Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Flight delays and responsibility
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Friday 19 April 2013
Q. We were on a Thomas Cook holiday package in May 2008. The airline was British Midland. We were delayed over seven hours, and want to claim compensation. Thomas Cook refer us to British Airways for compensation, but surely the responsibility is with Thomas Cook as the holiday was booked with them?
Mr and Mrs Dobson
A. Thomas Cook has advised you correctly. The EU261 legislation, which now includes the right to compensation in some circumstances for delays of three hours or more, applies strictly to the operating airline rather than the holiday company. British Midland, or BMI as it became, was bought last year by British Airways. When BA acquired the airline from Lufthansa, it also took on its legal liabilities. You can begin the process of making a claim at bit.ly/BA261Claim.
From experience, BA is proving more agreeable than some other airlines at settling claims, though no doubt there will be additional delay because of the need to involve the now-defunct BMI.
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