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Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

Raymond Terrace...
posts: 856
reviews: 29
Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

I booked a seat with Vueling Airlines on 7 December Barcelona to Vienna one-way. Received an email last night to say that the flight had been changed, and this morning when I checked on the airline website I discovered that the flight had been changed from 7 December to 8 December. When I go back to try and select a flight on 7 December there is nothing there - would that mean the flight has been cancelled? I'm a little bit concerned; ordinarily it wouldn't be a major problem, but as I have to be somewhere in Vienna at 10am on 8 December a flight that leaves Barcelona at 12pm on 8 December isn't going to do me much good. What recourse do I have? Any?

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,999
reviews: 5
1. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

Under EU law (it's called EU261/2004), if an airline cancels your flight they must offer you a choice between a full refund, or rerouting under compatible conditions (alternative flights). They must offer you both options from which to choose. A flight the next day should not count as the only alternative.

eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do…

So, if I were you I would research alternative flights BCN-VIE (including one stops), determine which would work out best (alternative flight or refund) and then contact Vueling and request your choice.

A quick look on Kayak shows an Austrian Airlines flight at 13:45 on December 7. There may be others. Vueling is owned by IAG (Iberia and BA) so they may have a preference to use either of them as alternatives.

Edited: 12:10 am, June 26, 2013
Raymond Terrace...
posts: 856
reviews: 29
2. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

What the airline has done is automatically change my booking from 7 December to 8 December. I haven't been given a choice or any other alternative. I booked direct with the airline - does this law still apply?

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,999
reviews: 5
3. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

It certainly does apply. Hopefully you haven't accepted the change and it's still pending. Even so, that law applies and if you tell them about it (they know about it but may be hoping that you don't) they should act.

Raymond Terrace...
posts: 856
reviews: 29
4. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

I haven't had a chance to accept any changes, I just got an email to say my flight booking had changed. It wasn't until this morning (I received the email last night) that I realised it had changed by a whole day. I just checked the email they sent me again, and it doesn't give me the option of accepting or rejecting the change. It just says the flight has changed. I have sent an email to the airline requesting a refund. The email I received does say that I have 7 days to contact the airline regarding the changed booking - fortunately I'm well within that deadline.

Edited: 12:41 am, June 26, 2013
Melbourne
posts: 1,407
reviews: 7
5. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

Have you tried CALLING the airline?

Personally, I wouldn't rely on communicating with an airline via email. Who knows who receives it, when they receive it, and when they will reply. You want to speak to someone and have this sorted out asap.

(unless you have been specifically requested to respond via email)

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,999
reviews: 5
6. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

I would call them too. You may want to intercept your own email.

As I mentioned in #1, you have a CHOICE of refund or alternative flights. If you find a flight cheaper than the one booked then take the refund. If the alternatives are more expensive then you should get them to rebook you onto those without paying extra.

Alternatives could involve flights from other airports, such as Madrid (Iberia flies MAD-VIE). And if that were an option offered then Vueling would have to pay for ground transport from Barcelona to MAD. But that may work out better for them as Vueling and Iberia are owned by the same company.

Raymond Terrace...
posts: 856
reviews: 29
7. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

I haven't tried calling the airline - no. And here's why: I didn't realise that the booking had been changed by a whole day until this morning. I work 12-13 hour days, only have a mobile phone, and live and work in a remote area where mobile phone coverage is sporadic at best. Considering what I'm up against, I decided that an email was a better option.

London, United...
posts: 18,900
reviews: 23
8. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

Is the flight number the same ie from the original one on the 7th to the one on the 8th?

if the flight number is the same, the flight has not been cancelled, it's simply the time has changed, if the flight number is different, the original flight has been cancelled. Your rights will depend on what they have done. A new time and the original flight is not a cancellation.

So check the flight numbers and call them, do not rely on email, as many airlines take 28 days to respond.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,999
reviews: 5
9. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

>> Is the flight number the same ie from the original one on the 7th to the one on the 8th?

if the flight number is the same, the flight has not been cancelled, it's simply the time has changed, if the flight number is different, <<

Froggy that's not correct. Airlines operate the same flight number on multiple days. If the flight was say VY123 scheduled for Dec 7, the fact that Vicky has been switched to VY123 on Dec 8 does not indicate a schedule change (VY123 on 8th may already have been there). What I suspect is happening is that VY is changing its BCN-VIE service from (say) 6 days per week down to 4 days per week. That happens all over the world with all airlines. And 261 is there to protect passengers affected.

Edited: 1:06 am, June 26, 2013
Raymond Terrace...
posts: 856
reviews: 29
10. Re: Vueling - Flight Cancelled?

From what I can gather from the Vueling website, it looks like they're not operating ANY flights on Saturday 7 December.

And yes, the flight number and departure time remains the same, only the date has changed. I have considered going via another route (ie Madrid as someone suggested) but one way flights Madrid-Vienna are over $AUD1000! The only direct flight BCN-VIE on 7 December is with Austrian Airlines, but at a cost of nearly $AUD700 I'm reluctant.

As for calling the airline, their call centre operates 8am to midnight. It's only just after 7am there right now. I'm still reluctant to contact them though since the cost is nearly a pound a minute from a landline, so from a mobile will be considerably more expensive. And I don't speak Spanish ...