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EU 261 Where does it Apply

Bellaghy
posts: 6
reviews: 31
EU 261 Where does it Apply

My family and I were travelling to Orlando via Philadelphia originating from Shannon on June 28th with US Airways. Flight from Shannon had a connection time of over 3 hours for the Orlando flight so no issues there. We were at the gate 3 hours before the sheduled flight which was around 6pm. There was an electrical storm around 4pm which lasted a few hours so after being told for a few hours that our flight would be delayed as our aircraft was in Atlanta then then told us at 8pm that our flight was cancelled due to a medical emergency on the scheduled aircraft. They gave out a customer services telephone number and told us to ring it. I wasn't too happy about spending £1.40 per minute on my UK registered mobile to speak to someone in the States and we could not get near the US airways customer services desk for the hordes of people.

We did find an information desk that let us use the telephone and the US Airways agent booked us on a flight to Washington DC which was scheduled to take off at 10 that night. She told us to find a hotel there which they claimed they would pay for and get a flight to Orlando the next morning which they had booked us on. So despite having no luggage for clothes toiletaries etc and not knowing any hotels in the DC area and having a 7 year old who had been up over 20 hours we had no real choice. They did say that we could wait 24 hours for the next Orlando flight from Philadelphia if we wanted but this would have been risky. The aircraft to DC didn't actually take off until after 12am as the air-con was faulty and we were roasted for around an hour on board before it was resolved. We managed with the help of a friendly local to find a hotel (Holiday Inn express in Alexandria Washington) only then to find after the taxi had dropped us off they had no record of a reservation - they were worse than useless. We ended up in a really grotty Days Inn for 4 hours then checked out and got a taxi back to the airport.

At the airport we were unable to find a boarding pass for our 7 year old and it turned out after chatting to a customer services agent that the person who had rescheduled our flights had booked him into first class on his own with the three remaining in economy!! As a result of all of this I lost one day on my holiday including theme park tickets, lodging and a days car rental my question is this what is the liability of US Airways considering that the flight originated in Europe and was booked as a single trip not as seperates?

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,648
reviews: 15
1. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

EU regulations would apply but it sounds to me like all you were entitled to was a right to care, i.e. accomodation and meals/refreshments during the delay. Are US Airways now refusing to reimburse your hotel stay in DC?

You are not entitled to reimbursement of things like park tickets or accommodation you couldn't use.

Edited: 11:10 am, July 15, 2013
uk
posts: 2,627
reviews: 73
2. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

Would EU regulations really apply? The delayed flight was an internal US one. I don't know and would be pleasantly surprised if this were the case.

Do you have any coverage with your travel insurance OP?

Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 23
3. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

GeordieEngineer-apparently delay in arriving at final destination does apply to internal US flights PROVIDED that it is a continuation of a flight emanating within the EU and meets the EU 261 criteria

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,648
reviews: 15
4. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

"Would EU regulations really apply?"

Just looking at EU261 I would say yes although there may be rulings which contradicts this that I'm unaware of.

Madrid
posts: 2,649
reviews: 7
5. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

289jumper has it correct.Eu261/2004 applies for a delay from start of trip to arrival at destination.It does not matter how many connections there are enroute.

In this case USair will try to argue that compensation is not due because the delay was weather related,however they are still liable for the duty of care,which means hotels and meals in DC.

IMO I think you will need to push all the way to the small claims court to get your money,but you need to write and give them an opportunity to pay first.

UK
posts: 40,731
reviews: 85
6. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

I would have thought that an electrical storm followed by a medical emergency counted as exceptional circumstances and that therefore, even if technically EU rules applied due to original flight leaving from EU, nothing is due other than duty of care.

Bellaghy
posts: 6
reviews: 31
7. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

Thanks for the replies. I still need to contact US airlines to find out what position they intend to adopt however they failed us completely with respect to duty of care basically it was abandonment followed by incompetence. I know that they are not legally responsible for park tickets etc but I will give them the opportunity to give me some sort of recompense for the delay before taking this further. Hopefully if they have any sort of customer service ethos they will step up to the plate.

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 7,648
reviews: 15
8. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

If the delay was due to a medical emergency you can hardly blame the airline. Sounds like they did their best to get you to your final destination as quickly as possible so not sure why you feel they should compensate you or where you intend to take things further if they don't. It is very doubtful you have a legal claim to compensation. They should reimburse your hotel expense and meals though. The rest is a travel insurance matter.

Edited: 7:25 pm, July 15, 2013
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,062
reviews: 5
9. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

>> however they failed us completely with respect to duty of care basically it was abandonment followed by incompetence <<

I suspect that the US Airways staff at PHL were not aware of EU261, and were applying their contract of carriage as it applies under US law, and that doesn't require duty of care (hotels, etc) in the event of force majeure (which includes weather delays).

I also suspect that you're going to have a hard time getting your hotel money refunded, in that again US will claim - rightly or wrongly - that that flight (PHL-MCO) was under US jurisdiction. Your best bet will be to file an EU claim form when back home, see what US's response is, and if it's in the negative take them to Small Claims Court in the ROI.

UK
posts: 1,735
reviews: 24
10. Re: EU 261 Where does it Apply

EU261/2004 does not provide for the loss of pre-booked accommodation or theme park tickets. "Duty of care" is defined as

- food

- accommodation if delayed overnight

- the cost of a phone call

Nothing else!

If you've lost prebooked services, as described in the original post, you need to claim on your travel insurance.