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Best Practices for Filing EU 261 Claims Against United?

Best Practices for Filing EU 261 Claims Against United?

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Old Jul 29, 22, 5:29 am   -   Wikipost
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This information is created according to Regulation EC 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union.

Link to Regulation: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.ht...C_1&format=PDF

It applies to flights departing from an airport in the EU (and Norway) and flights operated by an EU-based air carrier departing from an airport in a third country to an airport in the EU.

If you have booked several connecting flights as one single journey – that means within the same booking – the distance is from the start to the last destination indicated on your ticket where the delay or cancellation has time-related consequences for you. If you are travelling on several separate tickets, which have been booked individually, these rules apply only up until the final destination of each ticket.

All of the following conditions must apply to the situations referred to below:
  • <Airline> must be the operating carrier of the flight.
  • You must have a confirmed reservation on a flight we operate.
  • You must be fully checked-in at the time indicated or, if no time is indicated, not later than 45 minutes before the time of departure.
  • You must be travelling on a fare available directly or indirectly to the public, or on a ticket issued under a frequent flyer program.


1. In the event of a delay as listed below...a) If the flight is delayed for two hours or more in the case or flights of 1,500 kilometers or less.

b) If the flight is delayed for three hours or more in the case of intra-EU flights of more than 1,500 kilometers.

c) If the flight is delayed for three hours or more in the case of other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometers.

d) If the flight is delayed for four hours or more in the case of all flights not falling under a), b) and c).

...then operating carrier must provide the following assistance free of charge:

Meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time

Two telephone calls or e-mails

Hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and place of accommodation (These are offered if you must wait at least one night after the scheduled time of departure and are subject to local availability.)

Reimbursement of tickets (If the delay is at least five hours and you decide not to travel, reimbursement within seven days of the cost of your ticket for the part or parts of the journey not made. One is also reimbursed for the part or parts of your journey already made that no longer serve any purpose in relation to your original travel plan. When relevant, the airline can also provide reimbursement for a return flight to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity.)

Compensation in case of delays of 3 hours or more (see :-: section below)

2. In the event of a cancelled flight you can choose the following: Canceling the journey and receiving reimbursement for tickets (The operating carrier must provide reimbursement within seven days of the full cost of the ticket for the part or parts of the journey not made. They must also reimburse you for the part or parts of your journey already made that no longer serve any purpose in relation to your original travel plan. When relevant, they can also provide reimbursement for a return flight to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity.)

Re-routed, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination (The operating carrier can offer to reroute to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or at a later date that suits you, depending on seat availability.)

Meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time

Two telephone calls or e-mails

Hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and place of accommodation (These are offered if you must wait at least one night after the scheduled time of departure and are subject to local availability.)

:-: Compensation in case of cancellations and delays of 3 hours or more:
  • €250* for all flights less than 1,500km
  • €400* for all intra-EU flights more than 1,500km
  • €400* for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500km
  • €600* for all flights not falling under the conditions as listed above

:-: *The compensation described above is sometimes reduced by ˝ in court if the following conditions are met:
  • If you arrive within two (2) hours after your original arrival time for flights 1,500km or less then €125.is due
  • If you arrive within three (3) hours after your original arrival time for intra-EU flights greater than 1,500km then €200 is due.
  • If you arrive within three (3) hours after your original arrival time for all other flights between 1,500km - 3,500km then €200 is due.
  • If you arrive within four (4) hours after your original arrival time for all other flights not listed above then €300 is due.


3. You are not entitled to compensation in the following situations:If the cancellation or delay of 3 hours or more is caused by extraordinary circumstances such as:
  • extraordinary meteorological conditions
  • security risks
  • strikes affecting operations
  • political instability
ONLY if the airline can prove in court that there was no way to prevent the delay - which is very hard to do for the airline.
Delays of the INCOMING aircraft for ANY reason NEVER qualify as an exemption for compensation as per EU court rulings.

If you are informed of the cancellation at least 14 days before the time of departure

If you are informed of the cancellation between 7 and 14 days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing to your final destination, allowing you to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

If you are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing to your final destination, allowing you to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.


Frequently Asked Questions
If I receive & take UA's "standard" delay compensation -- a choice of miles or ETC -- does this make me ineligible for EU261 compensation?

Generally no

March 2020 COVID-19: European Commission provides guidance on EU passenger rights

Archive: Best Practices for Filing EU 261 Claims Against United? {Archive}
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Old Jul 18, 19, 7:43 am
  #586  
 
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Moin!

Originally Posted by hughw View Post
How do you find flight details on expertfler, or other site, showing the "official" reason for the delay, or a cancellation?
Not sure on other sites, but on expertflyer you go to flight status, punch in date, airline and flight number and once the result comes up click on Comments and something like this comes up:
Comments:
0059/18JUL
P FRA/OUT 238P L00.43 ☨
P FRA/OFF 302P
P SFO/ETA 435P L00.05 MAINTENANCE
D HDQ/FRA SFO PROT UNDER GG CN1 D10

SKED FRA ORIG 155P GTD Z22 SHIP 2134
SFO 430P TERM GTA INTL

Hope that helps.

So long
-Ralf
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Old Jul 18, 19, 9:11 am
  #587  
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
Here's the actual ruling....CNNTraveler is a little late on their reporting, it was reported by various sources last year/ It would also apply to european departure on a non-euro airline with a connection. For instance, you fly UA CDG-EWR-BOS, the CDG-EWR flight is on time, but the EWR-BOS flight gets you to BOS over 3 hours late.
https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/...cp180077en.pdf
This is the Wegener decision, which was an online transfer with all legs operated by Royal Air Maroc (AT). The CNNTraveler article didn't seem to be the same case. From the article:
What does this mean? Say a passenger is flying from Prague to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi, as was the case in the lawsuit on which the E.U. court based the new rule. The flight from Prague to Abu Dhabi with Czech Airlines was on time. But the second leg of the reservation from Abu Dhabi to Bangkok, operated by Etihad Airways in a codeshare agreement. was delayed more than eight hours.
I think "in a codeshare agreement" is key here. What the court is saying is that by selling this flight under an Czech (OK) flight number, connecting from the EU, then OK can't evade responsibility by saying they didn't actually operate the AUH-BKK flight. The Wegener decision wasn't a codeshare -- all flights were marketed and operated by AT, so it was harder for them to say "it's not our fault."

The UA example would be a passenger on, say, FRA-IAD (LH) -> IAD-AUS (LH operated by UA): if there was a delay on the UA flight, you could claim compensation from LH based upon the fact that they marketed the IAD-AUS flight. It's not clear -- to me, anyway -- if this ruling would apply if the second flight were marketed by UA, but I suspect that the court would say yes. I'm just not sure if they'd say that the traveler had a case against LH or UA.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 18, 19 at 7:54 pm Reason: repaired quote
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Old Jul 18, 19, 3:24 pm
  #588  
 
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Originally Posted by fl1ger View Post
Moin!



Not sure on other sites, but on expertflyer you go to flight status, punch in date, airline and flight number and once the result comes up click on Comments and something like this comes up:
Comments:
0059/18JUL
P FRA/OUT 238P L00.43 ☨
P FRA/OFF 302P
P SFO/ETA 435P L00.05 MAINTENANCE
D HDQ/FRA SFO PROT UNDER GG CN1 D10

SKED FRA ORIG 155P GTD Z22 SHIP 2134
SFO 430P TERM GTA INTL

Hope that helps.

So long
-Ralf
Hmmm. when the flight comes up, it gives me basic info about scheduled, estimated, and actual, departure and arrival times, but I didn't see any place to click for "comments"....can you try for me? Date 7-12, Airline Air Canada, Flight 2076,
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Old Jul 18, 19, 11:18 pm
  #589  
 
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Moin!

Originally Posted by hughw View Post
Hmmm. when the flight comes up, it gives me basic info about scheduled, estimated, and actual, departure and arrival times, but I didn't see any place to click for "comments"....can you try for me? Date 7-12, Airline Air Canada, Flight 2076,
Looks like the additional information is only available up to two days back, so you need to be quick to look at it.

So long
-Ralf
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Old Jul 19, 19, 11:28 pm
  #590  
 
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
Was it one ticket or two tickets?
One ticket
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Old Jul 22, 19, 8:29 am
  #591  
 
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
How do you find flight details on expertfler, or other site, showing the "official" reason for the delay, or a cancellation?
Just write to [email protected] , say you need a delay letter for PNR XXXXXXX on suchandsuch date passenger name LAST/FIRST stating the cause of the delay. I do this all the time for travel insurance and they usually get me one with all the deets within 48 hours. Maybe not as details as EF but hopefully it has the magic words "maintenance" or "crew issues".
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Old Jul 22, 19, 8:31 am
  #592  
 
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Originally Posted by hughw View Post
1. He may not be capable of submitting the claim. Can I do it for him?

2. Since I paid for the ticket, and his entire trip, can I receive the claim reimbursement?
1. I've done this with my SO (not on United, other airlines) and they either pay out no question or ask for a signed letter from her stating that its ok to transfer the money to my bank account.

2. Technically goes to the passenger; assuming your friend is ok with it going to you then no issue (even if they transfer to friend, your friend can transfer to you). If you are trying to do it without your friend's knowledge or consent you may run into ethical or bureaucratic issues.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 2:05 pm
  #593  
 
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ADVICE ON potential EU claim

The Flight in question was BCN to SFO on July 8 at 11:15 am, in Premium Plus, all on United metal, with a connection in EWR to SFO, to arrive in SFO at 5:54 pm on July 8, 2019.

Awoke to a message on the app that my flight from BCN to Newark had been delayed. The aircraft for the BCN-EWR leg arrived late in Barcelona (text said "Your 1115 am flight from Barcelona to NY/Newark is delayed because an earlier delay impacted your plane's arrival"). Went on the app and tried to book a new connecting flight, but it responded with a “no available flights” screen. Called United line and they could only get me on the 7 am flight on the next day, and I had an important day at work, so I really could not overnight in EWR, so was pretty unhappy already at that point. There were seats available on flights on the 8th but they were first class seats, and since I was a PP ticket holder (albeit with a GPU upgrade waitlisted) they would not ticket me on those flights.

The flight from BCN to EWR actually departed at 1:47 pm. It did not arrive in EWR until 4:24 pm, and that was after a long wait on the tarmac due to a gate not being available. In fact, as we landed and waited for a gate, the pilot had apologized for the delay, but said if we had complaints, we should write Oscar Munoz and he gave us all his email address over the PA!

On deplaning at EWR, I called the customer service line, since I saw some coach seats available on flights to SFO from EWR on the 8th. After a few calls every half hour or so while waiting at the airport, as I saw availability appear on the app, I had an agent who was able to confirm me on the 8 pm flight arriving at 11:30 pm.

Wrote to 1k voice mostly because I was unhappy that I was the one who had to wade through all the calls and research flights on my own to get me a seat home as early as I did, and asked for EU 261 compensation.

The response came back and said they’d refer it to a special department. Got an initial response that since it was force-majeure, no compensation would be due. Again no recognition that they didn't provide more help on helping me get home in time, and a terse sorry for the late flight but it was out of our hands pretty awful response.

I wrote back and asked what the circumstances were and they replied that “the incoming flight to Barcelona was delayed due to an uncontrollable airport gate situation delaying its departure and creating a further delay for your scheduled flight.”

I had done some research and I had read that a force majeure situation delaying a previous incoming flight for an aircraft is not an excuse for a delay of the next scheduled flight of the aircraft (a “rotational delay”). - essentially the airline is responsible to ensure their departure times are scheduled to anticipate delays in arriving flights. This was a link I found from a claims company that seems to contradict United's claimed basis for denying compensation:
https://www.weclaim.com/en-GB/travel...ational-delays

Am wondering if those who are more experienced in this issue whether it would do any good to pursue this further. I would consider using a third party collector, but if United has already rejected compensation, would it lead to a different result having the third party present this?

Thanks in advance your thoughts.

Last edited by 94010flyer; Jul 29, 19 at 4:32 pm
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Old Jul 25, 19, 3:31 pm
  #594  
 
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I would try one more time with United, and if not hire a third-party service you’ll prevail
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Old Jul 25, 19, 4:13 pm
  #595  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Machine View Post
I would try one more time with United, and if not hire a third-party service you’ll prevail
Agreed. The European courts have been very clear that aircraft delays as a result of a late inbound do not get the airline out of paying EU compensation. Do a google search and try citing one of the previous legal cases when you reply to United.

If this gets you nowhere, go to a third party collector.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 6:03 pm
  #596  
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In my EU261 battle they would not say "extraordinary circumstances" and kept saying it was "outside of United's control". I had to apply matchsticks under their fingernails to get them to use the word "extraordinary".
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Old Jul 25, 19, 6:46 pm
  #597  
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Originally Posted by StuMcIlwain View Post
Agreed. The European courts have been very clear that aircraft delays as a result of a late inbound do not get the airline out of paying EU compensation. Do a google search and try citing one of the previous legal cases when you reply to United.

If this gets you nowhere, go to a third party collector.
No, they have not.

What might be an "extraordinary circumstance" at BCN would not be at FRA, a major hub. OP may certainly refer this to one of the claims agencies, but finding one which takes claims for departures from Spain may be quite a challenge.

If you do proceed, the sole questions are:
1. What was the length of the delay as measured at SFO from originally scheduled to actual.
2. Were there extraordinary circumstances causing the delay.

The rest of the story is irrelevant and will only confuse the issue. EC 261/2004 claims exceeding 3-4 short declarative sentences do themselves no favor.

Don't go out and spend the EUR 600 quite yet.
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Old Jul 27, 19, 11:33 pm
  #598  
 
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IME, UA will stonewall and spew carefully chosen language to avoid incriminating themselves while denying EC261 compensation, ultimately leading to a ."kiss off" message in which they assert the "matter is closed." Much like the health insurance industry, they know that a significant portion of claimants will grumble and moan but not pursue further. That's what I did on previous occasions but this time decided to persist. I tried every possible route before finally going to a third party. Matter is currently in process. I looked at several, chose to go with flightright.com as they were recommended by several sources.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 11:45 am
  #599  
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Is this really not eligible?

A colleague recently experienced an unusual situation...flight was London-Houston-Orange County, all on United Airlines. Flight left LHR on time, and landed on schedule, but was held approximately 90 minutes on the ground, because there was a fuel spill and the gate was not empty... This meant that she missed the last flight to SNA... As such, she was rebooked on the first flight for the following day, given hotel and food vouchers... End of story, she arrived 14 hours later than scheduled...

United is claiming that since she arrived at the gate 65 minutes after the schedule in Houston, she is not eligible. Is UA right? If not, can someone point me to the specific point in the regulations?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 31, 19, 11:54 am
  #600  
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Question
Was the individual on a single ticket or separate tickets?

The fuel spill -- by whom? Was the entire airport affected? Did the airport authorities "close operations?"
This might be considered an extraordinary event, exempting the airlines. This is the first time in my flight history to have heard of such an event.
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