EU delayed flights
June 17, 2006 5:44 PM   Subscribe

UK/EU flight. My friend's plane was 3 hours late, flying Southampton to Edinburgh, making her miss a wedding. I have an inkling that this means she is likely to be able to make her airline pay out under recent EU law. Is this the case and if so what's the best way to make them pay?
posted by biffa to Law & Government (8 answers total)
Best answer: Hmm. Recent EU law has said that airlines have to provide compensation for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights. But the compensation is a fixed amount, and they're never going to take the wedding into consideration.

On top of which, most of the low-cost carriers are fighting the rules all the way, as they say the compensation far exceeds the cost of a ticket. To get compensation from one of them, you're going to have to go to court. Since the compensation for short-haul flights is only about £170, this is unlikely to be worth your while.

Everything else you want to know is here.
posted by bonaldi at 6:06 PM on June 17, 2006

This law will surely change once a plane takes off in bad weather to avoid the "compensation" right?

I'm a Democrat, but wow, that's too much government regulation for me there.
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:48 PM on June 17, 2006

Knee-jerk reaction much?

I hardly think the law applies to acts of god, weather etc. beyond the control of the airline. That would indeed be dangerous. Is it just the word "Europe" that made you freak out and make such a bizarre assumption?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 7:32 PM on June 17, 2006

The question might be whether or not your friend is culpable in her missing the wedding by not giving ample time to endure the more than common delays in taking a trip anywhere. The exception may be in catching a connecting flight when both flights are on the same airline and they don't do anything to ensure you can make your final destination.

So, to be fair, your question is what is the best way to make them pay and I have done nothing to answer it. However, you may decide that the best answer is not to look at the airline as at fault for missing a wedding, just at fault for the inconvenience of a late flight. What is fair compensation for that?
posted by qwip at 8:00 PM on June 17, 2006

This law will surely change once a plane takes off in bad weather to avoid the "compensation" right?

Do you have any idea how much an airplane costs? Hint: it's a lot more than the maximum amount of this compensation multiplied by the maximum number of passengers on the plane. There's no way that this would change the financial calculus for the airline if the safety of the plane were at stake.
posted by grouse at 11:31 PM on June 17, 2006

Just out of curiosity, pay out what? Where is the financial loss here?
posted by mkultra at 7:23 AM on June 18, 2006

Thank you bonaldi for answering poster's question. My flight from Galtwick to Cork was cancelled with 1 hours notice last Friday. re-routing included bus, taxi, hotel to another airport and getting to the church four minutes before the wedding! Besides being seriously out of pocket and stressed to the max (try getting anything out of the UK heading to Ireland on a weekend and you'll get the picture, comparisions with intra-USA flights are really not applicable here). Having paid Euro 200 for both of us, at one stage we were looking at 1,000 for replacement seats on the only flight out that night. Seats disappered from screen while we were booking, (yes we were that desperate to get to this wedding)
We flew Sat morning and just made the event.
I will only be compensated by a refund of my original flight costs since the airline told us they could re-route us the next day after the wedding was over, about 20 hours later in other words. So I had no choice but to go online and frantically take what I could get from other airlines.
posted by Wilder at 2:11 AM on June 19, 2006

Response by poster: Cheers bonaldi, good answer, you're probably right about it not being worthwhile bothering with court, I'd thought it might be worth a bit more (I thought it was in the £400-500 range) and was keen for my friend to get a bit of revenge on the airlines in the only way that matters to them.
posted by biffa at 3:38 AM on June 19, 2006

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