Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Poor compensation for 24-hour delay
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 15 March 2013
Q. Our Delta flight from Bloomington, USA to Manchester was cancelled after waiting at the airport for seven hours, due to "technical reasons". We were rebooked and flew the next day, in effect 24 hours later. The only compensation KLM - which handles Delta customer services in UK - has offered is a £300 voucher (£100 per passenger) valid for 12 months.
It appears that as the flight was from a non EU airport, the carrier was a non EU carrier, and it was technical reasons for cancellation and not overbooking, the airline is under no obligation to compensate me. Is this correct? It seems scandalous that non EU airlines have this "get out of jail free" card, tough luck to the passenger. Do I have any other avenues to pursue this further?
A. The strict legal answer is: "possibly". If you can demonstrate clear financial loss as a result of the delay, you could in theory make a claim under the 1999 Montreal Convention, which governs air travel globally. However, were I in your position I would settle for the £100-per-person voucher and pursue a possible claim with travel insurance (which may offer a token £50 for the delay).
Your "get-out-of-jail-free card" analogy is correct. In the present EU261 rules that govern passengers' rights, and the proposed revision announced this week, there is no stipulation about the behaviour of non-EU airlines on flights starting outside Europe.
So what can you do in future to avoid problems? Make sure that you book on an EU carrier, which will then have a responsibility to you wherever you are in the world. But of course a location such as Bloomington is served only by US carriers … As always in air travel, all you can really do is hope for the best and build in some flexibility if you do get stuck.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 'The Fappening': Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how the internet reacted
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...