EU261 Cancellation compensation question

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Old Jun 5, 19, 3:33 am
  #1  
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EU261 Cancellation compensation question

Wanted to get people’s thoughts regarding my current situation.

I was booked on the following itinerary:

OS760 SJJ-VIE 7:35AM - 855AM
OS93 VIE-IAD 1035AM - 230PM

OS760 was cancelled. I was rebooked through MUC and will be arriving into IAD at 730PM so it’s effectively a 5 hour delay.

I have never had the opportunity to file an EU261 claim before so I am in the process of researching how things work.

SJJ is not in the EU, nor is IAD, but since my connection point is VIE (and I am flying an EU airline) it would seem that I should still qualify for EU261 correct?

Also, the reason for cancellation is that the incoming aircraft from the previous night was diverted due to weather. The incoming aircraft was OS759 on June 4th. This flight was scheduled to land at 930PM. I checked the SJJ arrivals for that night and other flights landed successfully at 810PM and 1050PM.

I have also done some research regarding whether or not weather impacting previous flights in the day which then have knock-on effects on later flights qualify under the “exceptional circumstances - weather.” Information seems to be mixed but I did find this: https://www.bottonline.co.uk/blog/51...pensation-case (On the other hand I came across a flyer talk post from a couple months ago where the person said a arbitrator ruled exactly the opposite for the same sort of situation so it seems like it’s a little bit of a tossup.)

That court case would seem to fit my situation perfectly but I have a strong feeling that Austrian Airways is going to fight me pretty hard and try to blame this on Weather.

Also in my case the weather was not even from the same day, it was from the previous evening. Also, the airline agent at SJJ acknowledged that the airline had made a business decision once the previous nights incoming aircraft diverted that they were just going to cancel this flight because I didn’t want to ferry in an also, the airline agent at SJJ acknowledged that the airline had made a business decision once the previous nights incoming aircraft diverted that they were just going to cancel this flight because they didn’t want to ferry in empty plane in order to operate my flight (I couldn’t get him to give this to me in writing though).

So based upon this analysis, and the fact that my total journey length is above the 3,500KM threshold and delay was 4+ hours it would seem that I am eligible for the highest level €600 compensation.

Am I missing anything? What have your guys experiences been filing for compensation? All of the information I am finding online seems to indicate that I should expect this to be a multimonth battle.

Any thoughts on whether or not it would be worth it to use AirHelp or something like that?

If I try to do this myself and I’m not successful do I still have the option of using a service like AirHelp or is it too late at that point?
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Old Jun 5, 19, 4:47 am
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Weather certainly wasn't the best in this part of the world yesterday afternoon (and late afternoon as well). I was in Dobrinja (not even 5 minutes' walk from the airport, near the bridge on the Transverzala) and it was grim/thundery to say the least. Looking at the arrivals, it seems that the only flight landing on time was the Turkish service from Istanbul (not that there were many flights to 'build' a proper data-point really, but I can see cancellations/diversions from early afternoon). Adding to misery, it was pretty foggy this morning. All-in-all, I think the airline has some robust ground to refuse compensation on the basis of adverse weather and indeed 'extraordinary circumstances'.

G
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Last edited by AlicorporateUK; Jun 5, 19 at 4:56 am Reason: minor corrections.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 5:06 am
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EC 261/2004 does apply, but you will not likely succeed with your claim. As OS is an EU carrier, the flight from SJJ-VIE does qualify. You correctly point out that it is the delay at the final ticketed destination, e.g. IAD, which determines the level of compensation. While 5 hours for a Type 3 flight would generally yield compensation of EUR 600, the knock-on issue is fact-based.

In this case, there was a weather diversion of the aircraft making up your flight. The question is whether OS could reasonably have moved that or another aircraft to SJJ in time for a 0735 departure the next morning. Not likely. If that is the case, the "exraordinary circumstance" from the night before certainly is one the next morning.

Second guessing the safety determinations made by a trained Captain, ATC, and other operational professionals as to whether the diversion was appropriate is not worthwhile. There are hundreds of factors which go into that thought process and the fact that some other carrier, operating some other aircraft, from some other city in roughly the same time-frame was able to safely land does not remotely affect whether the OS aircraft at that time should have done so. You may be reasonably assured that no carrier wants diversions and thus there is no reason for one to have been ordered without a significant reason.

You could certainly file a claim. But, expect it to be rejected and then ask yourself whether it is worth the effort. Perhaps one of the claims agencies might take the matter, but as they are only paid if they win, they may not either.

OS did have a duty of care to you during your delay and if you were not issued a voucher for some food or access to a lounge which had the same, you could certainly make that claim with a receipt and expect to be reimbursed.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 5:26 am
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As you can see here:

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/f...os759#20c4c404

OS759 tried to land twice before diverting back to VIE. So it's not that they didn't try.

I would let it go. You will most likely make it to your destination on the same day and I personally don't think it's worth the hassle that comes with such a claim, especially give the high chance it won't qualify due to WX. It would be an uphill battle.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 5:55 am
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I agree to let this go given the circumstances and likelihood of success. That the inbound diverted back to Vienna is suggestive of extraordinary circumstances, and that there are no reasonable efforts Austrian could have made.

It seems like you were smoothly rerouted and were not treated badly
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Old Jun 5, 19, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by cas_de View Post
As you can see here:

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/f...os759#20c4c404

OS759 tried to land twice before diverting back to VIE. So it's not that they didn't try.

I would let it go. You will most likely make it to your destination on the same day and I personally don't think it's worth the hassle that comes with such a claim, especially give the high chance it won't qualify due to WX. It would be an uphill battle.
Positive proof it was exceptional circumstances
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Old Jun 5, 19, 8:40 am
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Thanks for the responses so far. About to take off on my flight from MUC so I need to keep this very brief. I understand the argument about the “exceptional circumstances” for the previous nights flight but I would counter that

1. There were alternate flights that could’ve gotten me to VIE in time to catch my originally scheduled flight if they had notified me in a timely fashion

2. The judge’s ruling above seems quite clear - it doesn’t matter what happens to previous flights...if weather didn’t directly impact my particular flight then they can’t use that knock-on argument

3. The airline’s agent verbally admitted that Austrian made a business decision not to ferry in an alternate aircraft this morning - so yes this was initially triggered by weather the previous night but they had ~10 hours to figure out alternatives and they choose not to. That choice is their right but a strong argument can be made that they are therefore liable for EU261
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Old Jun 5, 19, 9:19 am
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By all means go for it, but I think you can see that you don't stand much of a chance of OS paying out.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by HoKo View Post
Thanks for the responses so far. About to take off on my flight from MUC so I need to keep this very brief. I understand the argument about the “exceptional circumstances” for the previous nights flight but I would counter that

1. There were alternate flights that could’ve gotten me to VIE in time to catch my originally scheduled flight if they had notified me in a timely fashion

2. The judge’s ruling above seems quite clear - it doesn’t matter what happens to previous flights...if weather didn’t directly impact my particular flight then they can’t use that knock-on argument

3. The airline’s agent verbally admitted that Austrian made a business decision not to ferry in an alternate aircraft this morning - so yes this was initially triggered by weather the previous night but they had ~10 hours to figure out alternatives and they choose not to. That choice is their right but a strong argument can be made that they are therefore liable for EU261
you have nothing to lose in trying, just I wouldnt get my hopes up. Dont believe they have to ferry in a different plane , thats if they even had 1 to ferry in.

personally in this case Id just move on, especially since I dont have an Austrian acct and getting any miles or voucher as a courtesy is worthless to me, and doubt Id even be offered anything
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Old Jun 5, 19, 10:41 am
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You will get nowhere with this claim. An aircraft trying to land twice and returning to its base due to bad weather is among the core of extraordinary circumstances. You hardly can't expect OS to make a ferry flight to SJJ afterwards to operate the next flight. Knock-on effects at outstations due to cancellation of incoming flight is acknowledged; I fail to see that it makes a significant difference that it happened the night before your scheduled morning flight.

BUT by all means go ahead and file your claim - but in the light of the replies in this thread you should consider how far you really want to take this. It is almost guaranteed that OS will deny your claim (and IMO should rightfully do so).
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Old Jun 5, 19, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by HoKo View Post
1. There were alternate flights that could’ve gotten me to VIE in time to catch my originally scheduled flight if they had notified me in a timely fashion
It doesn’t help the OP now but if I’m on the first flight in the morning out of an outstation I try to check that the incoming flight the night before has arrived. If it hasn’t it may give you more time to find alternative flights.
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Last edited by NewbieRunner; Jun 5, 19 at 11:24 am
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Old Jun 5, 19, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by NewbieRunner View Post
It doesn’t help the OP now but if I’m on the first flight in the morning out of an outstation I try to check that the incoming flight the night before has arrived. If it hasn’t it may give you more time to find alternative flights.
Sound advice, I do the same & quite easy to set up an alert for that
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Old Jun 5, 19, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by NewbieRunner View Post
It doesn’t help the OP now but if I’m on the first flight in the morning out of an outstation I try to check that the incoming flight the night before has arrived. If it hasn’t it may give you more time to find alternative flights.
I second chris63 here — by all means, sound advice and something I can only recommend doing when departing from an outstation. That said and being a regular at Sarajevo as many of you will know, this has happened to me several times and chances of getting to Vienna ‘on-time’ even if the OP had been notified (or had the OP been ‘pro-active’ to some extent) would have been virtually next-to-nil (reason: lack of flights basically). Sarajevo airport is particularly prone to delays and cancellations due to adverse weather as a result of its position and indeed climate (foggy during winter, likelihood of ‘nasty’ thunderstorms over hot summer afternoons). The only couple of times I was able to ’get out’ first in the morning further to the cancellation of the Vienna service was on the Zagreb flight (OU) which, however, is operated by Dash and very often full to the brim. The only Lufthansa flight is after midday and, during winter, it can also get pretty full (Embraer). Again, sound advice generally speaking but I suspect that any ‘pro-active move’ from the OP in the above circumstances would have probably got them ‘nowhere’ anyway.

G
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Old Jun 7, 19, 2:55 am
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EU261/2004 does apply to transit passengers even if weather is a factor. There’s been a clarification on this. Even if a previous flight operated by the aircraft affected by weather is included. All of this, however, depends on the arrival time at destination compared to scheduled arrival time. The arrival has to be 3h+ late. Also depends on the airline you’re dealing with if they are on your side or not and sadly LH group airlines (of which Austrian belongs to) are not renowned for paying up, even when required to.

this should help a little bit: Passenger rights | Fact Sheets on the European Union | European Parliament
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Old Jun 8, 19, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by iLied View Post
EU261/2004 does apply to transit passengers even if weather is a factor. There’s been a clarification on this. Even if a previous flight operated by the aircraft affected by weather is included. All of this, however, depends on the arrival time at destination compared to scheduled arrival time. The arrival has to be 3h+ late. Also depends on the airline you’re dealing with if they are on your side or not and sadly LH group airlines (of which Austrian belongs to) are not renowned for paying up, even when required to.

this should help a little bit: Passenger rights Fact Sheets on the European Union European Parliament
Where in your link is mentioned, that weather (at out-stations) is not a an extraordinary circumstance?
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