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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 Nov 11, 19, 4:14 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

Archive: Best Practices for Filing EU 261 Claims Against United? {Archive}
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Old Jan 7, 17, 6:26 pm
  #1  
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Best Practices for Filing EU 261 Claims Against United?

Looking through this thread - I see reports that there's no escalation path at United for EU261 claims, but wanted to throw it to the community if anyone has had any luck with any direct contact with anyone "on the United EU261 panel" or anyone other than the front line agents?

2 adults and 1 lap infant were scheduled for arrival in PHL from DUB at 6:30pm with connection in IAD on UA127 and UA6318. Due to mechanical delays UA127 arrived 2hr 51min late into IAD and the connection to UA6318 was missed and were rebooked to UA6178 arriving in PHL at 11:16pm.

So total delay at final destination of 4hr 46min - just over the EU261 claim limit. However, United continues to rebuff EU261 claims with various (somewhat outrageous) excuses:
  • the delay was due to weather therefore not a valid EU261 claim
  • the delay was only 88 mins therefore not a valid EU261 claim
  • the delay was only to IAD therefore not a valid EU261 claim
After responding to United and attaching the delay letter that had been requested and received from United that shows the delay times, the reason for delay and the rebooking I get the same boilerplate response in each case:
I recognize you feel the issue has not been resolved, and I am sorry we have been unable to reach a mutual agreement.

We give such issues careful consideration and our legal department reviews these matters to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We have provided a flight delay notification which indicates your arrival times. After final review, we confirm that United Airlines complied with all of the applicable regulations at the time of your flight, and maintain our original decision. 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.
So looking for some advice on how to escalate the claim, short of working with one of the EU services to take them to court.
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Old Jan 7, 17, 9:12 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by peetahvw View Post
.... So looking for some advice on how to escalate the claim,
... guess you could try the an office of the CEO letter but once legal is involved, suspect you have the answer
Originally Posted by peetahvw View Post
.... working with one of the EU services to take them to court.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 8, 17, 7:34 pm
  #3  
 
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I just want to share my successful EU flight delay compensation story...

We (myself, husband, son 1 in seat and son 2 as a lap infant) showed up for our CDG - ORD flight on October 3rd to learn the flight was cancelled due to mechanical issues with the plane. We had three business class seats that were purchased with cash and after lots of back and forth (and many, many hours at the BA desk while on the phone with United) we were rerouted on British Airways through London. We arrived in Chicago 4 hours and 5 minutes after we were originally schedule to arrive.

After our return home I read about EU flight delay compensation and decided to try submitting a claim for EU flight delay compensation on my own. I found a form letter and submitted it through Customer Care on November 6th and requested 600 euros per ticket (1,800 euros total). The week before Christmas I had not heard anything from them so I called Customer Care and after a little back and forth they informed me that my claim had just been approved on December 22nd. We received our check for the full amount requested the week between Christmas and New Year.

My husband has Gold status and everything was submitted through his account, but I don't think that impacted our timeline as Customer Care told me the claim is sent overseas.
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Old Jan 11, 17, 11:05 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by unblack View Post
No worries if you accept the $400; it doesn't affect your claim.

But: United will answer you after several weeks that the EU261 isn't applicable. It doesn't matter what happened, EU261 is never applicable for them

Either you sue them or you fill a complaint here: http://www.ilent.nl/english/aviation/denied_boarding

Good luck.
anyone have a recommendation for using a servixe to help with a claim? It seems they have better results.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 9:27 am
  #5  
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Dec 31: Flight MUC-IAD flight cancelled due to MX. No reroute options and forced overnight (provided nearby hotel/food) but asked to rebook via LH instead via FRA to hang out for NYE with a friend. Using trip delay reimbursement from Chase Reserve.
Jan 2: Filed EU261 claim on customer care form
Still no reply as of Jan 16. Got the e-mail for ETC compensation but didn't look at the offer.

Edit: got the reply a few hours after this posting:

Your email clearly expresses your disappointment that your flight was cancelled and I would like to extend my sincere apology for any negative impression that may have been created.

We appreciate your patience while we reviewed the circumstances surrounding the disruption in your travel plans. United Airlines has determined that, in this case, monetary compensation under European Union Regulation EC261/2004 is applicable. Monetary compensation will be awarded only to customers who were holding a confirmed reservation, a fare paid ticket, and were checked in and available to board the aircraft in accordance with United’s Contract of Carriage.

I will request your payment of 600 euros for you which is the compensation under the EU 261 Regulation. Please provide a valid address where you would like for us to send it. You will receive your compensation in the form of a check with the compensation in your local currency. Processing of your payment may take up to 6 weeks.

As a MileagePlus member, you have made a significant contribution to our airline, and I want to thank you for your business and continued loyalty. We look forward to serving you in the near future and I am confident we will continue to work hard and earn a better report on your next flight.

Last edited by pizzabox; Jan 16, 17 at 1:51 pm Reason: United e-mailed me a few hours after this post was made
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Old Jan 20, 17, 1:27 am
  #6  
 
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EU 261 First timer

Alright, so I've done some research and I THINK I'm entitled to a pretty good chunk of cash, but I'm wondering if some of you guys who are a bit more experienced could give this a once over.

Original booking:

ARN-BRU-IAD-SEA

Jan 18
ARN-BRU 0700-0920
BRU-IAD 1155-1505
IAD-SEA 1725-2018

Revised booking (due to mechanical issue with the inbound aircraft, resulting in a delay FROM EWR to BRU and thus impacting our outbound flight)

ARN-BRU 0700-0920 (UA codeshare on SK, no issues)
BRU-IAD 1700-1933 (late flight)
IAD-SEA 0830-1124+1 (forced overnight in IAD due to the late flight)

This really wasn't satisfactory for me because I didn't wanna miss work on the next day, so I looked into other options with the agent once the line died down a bit. Here's what I ended up with...

ARN-BRU 0700-0920 (UA codeshare on SK, no issues)
BRU-MUC 1320-1435 (rebooked on LH)
MUC-SFO 1550-1905 (rebooked on LH)
SFO-SEA 2305-0114+1 (back on UA, google flights shows it arrived at 0100)

So as I see it, I was rebooked, but I still arrived roughly 4:45 late, so they've got no right to halve my compensation, which would entitle me to 600Euro? Do I have this correct?

I was offered nothing at the airport, other people were offered food vouchers and stuff, I wasn't concerned about that, I got rebooked fairly promptly and I wouldn't really have had time for a food voucher. They had phone cards available too, but no mention of monetary compensation was ever mentioned.

Do I have a case here? I've filled out the forms I found online but I'm not sure do you email the carrier first? Mail the forms in? It also says to give them 6 weeks to reach a resolution, that seems like a pretty long time, but then again, this is the first time I've ever done one of these.

Thanks for any help folks, just wanna make sure I'm in the right here before I proceed any further.
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Old Jan 21, 17, 4:45 pm
  #7  
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You are clearly entiteled to the EU261 jackpot!
Germanfflyer is offline  
Old Jan 23, 17, 6:52 am
  #8  
 
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Does anyone have experiences with a delay when the delayed flight is bringing you to a long layover (19 hour/overnight). I had a 4hr 11min delay on LHR-SFO yesterday, with onward journey the next day.

The fare rules don't take into account the layover (I.e. I had a LHR-XXX fare), however I specifically booked as a multi-city ticket, so arguably SFO was my final destination for that day. The overnight layover wasn't necessary, there was at least one valid SFO-XXX flight the same day - this wasn't a default advertised routing, I specifically wanted to fly to SFO.

As far as I can tell there's no case law arguing this yet, I'd be intersted in hearing if anyone else has either succeeded or failed with a similar scenario. (I'm putting my chances of success at about 1% of convincing UA directly, and maybe 10% if a court were to decide on it.)

FWIW we were told inflight to visit the appreciation site (and I also got an email to visit it) - however it isn't giving me any offers automatically (which is what most people seem to describe seeing), and is instead asking me to give them my contact details (after logging into my MP account) - so I've got no idea what I'd be getting that way.

Last edited by televisor; Jan 23, 17 at 7:38 am
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Old Jan 24, 17, 1:52 am
  #9  
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Layovers do not count for EU261 only the final destination of the ticket counts.
So if you have a long layover after your EU segment you wil never get EU261as you will never miss a BOOKED connection!
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Old Jan 24, 17, 4:14 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by Germanfflyer View Post
Layovers do not count for EU261 only the final destination of the ticket counts.
So if you have a long layover after your EU segment you wil never get EU261as you will never miss a BOOKED connection!
The point of my post is: this seems arguable. Do you know of any court rulings going one way or another - or does anyone else have 100% certainty on this topic?

Moreover, I'm not the only one who thinks this is arguable - :
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/19979942-post26.html

(The entirety of "final destination" definition in EU261 is IMHO dubious, since that could limit compensation to either the inbound or outbound journey on a roundtrip ticket. Moreover the checkin counter only considered me to be travelling to SFO on the day I was travelling, which would make things yet more arguable.)
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Old Feb 18, 17, 9:53 am
  #11  
 
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United.com/appreciation void EU 261 Compensation for cancelled flight?

Fellow Flyertalkers,

If I accept the 7,500 miles/$150 e-cert from United am I still entitled EU compensation (for a cancellation due to mechanical reasons)?

My second question is what is the best way to receive the EU compensation from United? To whom do I send an email? Next steps?

I was on flight 972 BRU-ORD that was cancelled today for mechanical reasons. I am rebooked on the same flight tomorrow (24h later).

What have been Fellow FlyerTalker's experiences?

I have found in the past on a cancelled flight due to mechanical failures from Washington, DC. that United is not exactly forthcoming in mentioning your rights or options.

United told me initially that my only option was to take a take the next day's United am flight and that I was to pay for my own hotel. ( I was put on the next available AA flight that night after I mentioned rule 240 so it ended well.)

I apologize if I am not posting this in the correct thread.

Kindest regards,
Greene
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Old Feb 18, 17, 10:24 am
  #12  
 
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I had a similar situation and UA proactively offered a $800 ETC which I took. The CSR email actually offered to send me the EU261 paperwork instead. I asked via the customer service form on the website. As a Silver, I don't know if the offer will be high enough, but $150 is too little IMO considering you have grounds to make a 600 euro claim for cancelled flight.

Technically I believe you can still pursue the EU 261 claim even with the customer service "gesture", but you can be assured they will fight it more.

There is a longer thread on EU 261 claims somewhere.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 11:06 am
  #13  
 
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Did you get $800 e-cert AND 600 Euro compensation?

Hey afrozenfyre,
Did you get both the $800 E-cert and the 600 Euro compensation under EU261?
Thanks!
Greene



Originally Posted by afrozenfyre View Post
I had a similar situation and UA proactively offered a $800 ETC which I took. The CSR email actually offered to send me the EU261 paperwork instead. I asked via the customer service form on the website. As a Silver, I don't know if the offer will be high enough, but $150 is too little IMO considering you have grounds to make a 600 euro claim for cancelled flight.

Technically I believe you can still pursue the EU 261 claim even with the customer service "gesture", but you can be assured they will fight it more.

There is a longer thread on EU 261 claims somewhere.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 11:56 am
  #14  
 
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My saga continues! In December I was on UA941 LHR-EWR, which was cancelled due to MX (after a torturous 4h at the dreaded remote parts stand at Heathrow...). I was rebooked on UA2099 the next day, added to the schedule presumably because there was no other way to get a full load of passengers to their destinations so close to the holidays. UA2099 was scheduled for departure at 3 PM but did not depart until around 9 PM. (The ladies at the UC told me this was because "they forgot" to load the parts they needed to make the repairs on the original plane on the flight departing Newark that was supposed to ferry them over...)

I filed claims for both UA941 and UA2099. My claim for UA941 was accepted and I received a check not long after, but now UA is telling me that UA2099 does not count as a separate flight:

"With regard to your claim for cash compensation for flight 2099 on December 17, 2016, it cannot be considered as a separate cancellation for the purpose of EU261 applicability. Your flight 931 on December 16, 2016 was re-scheduled to depart the next day, but since it was a delay extending from the previous day and we also operated the regularly scheduled flight 931 for December 17, 2016, we were required to re-number your delayed flight as flight 2099 solely for Air Traffic Control tracking purposes." (931 is their error, not mine...)

I think this is BS. Thoughts? Experiences? Point me to the ATC manual that defines a cancelled flight versus a rescheduled flight?
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Old Feb 18, 17, 1:19 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by greene View Post
Hey afrozenfyre,
Did you get both the $800 E-cert and the 600 Euro compensation under EU261?
Thanks!
Greene
no. UA offers $800 E-certs instead of 600 EUR cash. You cannot get both. You get a higher E-cert than the cash amount, but that's it.

Originally Posted by dc89 View Post
I think this is BS. Thoughts? Experiences? Point me to the ATC manual that defines a cancelled flight versus a rescheduled flight?
No chance IMO, unless you want a lengthy court battle with very uncertain outcome. The UA2xxx flight is not a scheduled flight, it is a replacement flight. Double dipping won't work IMHO.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 18, 17 at 1:34 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member -- please use multi-quote
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