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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Tuesday Twat(s)

No. 71. Canadian Affair and Thomas Cook Airlines.

Well, after the debacle I had in getting to Canada and the fact that I missed a job interview, you didn't think I was going to let them get off scott-free did you?

Anyways, it seems that it isn't illegal to bump you off a flight (why?) - however since 2004, there has been an EU regulation regarding just what rights passengers have in these situations. And despite their legal obligations to do so, the bastards won't advertise them. So here are those rights, copied directly from EU Regulation 261/2004:
(PDF available at The Civil Aviation Authority )

Article 14

Obligation to inform passengers of their rights

1. The operating air carrier shall ensure that at check-in a
clearly legible notice containing the following text is displayed
in a manner clearly visible to passengers: ‘If you are denied
boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least
two hours, ask at the check-in counter or boarding gate for the
text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation
and assistance
I spent an hour staring at that check-in desk, 2 days in a row - I can promise you that no such sign was visible.

2. An operating air carrier denying boarding or cancelling a
flight shall provide each passenger affected with a written
notice setting out the rules for compensation and assistance in
line with this Regulation. It shall also provide each passenger
affected by a delay of at least two hours with an equivalent
notice. The contact details of the national designated body
referred to in Article 16 shall also be given to the passenger in
written form.
They offered me taxi fare - and got rid of me ASAP. I was in too much of a state to think to ask.
Article 7

Right to compensation
Note: this is in addition to their obligation to actually get me to my destination

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall
receive compensation amounting to:
(a) EUR 250 for all flights of 1 500 kilometres or less;
(b) EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than
1 500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1 500
and 3 500 kilometres;
(c) EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b).
In determining the distance, the basis shall be the last destination
at which the denial of boarding or cancellation will delay
the passenger's arrival after the scheduled time.
The last I checked, Canada was about 3,500 miles. Kerching! 600 Euros please!
2. When passengers are offered re-routing to their final
destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Article 8, the
arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival
time of the flight originally booked
(a) by two hours, in respect of all flights of 1 500 kilometres
or less; or
(b) by three hours, in respect of all intra-Community flights of
more than 1 500 kilometres and for all other flights
between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres; or
(c) by four hours, in respect of all flights not falling under (a)
or (b),
the operating air carrier may reduce the compensation
provided for in paragraph 1 by 50 %.
I was delayed by over a day, so no getting out of it - the full 600 please!
3. The compensation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be
paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank
cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in
travel vouchers and/or other services.
A cheque payable to SaneScientist if you would be so kind.
I've written an appropriate letter and run it by a lawyer friend. General consensus is that it's a slam dunk and I have them bang to rights. Any silly buggery and I complain directly to the Air Transport Users Council and file a claim in the small claims court.




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