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Thread: Flight compensation advice...

  1. #1
    Master
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    Question Flight compensation advice...

    Disclaimer: This is not normally something I'd go down the route of, but the delay actually caused us quite a lot of hassle, so I'm looking for advice on compensation.

    We booked a Holiday to Las Vegas through Virgin Holidays. Both directions had a flight connection, but our issues started on the way back to England from Las Vegas. We were supposed to fly...

    Las Vegas -> (via Delta) Los Angeles -> (via Virgin Atlantic) Manchester (our local airport) on 16th July at 1450

    We boarded the Delta flight to LA at Las Vegas but were pretty quickly de-planed as the aircraft developed a fault. The connection at LA would have been quite tight anyhow (booked by Virgin Holidays, not ourselves), and the initial estimate was a 1 hour delay to repair the plane. This quickly changed to two, then three hours, and eventually ended up a major fault so the flight moved from 1450, to 2150, by which time our LA flight would have been long over the Atlantic somewhere.

    Delta agreed to put us up in a hotel overnight. We then flew the next morning (17th) at 7am from Las Vegas on a Delta flight, connecting via Atlanta and then heading onward to Manchester with Virgin Atlantic.

    So I know there are compensation options these days, but the issue lies with the delayed flight being a domestic Delta plane. We complained to them in a basic web-chat scenario and they suggested we aren't entitled to any compensation as they're a US carrier, and not EU. They then offered a gesture of goodwill amount which didn't seem all that great. However as we actually booked the trip through Virgin Holidays, this would suggest we booked with an EU carrier, and our connection which formed part of it was a Domestic US flight.

    So who do we try to acquire compensation from? Virgin seemed to be blaming Delta etc, Delta not having any of it, and I'm just a bit lost as to who is actually responsible, and how we go about the process.

    Anybody got any ideas?
    Last edited by W44NNE; Yesterday at 18:13.

  2. #2
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    On the face of it, it’s Virgins responsibility, your contract is with them for the trip, the fact they ‘outsourced’ part of it to Delta isn’t your concern.
    I’m no expert though.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  3. #3
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    From memory, when I had to drag compensation out of Virgin for a 24 hour delay, there is an issue where the flight concerned doesn't either depart or land in Europe.

    It wasn't relevant to my case but, from memory, you may get some joy if the tickets was booked as a through flight. (Not very well explained but I suspect it's what you did.)

    Your best bet is to have as look at the very detailed and helpful resource that is the Martin Lewis forum on the subject.



    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/tr...ys/#delayrules


    What if my flight was a codeshare?


    It's the operator of the flight which is responsible when things go wrong. So if, for example, you book with American Airlines but your flight is operated by British Airways, it's British Airways which is responsible for any problems. If the operator counts as an EU airline, then you can claim.
    Where things may get tricky is connecting flights that are operated by different airlines. For example if you fly from New York to Newcastle via London, and the New York-London leg is American Airlines but the London-Newcastle leg is British Airways, it can be a bit of a grey area. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says there are two factors:

    • Whether the court would consider this as one flight or two separate ones.
    • Whether the cause of the delay occurred in the US or the UK.

    The CAA says if it's deemed you travelled on two separate flights and the delay to the British Airways flight was caused by an issue in the UK, then you may have a case. However, it's a complex issue that ultimately a court would need to consider.



    And discussion forums:
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com...585.1563275187






  4. #4
    Your relationship is with the company you paid, if you have a claim it will be with them, however they have had much more practice at rebutting claims than you have had with making them.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Would whatever compensation you receive really be worth the hassle?

    If you’re out of pocket by a fair amount then fair enough, but if you’re out of pocket by a trivial amount, or not at all (just the inconvenience) I’d mark it down to experience, and book differently with a different company next time.

    Just my view of course.

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    We were delayed for 5 hours in Miami last November, flying with BA to Heathrow. We simply filled in a claim form in on the BA website and a few weeks later received just over £1300. Deffo worth the hassle imo.

    Stuart


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  7. #7
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    You are not eligible for EU261 compensation Wayne - the delay was caused by an inter-US flight connecting onto your long haul home. Had it been a direct flight home on an EU-based carrier (as per the example above) you would have been 600eu richer.

  8. #8
    EU261 compensation applies to any flight departing the EU, but only EU registered airlines on the return back to the EU.

    As your flight delay was an American airline on American soil, you just have to suck it up I’m afraid.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    Your relationship is with the company you paid, if you have a claim it will be with them, however they have had much more practice at rebutting claims than you have had with making them.
    Not the case with respect to air travel - you always deal with the company you fly with, not who you booked with.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all. It seems the Virgin Atlantic site is a little misleading, but after reading Cinabull's response, I had another look at the site. It offers a link for "EU Flight delays" but when you click in to it, there are also USA cities within the drop-down. I've filled out the form and will update the thread with how I get on.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by W44NNE View Post
    Thanks all. It seems the Virgin Atlantic site is a little misleading, but after reading Cinabull's response, I had another look at the site. It offers a link for "EU Flight delays" but when you click in to it, there are also USA cities within the drop-down. I've filled out the form and will update the thread with how I get on.
    Cinnabull received the EU compensation because he was on a eligible, direct EU flight from Miami

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by W44NNE View Post
    Thanks all. It seems the Virgin Atlantic site is a little misleading, but after reading Cinabull's response, I had another look at the site. It offers a link for "EU Flight delays" but when you click in to it, there are also USA cities within the drop-down. I've filled out the form and will update the thread with how I get on.
    See my response above - unfortunately you are wasting your time. The fact there is a drop down with USA is irrelevant to you. I suggest you read the salient points of EU261 as it is worth knowing for the future.

    If you had a direct flight back from the USA on a EU registered airline (e.g. Virgin Atlantic, BA etc.) and you where delayed, you’d be entitled to EU 261 compensation. If you had a direct flight back to the EU on a non-EU registered airline (Delta, AA, UA etc.) you wouldn’t be. Your delay was in the US on a US airline. Forget about it.

    I’m flying to Miami in October and had the choice of BA or AA. I wanted to fly AA on both legs, but chose to fly AA on the outbound, and chose BA on the return, as flying with BA would give me the fallback for EU261 compensation if required.

  13. #13
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    Sorry, didn’t see a couple of the replies. Looks like we’re best off accepting the Delta offer in this case then. At least it’s better than nothing; I appreciate all the responses, thanks all.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
    Cinnabull received the EU compensation because he was on a eligible, direct EU flight from Miami
    I believe he received it because it was a UK airline.

  15. #15
    Craftsman
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    You know what, get whatever Delta have offered and still fill in the claim form on the Virgin site. If they 'arranged' the transfers they may be responsible. Don't faff about on the phone or with webchat crap, just claim. Don't ask Don't get. You have nothing to lose here, gotta be worth a try mate. Once you have claimed, it has to be looked at properly and not fobbed off. At least you will get an official answer from their claims dept who have to look into the matter fully.

    Stuart
    Last edited by cinnabull; Yesterday at 22:46.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by W44NNE View Post
    Sorry, didn’t see a couple of the replies. Looks like we’re best off accepting the Delta offer in this case then. At least it’s better than nothing; I appreciate all the responses, thanks all.
    In the circumstances, I think they’ve look after you well.

    You really realise just how great the EU rules are when you come up against unfortunate situations in the US.

    Me and my and my family flew from New York’s La Guardia airport to Reno, Nevada via Dallas Forth Worth (DFW) last summer.

    As we approached DFW the pilot came over the tannoy to day that because of lightning thunderstorm, for safety the airport was closed for up to 2 hours and we would be diverted to Oklahoma City.

    By the time we we got to DFW (via Oklahoma City) we’d missed our connection to Reno. As it was a weather issue we where entitled to nothing, nada. All airport hotels were then booked up during this time, so we all bedded down on the floor of DFW.

    Then we where told it would be 2 days before we could get a flight to Reno, so we winged it to Los Angeles, and then luckily found seats to Reno that same day, so we where only 24 hours delayed on our holiday.

    God bless the EU and their very passenger friendly rules, and the way their rules ensure the airlines look after you, even if it is a problem outside the airlines control.

    In the US, they just wiped their hands clean, with only a basic commitment to rebook your onward journey when they could.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cinnabull View Post
    You know what, get whatever Delta have offered and still fill in the claim form on the Virgin site. If they 'arranged' the transfers they may be responsible. Don't faff about on the phone or with webchat crap, just claim. Don't ask Don't get. You have nothing to lose here, gotta be worth a try mate. Once you have claimed, it has to be looked at properly and not fobbed off. At least you will get an official answer from their claims dept who have to look into the matter fully.

    Stuart
    The Op was delayed, but seemed to be looked after well by the airline, and then they arrange first available flight home. And in his case EU261 doesn’t apply. Plus, it sounds like he’s been offered something, albeit small by Virgin.

    You sound like my old man who’d scrounge for compo, whether he was entitled or not.

  18. #18
    It looks like the OP was faffing around in the skies over the US just before we were, also with a Virgin/Delta blend and also experiencing problems. Our trip, from Gatwick to Knoxville, via Orlanda and Atlanta had us on a Virgin flight for the first part, then Delta for the next two parts. All arranged by Virgin. We get to Orlando and I'm stuck in the hugest of huge queues for border security and watching the clock winding down on our two-hour connection time. My American partner paced up and down on the other side of the border, asking whatever human she could if there was anything that could be done, as we were going to miss our flight. The first handful of grim-faced border chaps shrugged and said there was nothing that could be done and that this happens all the time. She finally found a Delta Ambassador who pulled me out of the queue and put me in front of border security. Ten minutes later we were pelting for the gate, arriving ten minutes before departure and were told the gate was closed. The Delta person said nothing could be done, even though there was a train of bag carriages waiting on the tarmac to be loaded. We had to overnight at our own cost as the hotels covered by the voucher that another Delta person gave us were all full. The Orlando airport Hyatt is a lovely hotel and whilst we winced at the cost, we just put it down to life zigging whilst we zagged, even though we later found out the plane stood at the gate for another forty minutes beyond the departure time. And even though the paper we were given by the Delta person wasn't a boarding card, discovered after queuing for half an hour in the morning and being turned away at the security gate, to run to the desk and get a proper boarding card, then to run back to the gate, get through then be told the bottle of Pimms that we bought at Gatwick, which had been inspected and bagged twice already, would need to be inspected and bagged again, watching the clock ticking to our departure time, then telling the security person to keep the bloody bottle and pelting for the shuttle and on to the gate. Sheesh. The saving grace here was the fact that we had the remainder of our two week holiday to look forward to.

    Our return journey should have been a breeze. No border control, plenty of time for connecting transfers, blah, blah, balls. Our flight from Knoxville to Atlanta was trouble free. Our flight from Atlanta to Orlando took off late, stacked up above Orlando to wait for an opening as the weather was playing havoc, then had to make an emergency landing at Tampa, to refuel. We were told to either make our own way when we landed, or to wait and see if the weather was clear enough for the plane to take off after refuelling. We spoke to a Delta person and were told, quite categorically, that all arrangements would be made for us when we landed at Orlando and we were not to worry. Heartened by that advice, we found a drink and waited and after about an hour, were invited to jump back on the plane as the weather had cleared and refuelling had completed. We arrived at Orlando, spoke to a Delta person and were told to get over to gate 81, where our plane was about to start boarding. Grinning and happy that we would shortly be saying ta-ta to the US, we arrived at the gate only to be told that we would have to find another flight as we were not on that one. I'm a patient chap but I came very close to losing my shit at that point. We asked for a manager, explained to them what we had been told in Tampa and asked them to do whatever they could to get us onto the flight. The response was a shrug and an apology. We were directed to the very same desk we were directed to on our journey in to the US and spoke to another Delta person, who was sitting next to the Jabba the Hutt lookalike that we spoke to the first time around. We were told our only option was to catch the 7:50pm flight the next day. While my girlfriend walked off to calm down, I asked if they could arrange a hotel room and one was arranged. I asked if our bags would be available and we were told they would be. We walked to baggage claim and my girlfriend's case was on the carousel. We waited for an hour, watching the number of cases dwindle to a handful then went to the baggage claim room, queued for just under an hour to be told that my case 'might be in the back, or might be anywhere' and I was told to wait. We went and grabbed some food and drink in the same Mackays restaurant at the Hyatt that we ate at on the way in to the US and then went back down to baggage claim. My case was there but one of the wheels was hanging off and most of the corners were no longer corners. That case has been well travelled and has stood up to some battering. Another queue and the Delta person I spoke to apologised for the damage and went 'out back' to get me another case. It was large enough for me to throw my battered case inside and off we went to the bus stand for the shuttle to the hotel. It was about 1am when we arrived at the hotel, to be confronted by another queue, full of disgruntled passengers who had also missed connections. We finally got into our room at around 2:30am.

    Lessons learned. Don't go through border security in the US, fly Aer Lingus and do the precheck in Dublin. Say eff-you to baggage carousels and don't fly with a case that needs to be checked and instead use a case/bag that is cabin friendly. Don't entertain thoughts of not flying Delta again as there is bugger all that can be done about this and whilst the Delta people we spoke to were nothing more than friendly robots, they were simply doing their job and they probably have to deal with some pretty angry people on a daily basis.

    That's my tale. I hope the OP gets what he wants and is able to put everything down to experience.

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