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Flight delay united airlines

nottingham
posts: 78
reviews: 13
Flight delay united airlines

Hi

Just wondering if anyone can help with any information. 4 of us travelled to Memphis in late September with united Airlines. Departing from Birmingham uk to Newark New York then a connection to Memphis. We were delayed at Birmingham for 12 hours, which we were informed was due to the aircraft needing a part to be fitted, this could be done within a few hours, but then the crew would be out of time? Therefore we could not depArt until they were rested. As a consequence we spent 14 hours At Birmingham airport missing 1 day of our 8 day holiday. Are we entitled to any compensation from united airlines and if so what is the best approach.

51 replies to this topic
UK
posts: 41,796
reviews: 88
1. Re: Flight delay united airlines

On the face if it, EU261 entitles you to 600€ each. A few searches will tell you how to claim.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,987
reviews: 77
2. Re: Flight delay united airlines

One of the US airlines *did* pay out on a claim recently, but it would depend on a number of things. I'd anticipate that the airline would say that their end of the bargain was to have the plane ready to leave within a couple hours, and they did that, but the gov't then required them to wait out the crew rest period, so it isn't within their control. Obviously, they were able to quickly obtain the part. They are caught between two country's laws.

Others would maintain that it was the part issue in the beginning that ended up causing the delay.

Ultimately, it matters naught what you had planned or how long you were going to be on your trip. You can apply, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

London, United...
posts: 16,402
reviews: 23
3. Re: Flight delay united airlines

I would agree with joe, if the root cause of this was a technical issue and subsequent staffing, then the whole thing was within the airlines control, as such you would be entitled to. 600 per passenger.

Write to the airline stating you wish to claim under eu261 and let us know how you get on.

Good luck:))

nottingham
posts: 78
reviews: 13
4. Re: Flight delay united airlines

Many thanks for your quick response and advice will e.mail united and let you know how I get on. Again many thanks.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,050
reviews: 5
5. Re: Flight delay united airlines

>> One of the US airlines *did* pay out on a claim recently, ... <<

And that airline was United. I would agree with Geo that it depends upon the nature of the mechanical fault and then what happened regarding the rules re crew time out. That said, the fact that UA has paid up shows they don't have a policy of stonewalling every claim. But, if you read page 3 of the FlyerTalk thread, you'll also see that they don't just pay out for all mechanicals (read the response starting "Our legal department has found ....").

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k5967574…

London, United...
posts: 16,402
reviews: 23
6. Re: Flight delay united airlines

Declaring force majeure is a very interesting excuse here, an airline could justifiably call it for all and any mechanical issues, and as such never pay.

It could always be argued that all preventative maintenance was done and the airline could not reasonably predict or avoid the mechanical issue.

I'm not sure it's within the spirit of of the regulations and their intentions, nor would i say its in the spirit of what force majeure is intended,but it's a clever excuse that I could see all airlines jumping on the bandwagon for and unfortunate passengers being unable to argue, unless it goes back to court.

It looks like, quite simply the airlines just don't want to pay this.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,050
reviews: 5
7. Re: Flight delay united airlines

>>It looks like, quite simply the airlines just don't want to pay this.<<

Well of course airlines don't want to pay this. The issue is do they when required? It's also got nothing to do with the "spirit" of the law, but the law itself.

That letter referred to in page 3 refers to one specific case, which tells me that UA reviews all cases to determine what happened and decides (via its legal department) whether it's compensatable under EU law, and if so they pay. That's called corporate responsibility.

And, that thread (which is still active) now refers to 39 cases, of which United has paid the compensation in 32 of them (including Continental before the 3/3 system merger). That doesn't sound to me like an airline determined to refuse to pay anf flout the law come what may.

FYI - There's also a reference to Delta paying the comp too.

Edited: 12:00 pm, January 01, 2013
London, United...
posts: 16,402
reviews: 23
8. Re: Flight delay united airlines

Ok, used the wrong terminology, I mean looking for ways not to pay.

Agree they are paying, I would suspect, but I don't know for sure, that they are not paying where they should though,,

For example. A flight of 300 passengers. Ten claim compensation and are paid, the other 290 know nothing about it and don't claim and do not get paid. Even though the airline is clearly supposed to advise them of their rights, so they do know. Poor behaviour on behalf of the airline.

On top of this, claiming force majeure for a mechanical issue, could very well be a great big get out of jail card that allows airlines to not pay. Declare force majeure. Case closed....

nottingham
posts: 78
reviews: 13
9. Re: Flight delay united airlines

Thanks again to you all for advice.

nottingham
posts: 78
reviews: 13
10. Re: Flight delay united airlines

United replied after 6 weeks with a standard letter stating EU 261 compensation is not applicable in this case, which is what I expected them to say. With a voucher for $250 to be used within 12 months which we will never use. I am going to peruse this to the next stage,any advice would be appreciated .

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