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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 Oct 10, 18, 10:25 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 ½ 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
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Old Feb 8, 19, 5:38 pm
  #1231  
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
So, bringing this over to a more appropriate thread.

The story:

Was on UA949 yesterday (6 Feb), LHR-SFO, which at check-in was LHR-SFO, then by the time I had walked to the lounge at T2 (10 mins) the desk person said "ah, you are now going via Bangor, Maine, as one of the pilots called in sick so 2 pilots are only allowed to fly for up to 7 hours (I think that is what she said) so you will pick up a new crew in Bangor". Long story short we we were scheduled to get to SFO at 1230pm, got there at 423pm, just in time for the evening commute. I have not looked at the compensation that they have offered as yet.

So, I contacted them about the EC261 and they say, predictably, that as a crew member reported ill before departure "the issue was outside of United’s control". Really? Inconvenient and annoying maybe, but it is something that can be controlled. Round 1.

Round 2 started and was United's response was that "We have again reviewed your request for cash compensation and found that we complied with all the applicable regulations at the time of your flight."

Pushed back quoting one case where it has been ruled that crew sickness is not an extraordinary circumstance.

Round 3 meant we moved to the bizarre:

"We feel we have fully responded to your concerns and consider this matter closed. Should you have any other travel-related issues, please contact us again.

This letter represents our final consideration of your complaint. CEDR Services Limited is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority to provide dispute resolution services and an independent view of your complaint under the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015. The web address of CEDR Services Limited is www.cedr.com.

United is not signed up to the services of CEDR Services Limited and is therefore not willing to submit itself to its ADR procedure.

You can log your complaint with CAA’s Passenger Advice and Complaints Team (PACT) by completing the online complaint form via the CAA website: www.caa.co.uk/passengercomplaints. Under the subtitle ‘How the CAA can Help’ you will need to click on the link ‘Refer your complaint to us’. You can then access the CAA’s consumer portal where you can submit your complaint to PACT."

I am being referred to something by United that United is not signed up to. Very amusing.

Anyway, it is almost MCOL time.
Interested that an ill crew member would take an airline out of EU 261 compensation. Would like to know the views of someone other than the airline as to whether that was true.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:25 pm
  #1232  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Interested that an ill crew member would take an airline out of EU 261 compensation. Would like to know the views of someone other than the airline as to whether that was true.
No, it does not. Smith v. British Airways
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
No, it does not. Smith v. British Airways
But, do any of the US carriers recognize that decision - I'm also under the impression the US carriers also don't recognize the decision on delays for onward connections in the US
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Old Feb 8, 19, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
But, do any of the US carriers recognize that decision - I'm also under the impression the US carriers also don't recognize the decision on delays for onward connections in the US
Irrelevant. If you fly on a US carrier from an EU country to the US, then you can sue the carrier in the country of departure and whatever the court rules will then be enforced. I realise that it can be difficult to sue someone in one country if you live in a different country.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 8:38 pm
  #1235  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
But, do any of the US carriers recognize that decision - I'm also under the impression the US carriers also don't recognize the decision on delays for onward connections in the US
They're going to get sued in Europe, so really not relevant.
Originally Posted by Some person View Post
I realise that it can be difficult to sue someone in one country if you live in a different country.
The good news is that with EU261, there are several services that will take these claims on a contingency.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 10:26 pm
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The CAA website also links to step-by-step instructions for filing a lawsuit from abroad.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
They're going to get sued in Europe, so really not relevant.
My point is, there has to be a reason none of the US carriers are ever involved in major court decisions regarding EU261 and the fact US carriers don't recognize many of the decisions - there must be underlying reason.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
But, do any of the US carriers recognize that decision - I'm also under the impression the US carriers also don't recognize the decision on delays for onward connections in the US
I have received EU261 for late arrival to SAN connecting through SFO due to late arrival of the flight to SFO from LHR.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:14 pm
  #1239  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
My point is, there has to be a reason none of the US carriers are ever involved in major court decisions regarding EU261 and the fact US carriers don't recognize many of the decisions - there must be underlying reason.
Probably because they will ultimately pay rather than go to hearing. It's about stretching out the process to reduce payouts, just as many insurers do.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:39 pm
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I had a similar experience as you described. I pushed it heavily up the chain at United including writing Oscar and, repeatedly got turned down with the exact language they gave you. In this most recent case which was United delayed 4 hours flying TXL-EWR, I ultimately pursued it through the German Transportation Board (I forget their exact name but they provide mediation in travel disputes like this in Germany.) This finally got United's attention (all airlines that fly to Germany are a member of this group which is funded by member fees. United bargained down to half the standard compensation 150 Euros per pax (not 300). I took it because there was no cost to me and I was tired of dealing with this compensation request. Taking United to court in Germany would've been too expensive and difficult for me to do from the USA. The mediation was free and took about 6 months. With Brexit upon us though, your options may be limited as EU 261 will no longer apply for flights departing from LHR.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by gigi747 View Post
I...With Brexit upon us though, your options may be limited as EU 261 will no longer apply for flights departing from LHR.
I had thought this would be the case but further up in this thread @LondonElite said it would still be on the books after the UK leaves the EU. Kind of surprising EU law would apply when it was not put into the UK law by UK politicians but I am not a UK lawyer.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 4:32 pm
  #1242  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
My point is, there has to be a reason none of the US carriers are ever involved in major court decisions regarding EU261 and the fact US carriers don't recognize many of the decisions - there must be underlying reason.
It's never going to be a major court decision for 600 euros max per person. United has paid me EC261 compensation in the past to that amount with no problem. They have no choice but to recognize the court decision as it will be filed using the UK MCOL process and they have to follow it.
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Old Mar 6, 19, 1:35 pm
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Question!

I was on a flight CDG-> SFO that was delayed almost 8 hours, technical issues, on United. SFO is my home. I was supposed to get home before noon, but ended up touching down after 6PM, so had to cancel an important anniversary dinner reservation.

In regards to this:

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.)
I want to make sure I'm reading this right. When it says "When it was parts of your journey already made that no longer serve ANY purpose to your original travel plan," this means I cannot request reimbursement of tickets since my trip served two purposes: getting myself home, and getting myself to the anniversary dinner and one of these purposes were fulfilled, correct?

I am going to file for the 600 euros, but wanted to check to make sure I could not get back more (flight delay was due to delayed incoming flight).

Thanks!!
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Old Mar 6, 19, 1:52 pm
  #1244  
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Originally Posted by busyizzy View Post
Question!

I was on a flight CDG-> SFO that was delayed almost 8 hours, technical issues, on United. SFO is my home. I was supposed to get home before noon, but ended up touching down after 6PM, so had to cancel an important anniversary dinner reservation.

In regards to this:



I want to make sure I'm reading this right. When it says "When it was parts of your journey already made that no longer serve ANY purpose to your original travel plan," this means I cannot request reimbursement of tickets since my trip served two purposes: getting myself home, and getting myself to the anniversary dinner and one of these purposes were fulfilled, correct?

I am going to file for the 600 euros, but wanted to check to make sure I could not get back more (flight delay was due to delayed incoming flight).

Thanks!!
You can apply for EC261 at the EUR 600 level, though I suspect that Ua will argue it could do nothing to avoid the issue. I am not commenting on whether this is right or wrong. The other part you refer to is the ‘trip in vain’ provision. This only applies at the outbound segment, saving you from making the journey. The return does not fall under this provision.
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Old Mar 6, 19, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by busyizzy View Post
Question!

I want to make sure I'm reading this right. When it says "When it was parts of your journey already made that no longer serve ANY purpose to your original travel plan," this means I cannot request reimbursement of tickets since my trip served two purposes: getting myself home, and getting myself to the anniversary dinner and one of these purposes were fulfilled, correct?

I am going to file for the 600 euros, but wanted to check to make sure I could not get back more (flight delay was due to delayed incoming flight).
No. That provision is for if you decide not to travel to your destination.

Imagine you are to fly CDG-SFO-LAX for a conference. You are delayed by more than 5 hours and, while sitting in SFO, you realize you will have missed the important parts of the conference, so you want to just return to CDG.

Not only will they refund you for SFO-LAX leg you won't fly, they will refund you for your CDG-SFO leg (which you flew, but is no longer useful to you) and for a flight back to CDG.

This is also called "trip in vain" in most USA carrier's CoC.

I'm 99% sure this does not apply for flying back home to SFO and remaining in SFO, just because you were delayed over 5 hours. The only case it would apply is if you returned to CDG and abandoned your trip.
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