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.

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.

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 Feb 14, 16, 9:26 pm
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TTL
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Finnair and EC 261 compensation

Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
And apparently, as ridiculous as it may sound, AY tries to explain that these are "extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure".

I would find it hilarious that they try to compare their own mismanagement of crew matters with war or weather, but I don't since I'm affected. I got offered a €50 gift card instead of €250 cash for a cancelled (international) flight operated by Nordic Regional, reason for cxl shortage of crew.
On Wed before last Wed the KUO-HEL 06:00 ATR flight was cancelled due to crew shortage, and so I lost my connection to LPA that day. 50 eur gift card was offered also to me. Did not refuse it but filed a full compensation claim EU 261 + one taxi ride in KUO, one hotel night in HEL Hilton + one missed and pre-paid transfer in the final destination. It will be interesting to see, what will be compensated.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 5:30 am
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About the cancelled KUO-HEL flight, due to crew shortage - no grounds for EU261 compensation !!!

Pahoittelemme Kuopio - Helsinki -lennon peruuntumista ja kaikkea siitä aiheutunutta harmia ja vaivaa. Kuopion lentojen peruutukset johtuivat olosuhteista, joita ei olisi voitu välttää, vaikka kaikki kohtuudella edellytettävät toimenpiteet olisi tehty. Vakiokorvausta ei siis ikävä kyllä kyseessä olevan lennon osalta suoriteta.

Should I challenge that?
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Old Feb 15, 16, 5:45 am
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Originally Posted by TTL View Post
Should I challenge that?
Of course you should. If AY (Norra) decides to employ too few pilots, it definitely doesn't fall under the category of war/weather/ATC.

They won't be paying anything, though. The whole situation with the EC261 is ridiculous – in countries with no small claims courts, the airlines can break the EC261 as much as they like, coming up with completely idiotic responses like this one.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 6:14 am
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I belive the European small claims procedure is only applicable when the merchant is in another country than the consumer. ie A Finn can't use it to sue Finnish Finnair.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 6:17 am
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Originally Posted by intuition View Post
I belive the European small claims procedure is only applicable when the merchant is in another country than the consumer. ie A Finn can't use it to sue Finnish Finnair.
Good for you!
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Old Feb 15, 16, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by TTL View Post
About the cancelled KUO-HEL flight, due to crew shortage - no grounds for EU261 compensation !!!

Pahoittelemme Kuopio - Helsinki -lennon peruuntumista ja kaikkea siitä aiheutunutta harmia ja vaivaa. Kuopion lentojen peruutukset johtuivat olosuhteista, joita ei olisi voitu välttää, vaikka kaikki kohtuudella edellytettävät toimenpiteet olisi tehty. Vakiokorvausta ei siis ikävä kyllä kyseessä olevan lennon osalta suoriteta.

Should I challenge that?
After you have received compensation from taxi/hotel etc make a claim to Kuluttajariitalautakunta. When you get the case number from them send it to AY. Rest will be communicated between AY and KRIL. It will take some 3-12 months to get the response/compensation.

If your flight was a business trip (company details visible to AY) then AY will refuse your case presented by KRIL. You have to make claim through Trafi who handles business trips. (btw. Trafi has no resources dedicated to these claims, so it's a dead-end)

50€ compensation.. All time low, even for AY

By the way, do you think there are any reasons for AY to pay the EU261 compensation? In case of overbooking they might say "we did everything we could to change to a bigger plane but there were non available with this timetable"
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Old Feb 15, 16, 7:24 am
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At least they agree to compensate hotel and extra taxi costs. I have filled the EU261 claim form and will send it to Kuluttajariitalautakunta with details. What I also learned from here is that trips paid with AY Diners are not good for Diners Premium travel insurance. Pohjola it will be from now on...
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Old Feb 15, 16, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by Furry View Post
By the way, do you think there are any reasons for AY to pay the EU261 compensation? In case of overbooking they might say "we did everything we could to change to a bigger plane but there were non available with this timetable"
It would be AY in the first place that sold more tix than there are seats on the plane, do hardly a force majeur event.

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Old Feb 15, 16, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by WilcoRoger View Post
It would be AY in the first place that sold more tix than there are seats on the plane, do hardly a force majeur event.

"OMG, people we sold tickets to now want to travel!"
Of course it is an extraordinary circumstance – according to their statistics, x % of pax are no shows. So if on a particular flight everyone shows up and they end up bumping pax, it's extraordinary and there was nothing they could do

TTL, don't get your hopes up with Kuluttajariitalautakunta. Their recommendation, after handling the case forever, was that AY pay what I requested, ie €250. AY finally agreed to pay €100, so they do not follow the recommendations.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 8:10 am
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Finnair and EU 261 compensation

Well, this has been off topic - maybe the Administrators could start an new thread about "Finnair giving a poop to EU legislation"? Two passengers, claim of 250 euros each, would make a nice Xmas present even if ending up to 200 euros altogether. What impresses me, is the prompt handling of web claims. Would plat and about a dozen of confirmed future bookings have anything to do with it?
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Old Feb 15, 16, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by TTL View Post
Would plat and about a dozen of confirmed future bookings have anything to do with it?
Probably. I'm silver and waited a month for their reply and suggestion of the €50 gift card. Now waiting for their reply to my refusal.

Btw, those of you who know EC261 really well. If I accept the gift card, can I still go to Kuluttajariitalautakunta and try to get €250 or at least €200? Article 12 would hint in this direction, but I'm not 100 % sure about it.

"Tämän asetuksen säännöksiä on sovellettava siten, ettei rajoiteta matkustajan oikeutta muuhun korvaukseen. Tämän asetuksen nojalla myönnetty korvaus voidaan vähentää tällaisesta korvauksesta."
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Old Feb 15, 16, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
Btw, those of you who know EC261 really well. If I accept the gift card, can I still go to Kuluttajariitalautakunta and try to get €250 or at least €200? Article 12 would hint in this direction, but I'm not 100 % sure about it.

"Tämän asetuksen säännöksiä on sovellettava siten, ettei rajoiteta matkustajan oikeutta muuhun korvaukseen. Tämän asetuksen nojalla myönnetty korvaus voidaan vähentää tällaisesta korvauksesta."
You'll probably find that there are weasel words in small print somewhere on the gift card that will make it considerably less likely for any lawyer to pick up your case.

Out of curiosity: how far ahead did you get notification of Norra canceling your flight? I'm scheduled to fly out with them to STO on the last flight of the evening in about a month. Did they try to proactively offer you an earlier flight or were you left to wait at the gate for the plane not to show up?
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Old Feb 15, 16, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Jyrsa View Post
You'll probably find that there are weasel words in small print somewhere on the gift card that will make it considerably less likely for any lawyer to pick up your case.
Well, it could make a great precedent... But yeah, I'm afraid you're right.

Originally Posted by Jyrsa View Post
Out of curiosity: how far ahead did you get notification of Norra canceling your flight? I'm scheduled to fly out with them to STO on the last flight of the evening in about a month. Did they try to proactively offer you an earlier flight or were you left to wait at the gate for the plane not to show up?
The cancelled flight was HEL-WAW-HEL. I received an SMS about the WAW-HEL cxl two hours before the plane was to take off from HEL. The plane, their one and only E70 at the time, sat idle at HEL the whole evening.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 4:14 am
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It's great to have a new topic about this matter. And it would be even grater to hear experiences from someone who has actually managed to get EC261 compensation from AY!
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Old Feb 16, 16, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by ffay005 View Post
And it would be even grater to hear experiences from someone who has actually managed to get EC261 compensation from AY!
Last November I was supposed to fly AY845 HEL-AMS, but they had to change the aircraft to a smaller one and reroute a dozen or so passengers. I wasn't one of them, but when I arrived at the gate after boarding had begun, I noticed an angry passenger yelling to the agents that he has to be on this flight. Realizing what was going on, deciding to gamble for EC261, I went to say I can take the reroute via CPH.

I was at AMS (which is nicely just over 1500 km from HEL) just over three hours later than AY845 was scheduled; filed the claim, got a response the next day saying they would give me the EC261 compensation, which was delivered two days after that.

I was quite surprised that I got the compensation and that everything happened so smoothly, especially after reading here (and elsewhere) about opposite experiences.
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