreed to reimburse phone call costs AY initially claimed that the technical fault was not foreseeable Filed claim through ESCP in the County Court in England. AY conceded the claim and eventually paid 600€ + phone call costs + court costs.

Fall15 AYG HEL-LHR-US HEL-LHR late, miss connect 200€ voucher, reroute 3,5 hours requested 600€, re-offered 400€ due to <4 hours -> accepted.

Nov15 AYS HEL-AMS Equip swap -> rerouting 3+ hours 400€ cash (as per EC261) or 550€ voucher offered in 2 days accepted

Jan16 AYP KUO-HEL ATR crew shortage, cancelled 50€ voucher Claimed EU 261 + taxi + hotel. NO -> paid taxi+hotel -> escalated to KRIL -> NoRRA offered 250€ voucher. Accepted

Jan16 AYS WAW-HEL "extraordinary crew shortage" 50€ voucher raised to "kuluttajaoikeusneuvoja". They state that crew shortage can usually not be declared an extraordinary -> escalated to KRIL -> AY offered 150€ -> declined -> AY offers 200€ voucher -> Accepted. 8 months to resolve the matter!

Jan16 AA Platinum = OWS BKK-HEL delay, no equip combined 300€ voucher (for 2 pers) extraordinary manufacturing fault of A350 declined offer -> escalated to KRIL -> AY offered 680€ voucher / 400 cash (for 2 pers) -> declined -> KRIL decision Feb18 = AY should compensate 300€ / pax

Q1/16 ?? JFK-HEL diverted back to JFK ?? technical fail, new equip escalated to KRIL -> 600€ offered, accepted

Feb16 ?? (LHR-)HEL-PEK cancelled, re-routed, arrived at PEK with 20 hr delay and, because of this, missed seeing dying grandfather by a few hours ?? 'extraordinary circumstances' due to pilot sickness, AY refused compensation -> filed small claim in England and won (see Guardian article)

Feb16 ?? HEL-PEK 6h delay 150€ voucher manufacture fail of A350 ??

Q1/16 AYG LHR-HEL A350 broke up 50€ voucher ??

?? OWE HKG-HEL 6h delay (A350) 600€*2pers ?? 2 weeks wait only for compensation

?? ?? BKK-HEL 13h delay 600€ cash / 800€ voucher ?? Just 2 days to get compensation, accepted 800 voucher

Q1/16 ?? BKK-HEL misconnect, 6h delay 400/€550€ misconnect raised the discance to apply 600 -> offered 600€ cash / 800 voucher

Mar16 AYP PVG-HEL cancel, reroute, 12h delay 600/800€ cancel&reroute 800€ voucher accepted

?? ?? ?? cancelled, long delay 600/800 technical fault accepted

Mar16 ?? HEL-HKG 8h delay 200€ voucher extraordinary fail A350 escalated to KRIL -> no info

Nov16 OWE (LHR-)HEL-TLL overnight delay nothing NoRRA pilot shortage Claim for EUR 400 filed in the England and Wales small claims track (not ESCP), AY admitted the whole of the claim a few days before the hearing (details)

???16 AYS PEK-HEL cancelled 100/200€ sick pilot, no overtime declined -> escalated to KRIL. No info yet.

Feb17 OWE BKK-HEL-LHR 2h delay in BKK, misconnect in HEL 600€ cash / 800€ voucher ?? Submitted compensation request, AY responded around one week later, accepted 800€ voucher (details)

Feb 2017 AYP KUO-HEL 06:00 cancelled ATR shortage HEL-LHR was missed, at LHR 6 h late €400 in cash or €550 AY voucher. Returning HEL-KUO 23:40 cancelled ATR shortage rerouted to JOE, bus to KUO, at KUO 2h 40min late €250 in cash or €350 AY voucher.

Apr 2017 OWE TLL-HEL-LHR AY118 delayed from TLL-HEL "crew rest" then later, "Try Norra, not us" €400 claimed. Rejected. MCOL in UK. Disputed by AY. County Court civil case, Oxford (10/11/17) Judgement : AY was the operating carrier under EC2111/2005, compensation and costs and expenses awarded.

Apr 2017 OWE TLL-HEL-LHR AY118 delayed from TLL-HEL "crew rest" then later, "Try Norra, not us", then "Delayed due to weather" €400 claimed. Rejected. 2 seperate agencies tried but gave up on the case. European Small Claims Procedure started at Den Haag sub-district court, AY didn't defend. Judgement (11/6/2019): compensation, costs and interest awarded.

Dec 2017 AY Gold AY HEL-KOK operated by Norra canceled due to crew shortage, delay due to reroute >3 hours EUR 250 claimed. Accepted by AY and an alternative of a EUR 350 voucher offered.

May 28 2017 AYP, AY 380 KUO-HEL was cancelled due to lack of planes (admitted by Finnair - Flightradar 24 gold is an invaluable tool for this sherlockholmesing: one KUO flight was cancelled in the previous evening as OH-LKM had broken in HAM and it should have taken care of the next morning KUO-HEL flight 7:30, OH-LKP arrived late from GVA 23:40 and took off to KUO well after midnight being there 01:33, OH-LKP should have flown KUO-HEL flight 6:15 but crew rest prevented this, OH-LKP flew KUO-HEL 7:30 flight instead). Missed LHR connection. Arrived at LHR 5 h 54 min later than planned. EUR 400 or voucher of EUR 600 was offered without any resent.

Dec 2018. HEL-LPA delayed 4 hours because routine maintenance took longer than expected. Pax AY Plat. Compensation paid within 24 hours (offered €400 cash or €550 voucher).

Some more cases from earlier history can be read HERE (unfortunately only in Finnish)

List of National Enforcement Bodies (NEBs) in EU/EEA Member States and Switzerland published by the European Commission (updated: April 2018): https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites...ent_bodies.pdf

European Commission's guidelines with criteria for determining which NEB is competent for handling complaints (updated: April 2017): https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites...procedures.pdf

If you decide to engage a claim agency/lawyer to pursue your claim, please first read the Information Notice published by the European Commission (updated: March 2017): http://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/...gencies_en.pdf

To file a court claim, the CJEU stated in Rehder (see above) the criteria for determining which Member State's court has jurisdiction. If you booked a package combining flight(s) and accommodation, Advocate General Sharpston stated in her Opinion in Flight Refund v Lufthansa (Case C‑94/14) at paras 9 and 59-60 that a consumer claiming compensation under Regulation 261/2004 can file a court claim in the jurisdiction where he/she habitually resides, as an alternative to filing a court claim in the jurisdiction of the airport of departure or arrival.

You can file a claim at a court with jurisdiction to rule on your case either through the national procedure or through the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP). The ESCP is a primarily written procedure and is available where the claimant and defendant are domiciled in different EU Member States (with the exception of Denmark) for claims up to EUR 2,000 (increasing to EUR 5,000 with effect from 14 July 2017).
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Old Sep 18, 19, 6:21 am
  #1081  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
Which they do, too. So if possible, pay for your work trips using your private credit card and have your company reimburse you.
This is so badwill of Finnair. They even ask ar the payment if the credit card is your personal or corporate card ->this only to get away with consumer rights?

I was so sad to be forced to use company card but now again after new employer I made sure I dont need a company card and now it is back to basics=earnings for me.
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Old Oct 22, 19, 3:17 pm
  #1082  
 
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Another datapoint. Was flying on a AA numbered flight (operated by AY) USA-HEL and was delayed causing me to miss my HEL-xxx flight. I was rebooked and wound up arriving at my destination about 6.5hrs late. Filled out the EC261 form linked above while on my extended layover in the Platinum Wing, requesting €600. Heard back 13 days later requesting some details to process the payment. Have not received the $$ yet, but was told to expect it to take up to 2 weeks (still inside that timeframe). Was very much prepared to fight based on the comments here, but other than it taking 2 weeks to get a response, I'm happy (assuming the money transfers of course).
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Old Oct 24, 19, 6:19 pm
  #1083  
 
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Originally Posted by Zinc_Saucier View Post
Another datapoint. Was flying on a AA numbered flight (operated by AY) USA-HEL and was delayed causing me to miss my HEL-xxx flight. I was rebooked and wound up arriving at my destination about 6.5hrs late. Filled out the EC261 form linked above while on my extended layover in the Platinum Wing, requesting €600. Heard back 13 days later requesting some details to process the payment. Have not received the $$ yet, but was told to expect it to take up to 2 weeks (still inside that timeframe). Was very much prepared to fight based on the comments here, but other than it taking 2 weeks to get a response, I'm happy (assuming the money transfers of course).
...and wire came through today. Case closed
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Old Nov 20, 19, 1:03 am
  #1084  
 
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The flight was delayed due to Norra Pilot Union FAPA declared work-to-rule industrial action. Pilot allocated for this flight was sick. Nordic Regional Airlines (NORRA) has reserve pilot system, but reserve pilot could not be organized on time, due to this industrial action. Because this is considered an extraordinary circumstance, no compensation will be paid.

This should be a clear case of compensation due. Just out interest asking, does anyone have any information about the industrial action? Cant find anything about it.
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Old Nov 20, 19, 1:23 am
  #1085  
 
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Originally Posted by Karl Gustav Annus View Post
The flight was delayed due to Norra Pilot Union FAPA declared work-to-rule industrial action. Pilot allocated for this flight was sick. Nordic Regional Airlines (NORRA) has reserve pilot system, but reserve pilot could not be organized on time, due to this industrial action. Because this is considered an extraordinary circumstance, no compensation will be paid.

This should be a clear case of compensation due. Just out interest asking, does anyone have any information about the industrial action? Cant find anything about it.
It would help if we knew when was this flight...
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Old Nov 20, 19, 1:36 am
  #1086  
 
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Originally Posted by Hezu View Post
It would help if we knew when was this flight...
Still early in the monrning for me - 24AUG2019, evening flight out of HEL
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Old Nov 20, 19, 6:04 am
  #1087  
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Originally Posted by Karl Gustav Annus View Post
Still early in the monrning for me - 24AUG2019, evening flight out of HEL
To where? AY flies to AMS only in the Netherlands with overbooked 321:s...
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Old Nov 21, 19, 6:16 am
  #1088  
 
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Originally Posted by ttl View Post
to where? Ay flies to ams only in the netherlands with overbooked 321:s...
ay1035, hel-tll.
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Old Nov 21, 19, 9:51 am
  #1089  
 
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Originally Posted by TTL View Post
To where? AY flies to AMS only in the Netherlands with overbooked 321:s...
Off-topic, but are there bad slots restrictions at AMS? With the two LCCs gone, why does Finnair not add a third service? KLM has four...
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Old Nov 21, 19, 12:18 pm
  #1090  
 
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Originally Posted by FFlash View Post
This is so badwill of Finnair. They even ask ar the payment if the credit card is your personal or corporate card ->this only to get away with consumer rights?

I was so sad to be forced to use company card but now again after new employer I made sure I dont need a company card and now it is back to basics=earnings for me.
There is another reason. Banks charge much higher transaction fees for corporate cards.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 9:15 am
  #1091  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
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Hello everybody in this thread! I am sorry if my questions have been answered before but:
1. Can the voucher instead of cash be used for several tickets at different times or does it have to be used at once?
2. Do they reimburse subsequent missed connections after the arrival (bus, train), which had to be purchased again? Do copies of old or new tickets have to eb attached?
3. Most importantly, on Jan 1 it will be three years since my cancelled flight. I suppose I can still claim it now although they say you are supposed to claim within 2 months or is there another procedure? Is the date of the first claim important and not their reaction, also considering further disputes?
Thank you for any recommendations.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 10:09 am
  #1092  
 
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  1. Yes, but the remaining value will be rounded down to whole euro amount after any transaction, and the expiration of the voucher will not change.
  2. If the connection was under the same ticket as the delayed flight, then Finnair would be liable, but in practice:
    • If you missed a TGV at Roissy, then AirFrance should have provided a replacement.
    • If you missed a DB train at a German airport, then you could have taken the next one since the ticket is valid for any train on the same day.
    • I don't know any other scenario where a Finnair flight would interline with a train or bus service.
  3. That I don't know.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 4:02 pm
  #1093  
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Originally Posted by Jan Korista View Post
...
3. Most importantly, on Jan 1 it will be three years since my cancelled flight. I suppose I can still claim it now although they say you are supposed to claim within 2 months or is there another procedure? Is the date of the first claim important and not their reaction, also considering further disputes?
...
It depends on the country you are making the claim in. According to the website below, for France that is five years, for Finland it is three.

Time Limit: How Far Back Can I Claim a Flight Compensation? | Claimcompass

So, if you have a three year limit, you must commence the claim immediately - before Jan 1.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 11:09 am
  #1094  
 
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Originally Posted by serfty View Post
It depends on the country you are making the claim in. According to the website below, for France that is five years, for Finland it is three.

Time Limit: How Far Back Can I Claim a Flight Compensation? | Claimcompass

So, if you have a three year limit, you must commence the claim immediately - before Jan 1.
If based in Finland, Finnair will very likely not pay, at least if you don't escalate the matter to the Consumer Disputes Board. There is a Swedish Supreme Court ruling which provides that an EC261 claim must be lodged within 2 months or the passenger is considered to have forfeited the claim due to failure to notify the airline in a reasonable time. Finnair considers this a valid argument for Finland as well - and most likely they are right; Finnish contract law is to a large extent a blueprint of Swedish contract law, so the same principle is likely to be applied here.

(The three-year period referred to is the statute of limitations in Finland, but the duty to give notice is a separate legal requirement.)

And finally, for purposes of the three-year statute of limitations, it is sufficient to lodge the claim by 31 Dec. It does not matter whether Finnair has responded/reviewed the claim before 1 Jan.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 12:30 pm
  #1095  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
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I noticed the discussion regarding the three year limit and wanted to ask opinions on my case if I still should contact Finnair and try to get the compensation. I did my original claim around two weeks after my flight in the beginning of March in 2017 and got this "extraordinary circumstances" ........ reply from customer service in May 2017. Back then I was too lazy to start fighting with them and also didn't know about the EC261 as much as now. I can still find my case in their feedback system with the ID and status is "reply given to feedback".

So here are the details. My flight from BKK to HEL got delayed for 4 hours and landed in Helsinki at 21:10 (scheduled 17:05). Therefore I also missed my connection flight to OUL and got re-booked to the late-night "sikavuoro". So at the end I was in OUL around 01:10 (originally scheduled 21:25).

Here's the reply from Finnair on my claim (in finnish):

Lennon AY096 viivästyksen syynä oli säätila (turbulenssi ilmassa) edellisellä lennolla, joka aiheutti ylinopeuden. Lentokoneelle piti tehdä teknillinen tarkastus Bangkokissa ennen paluumatkaa Helsinkiin. Koska kyseessä on poikkeukselliset olosuhteet, emme maksa vakiokorvausta.

Näissä olosuhteissa tarjoamme kuitenkin huolenpitoa. Ilmoitathan minulle mikäli sinulle on tästä huolimatta aiheutunut viivästyksen aikana ylimääräisiä ateria- tai puhelinkuluja.
So they are saying that turbulence is extraordinary circumstances! Makes no sense to me..
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