Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Qatar Airways | Privilege Club
Reload this Page >

Denied boarding because of delayed baggage

Denied boarding because of delayed baggage

Old Aug 17, 19, 8:50 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Denied boarding because of delayed baggage

Hi guys,

this is my first post here and I wasn't sure in which sub-forum to post it, if this is a wrong one, sorry for that.

I have a rather unusual case in the subject of compensation and I would like to ask what the slightly more experienced forum members think about it. Although for the last 3 months I received a total of 1100 EUR of compensation from airlines, but these were simple cases, delays due to technical reasons and overbooking

Last week I was flying on the WAW-DOH-CPT route. A tight transfer in Doha, 1h05, plus a painful lack of jet bridges to the terminal. The departure from Warsaw was delayed by about 30 minutes due to the congestion at the airport and lack of permission to take off. I arrive in Doha, take the bus to the terminal and run to the gate for the plane to Cape Town. I get there and I'm relieved, last call and still around 20 people in the queue to board. My turn comes, I scan the ticket, give the passport. Then they tell me to stand aside and start thinking, calling, etc... I'm standing there for 10 minutes, nothing, no explanation whatsoever, in the meantime some more people who were behind me pass. In a moment the final call changes to gate closed and I find out again after a while that they did not let me on board because my luggage would not have been reloaded in time.. I got rebooked for the next flight which was 24 hours later... I picked up my luggage from the airport, as 24h is a lot of time. I checked the bag in again about 3 hours before the departure of the new flight. After finally getting to Cape Town, at the exit of the plane there was already an employee waiting with a sign that my bag didn't make it anyway. A few hours later a guest from the CPT airport calls and says that the baggage HAS arrived but they will deliver it to me the next day. I was stunned.

The baggage delay is one thing, but I am now wondering about the possibility of getting compensation for denied boarding pursuant to EU Regulation 261/2004. I've done many flights with tight connections before, but never have I been denied boarding because my baggage wouldn't arrive on time . Has anyone had any experience with such an issue? I read Qatar's Conditions of Carriage, Article 8 - Refusal of and Limitation On Carriage and a baggage delay is not one of the reasons for which they can deny boarding. I appeared at the gate on time and it looks like I was denied boarding without a legally valid reason. What do you guys think?

By the way, this was my first flight with Qatar, I usually fly Star Alliance. It didn't look like the best airline in the world to me.
salazaar is offline  
Old Aug 17, 19, 6:38 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA EXP, LT PLT; QR PLT; Bonvoy LT TIT
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by salazaar View Post
By the way, this was my first flight with Qatar, I usually fly Star Alliance. It didn't look like the best airline in the world to me.
Sounds like the first problem (denied boarding) wasn't QR's fault. You had a 65 minute connection, and ATC delayed your inbound flight for 30 minutes. I believe that security protocol requires that your bags fly with you. The second problem was QR's fault. Unfortunate, but it does happen. Sorry for your troubles. This won't be any consolation to you, but fly enough and things like this happen to all of us.

That said, I don't see how you jump from what happened to you, to QR not looking like the best airline in the world. I've seen nothing which would indicate that QR's misdirected bag incidence is markedly different from that of any major international airline.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 1:04 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 175
Bags can fly after the passenger just not before, happened to me a few times where I made the flight but my bags got sent on a later flight.

My theory is because of your flight's late arrival, flight control have off-loaded you before you landed on the assumption that you would not have made the flight and has given your seat away. They made up the excuse so it sounds better than flight overbooked.

What they should have done is have someone meet you at the bottom of the escalator or before you got on the bus with new boarding passes, hotel and food voucher.

As for late delivery of bags, I much prefer they courier the bag if there's nothing time sensitive in them, saves me the trouble of hauling them around.

EU261 you can try, if failed, get an agency to try for you.
jckl is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 1:59 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: LON
Programs: BAEC, Accor
Posts: 2,125
There is a excellent EU261 thread over in the BA forum that would be worth reading, especially the first page or so of posts at the top of the thread.

The 2019 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261/2004

And without blowing his trumpet, the resident expert is @corporate-wage-slave - might be worth a PM to see if he could be pursuaded to offer an opinion on this case.
plunet is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 2:21 am
  #5  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 48,996
The OP has a case for claiming Article 7 compensation from Qatar.

One relevant case here is Germán Rodríguez Cachafeiro, María de los Reyes Martínez-Reboredo Varela-Villamor versus Iberia, Líneas Aéreas de España SA, from 2004.

CURIA - Documents

The circumstances are somewhat different but the principle is the same. There are several other grounds such as "all reasonable measures" and "high level of protection".
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 12:14 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Sounds like the first problem (denied boarding) wasn't QR's fault. You had a 65 minute connection, and ATC delayed your inbound flight for 30 minutes. I believe that security protocol requires that your bags fly with you. The second problem was QR's fault. Unfortunate, but it does happen. Sorry for your troubles. This won't be any consolation to you, but fly enough and things like this happen to all of us.

That said, I don't see how you jump from what happened to you, to QR not looking like the best airline in the world. I've seen nothing which would indicate that QR's misdirected bag incidence is markedly different from that of any major international airline.
Well it was QR's fault. There is no protocol that requires the bags to fly with the passenger. I am a frequent flyer and it happened to me on numerous occasions that the baggage was delivered late to my hotel/home. But never have I been denied boarding because my bag wouldn't make it on time. On top of that, nobody cared to explain what was going on during the 15 minutes I was standing in front of the desk. Now you see why to me QR wasn't looking like the best airline in the world?

Originally Posted by jckl View Post
My theory is because of your flight's late arrival, flight control have off-loaded you before you landed on the assumption that you would not have made the flight and has given your seat away. They made up the excuse so it sounds better than flight overbooked.

EU261 you can try, if failed, get an agency to try for you.
Interesting, maybe this is indeed what happened. Especially since there is very little information about similar incidents on the Internet, which makes you wonder.. The same happened to 4-5 other people, I believe all of them had come from my inbound flight.

I have already filed a claim with Qatar, I'm very curious how they respond. There might be some heavy head scratching going on in the complaints department If they decide to push back, I will file a complaint with the relevant Civil Aviation Authority. I am not keen on giving up my 25-30% plus I heard these companies will usually back away if the case gets too complicated/risky.

Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
The OP has a case for claiming Article 7 compensation from Qatar.

One relevant case here is Germán Rodríguez Cachafeiro, María de los Reyes Martínez-Reboredo Varela-Villamor versus Iberia, Líneas Aéreas de España SA, from 2004.

The circumstances are somewhat different but the principle is the same. There are several other grounds such as "all reasonable measures" and "high level of protection".
Thanks a lot for the link! It might come handy in case Qatar decides to play the "missed connection" card.
nancypants likes this.

Last edited by salazaar; Aug 18, 19 at 12:23 pm
salazaar is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 5:01 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA EXP, LT PLT; QR PLT; Bonvoy LT TIT
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by salazaar View Post
Well it was QR's fault. There is no protocol that requires the bags to fly with the passenger. I am a frequent flyer and it happened to me on numerous occasions that the baggage was delivered late to my hotel/home. But never have I been denied boarding because my bag wouldn't make it on time. On top of that, nobody cared to explain what was going on during the 15 minutes I was standing in front of the desk. Now you see why to me QR wasn't looking like the best airline in the world?
OK, let's assume that everything you said is correct. (I am, of course, overlooking the possibility that it is QR's rule is that bags must fly with the passenger.) QR flew 29 million passengers in 2018. You had what was undoubtedly a sub-optimal experience. Do you really think that this stuff happens substantially more frequently on QR than on other major international carriers? Of course you can disagree with me, but I don't.
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 5:41 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: YVR, HNL
Programs: AS MVPG, UA peon, BA Bronze, HH Diamond, Fairmont Plat (RIP)
Posts: 6,413
Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
OK, let's assume that everything you said is correct. (I am, of course, overlooking the possibility that it is QR's rule is that bags must fly with the passenger.) QR flew 29 million passengers in 2018. You had what was undoubtedly a sub-optimal experience. Do you really think that this stuff happens substantially more frequently on QR than on other major international carriers? Of course you can disagree with me, but I don't.
QR does say in their COC that bags must fly with you unless they decide otherwise so it seems it is totally up to them. Although I suspect all airlines have a similar clause, it is probably enough to get them off the hook for denied boarding since they decided it wasn’t practical to send it on the next flight.

https://qatarairways.zendesk.com/hc/...ns-of-Carriage

4. Checked Baggage
4.4 Checked Baggage will be carried on the same aircraft as you, unless we decide that this is impracticable, in which case we will carry the Checked Baggage on our next flight on which space is available.
nancypants likes this.
Finkface is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 11:11 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 793
The OP's inbound delay would have resulted in them no longer meeting the minimum connection time, so it is almost certain that they were offloaded from the connecting flight whilst still in the air. This has happened to me before, frustrating but understandable
Hubbabridge likes this.
Johnnieboy is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 9:32 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
OK, let's assume that everything you said is correct. (I am, of course, overlooking the possibility that it is QR's rule is that bags must fly with the passenger.) QR flew 29 million passengers in 2018. You had what was undoubtedly a sub-optimal experience. Do you really think that this stuff happens substantially more frequently on QR than on other major international carriers? Of course you can disagree with me, but I don't.
So let's say we have 2 possibilities of what happened:
1. There is a QR rule that disallows a passenger to fly without baggage. Other major international carriers don't have this rule (at least the ones that I regularly fly with), which means QR is vastly inferior in the quality of service it delivers.
2. There is no rule that disallows a passenger to fly without baggage. In this case I was flat out lied to by the whole team of QR gate agents.

Leaving everything else that happened aside, in both scenarios the performance of QR or its employees was so sub-standard that is cannot simply be considered a nuisance or mistake that happens regularly to any reputable airline.

Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
QR does say in their COC that bags must fly with you unless they decide otherwise so it seems it is totally up to them. Although I suspect all airlines have a similar clause, it is probably enough to get them off the hook for denied boarding since they decided it wasn’t practical to send it on the next flight.

4. Checked Baggage
4.4 Checked Baggage will be carried on the same aircraft as you, unless we decide that this is impracticable, in which case we will carry the Checked Baggage on our next flight on which space is available.
I disagree with that interpretation. I don't see COC 4.4 as a requirement that a passenger shall fly with their baggage and shouldn't fly without it, but rather that the bag should fly with the passenger unless it is impracticable, in which case it will be flown on the next flight.
And how would they decide it's impractical to send the bag on the next flight if they decided to send me on the next flight with the bag?

In any case, EU 261 regulation sets out compensation rules in the event of a denied boarding, which is what happened in my case and this was additionally clarified in the case against Iberia linked above. Whatever internal rules they might have are irrelevant, and the two binding regulations in this matter are the conditions of carriage and the EU regulation - at least the way I see it.
TPJ likes this.
salazaar is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 9:40 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: BOS/UTH
Programs: AA EXP, LT PLT; QR PLT; Bonvoy LT TIT
Posts: 12,600
Originally Posted by salazaar View Post
So let's say we have 2 possibilities of what happened:
1. There is a QR rule that disallows a passenger to fly without baggage. Other major international carriers don't have this rule (at least the ones that I regularly fly with), which means QR is vastly inferior in the quality of service it delivers.
Or perhaps that QR is a little hyper about security, perhaps going a bit overboard. Regardless, I don't agree with you that this rule, by itself, makes QR "vastly inferior in the quality of service it delivers." [emphasis mine]. You were really inconvenienced, no question. I got that. But your situation isn't a common one, and affects very few travelers out of the millions. For me, that does not make a "vastly inferior" carrier.


Originally Posted by salazaar View Post
2. There is no rule that disallows a passenger to fly without baggage. In this case I was flat out lied to by the whole team of QR gate agents.
Exactly my point. QR is no worse than any other major airline. You think that QR has a problem with lying? Spent any time in the AA forum over the past couple of years? Being lied to by AA is a regular topic of discussion over there. (However, we now know from Finkface's post upthread that QR does have this rule.)
Dr. HFH is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 1:24 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Londinium
Programs: BA Gold. Kangorucci. NZGE.KLM Gold. VS gold
Posts: 1,607
The minimum connection time at Doha is 45minutes; it was breached because of the late inbound flight. Most airlines will automatically offload you in these circumstances; it’s managed by a computer algorithm. You are probably entitled to compensation but I am no expert.

Last edited by Hubbabridge; Aug 19, 19 at 1:25 pm Reason: Accuracy
Hubbabridge is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 1:33 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Londinium
Programs: BA Gold. Kangorucci. NZGE.KLM Gold. VS gold
Posts: 1,607
Though having quickly flicked through the regulations it seems that if your missed flight is completely outside the EU and you are on a non EU airline you are not entitled to compensation.?
Hubbabridge is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 2:25 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Or perhaps that QR is a little hyper about security, perhaps going a bit overboard. Regardless, I don't agree with you that this rule, by itself, makes QR "vastly inferior in the quality of service it delivers." [emphasis mine]. You were really inconvenienced, no question. I got that. But your situation isn't a common one, and affects very few travelers out of the millions. For me, that does not make a "vastly inferior" carrier.
If I have to choose between an airline that won't let me fly if my baggage doesn't have enough time to be off-loaded an on-loaded on the next plane and one that will let my fly, I will choose the second one in a heartbeat, just because of this hypothetical rule. In my opinion this is what would make the first carrier vastly substantially inferior because it lags very much behind competition in the single most important thing in flying (at least business flying) - getting to the destination on time.

By the way, if QR really does have such a rule, the Internet should be inundated with similar stories, but there is very scarce information about such cases out there. Which means that, in all likelihood, such a rule doesn't exist and again, I don't interpret COC 4.4 as an obligation for the passenger to travel on the same plane as the baggage. And what happened to me (passenger getting to the gate on time, baggage couldn't reasonably make it) is very common and affects a lot of passengers. However, the outcome of this was very uncommon in my case, and this is why this thread came to life

Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Exactly my point. QR is no worse than any other major airline. You think that QR has a problem with lying? Spent any time in the AA forum over the past couple of years? Being lied to by AA is a regular topic of discussion over there.
I don't know about AA, but according to Skytrax they are the world's 74th best airline.. Maybe lying to the customers on a regular basis is part of the reason why. QR on the other hand is number 1, so I don't know if that's a very good comparison.
I was only saying that the service I got was in many aspects not at a level one can expect from the world's best airline - taking into account that simple mistakes happen to any airline.

Originally Posted by Hubbabridge View Post
The minimum connection time at Doha is 45minutes; it was breached because of the late inbound flight. Most airlines will automatically offload you in these circumstances; it’s managed by a computer algorithm. You are probably entitled to compensation but I am no expert.


I have had the same scenario happen to me multiple times, when I was landing with less time to go than the minimum connection time requires and I was always allowed to board the next plane if I made it to the gate on time. My baggage didn't make it on many occasions, but I always did fly.

Originally Posted by Hubbabridge View Post
Though having quickly flicked through the regulations it seems that if your missed flight is completely outside the EU and you are on a non EU airline you are not entitled to compensation.?


Well I bought a ticket on the WAW-CPT route and they failed to deliver this service properly, I believe that a stopover outside the EU doesn't influence the applicability of EU regulations because the trip (on one ticket of course) started in the EU.
salazaar is offline  
Old Aug 19, 19, 8:24 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 8,112
Originally Posted by salazaar View Post
Well I bought a ticket on the WAW-CPT route and they failed to deliver this service properly, I believe that a stopover outside the EU doesn't influence the applicability of EU regulations because the trip (on one ticket of course) started in the EU.
You're right and it's the delay arriving at CPT that matters. On reading the OP my first instinct was that delay compensation was due, however you do mention " the congestion at the airport and lack of permission to take off." That indicates it may have been ATC that caused the delay which means potentially outwith QRs control and no compensation under EU261. No harm in trying though.
ft101 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: