Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Compensation for changed flight

26 posts in this topic

I am flying from FRA to CLT for Pfingsten (May/June 2015). I booked tickets for myself and my boyfriend through Expedia.de. The flight is listed as an Air Berlin flight operated by USAirways (so, codeshare). I got an email last week that my flight time was changed from 12:55PM to 09:20AM. I called US Airways and they said that they cancelled the original 12:55 fight and combined/moved passengers to a flight at 9:20am (this flight was already scheduled). Since I did not book the flight directly through US Airways, US Airways said I would have to contact Expedia.de to have them contact Air Berlin about any changes. Ugh. WHen my boyfriend called Air Berlin today they claimed to not even know about the flight change (this does not increase my likelihood of flying with Air Berlin again).

 

My point: I specifically booked the 12:55 flight, not the 9:20am, because I live about 2 hours from Frankfurt. Normally I take the train to FRA, and had planned to do so for this flight. In order to get to the airport on time to fly on the 9:20am flight I would have to go to FRA the night before and stay overnight in a hotel. Instead of cancelling my flight and getting a refund (of course ticket prices are higher now than when I booked my flight and I really prefer the nonstop flight), what recourse do I have to ask for some kind of compensation from Expedia or Air Berlin? Would either company be legally compelled to pay for a hotel in Frankfurt for the night before the 9:20am flight? And/or can I ask for something like an upgrade to business class or comped extra luggage in order to make up for the change? I know that passenger compensation laws in the EU are very generous for things like getting bumped the day of the flight but I'm not sure what is possible when the flight is changed so far in advance. And Expedia and Air Berlin are not to blame for changing the flight but I booked through them and I presume they have some degree of responsibility in the matter.

 

Thank for anything you know or could suggest!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not at all sure that you have any legal recourse, but you will probably find that if you make enough of a stink about the change, with as many companies as possible you will somehow find that somebody gives in to you and offers "something".

 

Give it a try, and see what you can squeeze out of them!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had something similar happen with expedia - they changed the flight times, it would have gotten me to my destination too late for my sister's wedding. I found a cheaper flight on a similar site (travelocity?) and was able to cancel the expedia flight with a full refund. It took some doing - and several LONG conversations but I was successful in the end. So, definitely worth a try!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you've been notified of the changes more than 14 days in advance of the flight, your legal rights are either a full refund or accept an alternate flight. You can of course ask for additional compensation, but I would doubt you'll get it, as these type of timetable changes are pretty normal.

 

Personally, I would have a look at other flights on American (eg. fly from FRA at at 1310 and connect in PHL). Find whatever is best for you and call expedia (who as your travel agent should be the one to rebook you).

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was all I could find on google (in German and pertaining to EU flights), but it still maybe valid for intercontinental flights. Basically you only seem to get compensation if the difference is more than ten hours and you have not been given ample warning (at least two weeks). I hope you can get something out of it like a free overnight stay in a hotel.

 

Edit: what 842OPR said.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Expedia should be working on your behalf with Air Berlin to get you on another suitable flight, which will probably be a connection as there is only the 1 direct non stop flight FRA to CLT...perhaps they can switch your flight to a later connecting flight with one of Air Berlin/USairways partners to U.S. city and connect from there to CLT with USairways.. Expedia has a contract buying bulk space from AIR BERLIN/US...Expedia has more than enough time to resell the space, should they allow you to cancel to another flight.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Give it a try, and see what you can squeeze out of them!

 

And let us know whether or not you got something, please.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had this happen to me before, too...although not through expedia. It was a load of hassle, and in the end I was booked on a totally different flight.

 

I agree with 8420PR - you'll either be able to get your money back or an alterative flight offered. It is "vaguely" possible that expedia will spring for the hotel the night before to keep your connection upstanding - if they can tap into the cheap contingent of airport hotel beds the airlines share for last-minute flight issues.

 

You won't be eligible for compensation as such, with so much notice about it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your suggestions!

 

Thanks for the links to EU air travel laws. My boyfriend is sending Expedia a long email in German. We are asking to keep the flights because they are direct and we DON'T want a layover, especially in the US (this is his first time going to the US. Waiting in the ICE line in Charlotte will be enough. I don't want him to wait in line for ICE in say, Chicago, DC, Philly, etc, and have to make a connecting flight). We are asking for a hotel at the airport the night before the flight, breakfast (probably should ask for dinner the night before as well), and the connection to the airport. I think this is a reasonable request. Hopefully Expedia agrees to this. We haven't made other plans based on the original timetable thankfully.

 

I am a bit annoyed with US Airways as well for cancelling both original flights. The 12:55 FRA and 20:25 CLT flights are fairly normal flights. They are great flight times regarding getting to the airport on both ends (for me at least). I have flown on at least one of them before. I hope this isn't a byproduct of the merger with American. I wrote to US Airways as well. Why should I want to make any future bookings involving them if they might change the flights (except for weather, technical problems, etc). I know, airlines make changes to benefit their bottom lines and you get what you pay for but it's still crappy.

 

It's also strange that British Airways is still selling tickets for the original flight times, as flights operated by USAir. That's why I initially suspected that there was something fishy going on, like one of the companies wanted to bump us to a different flight in order to sell more tickets on the flights we had originally booked. USAir said they did not know why BA still had the flights listed as available for purchase. Air Berlin also claimed to not even know about the change(??? seriously? you have a computer system for this). So, be careful when booking codeshares. All the parties involved might have no clue what the others are doing.

 

Will update with reply from Expedia when we receive it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actually,on second thought, I suspect they won't be obliged to offer you anything. There's a train from Stuttgart at 5:51am which gets you to Frankfurt Airport without changing trains by 7:06, leaving a little time for delays. While 5:51 is of course not particularly pleasant, I doubt you can argue you'd need to spend the night...I have often have to get up by about 5am to get my train to the airport for 7am flights...so it's certainly doable, and there's a rail option avaiable, and the actual time difference is only 3.5 hours.

 

Of course try with the email - but my honest opinion, the airline/travel agency expedia won't be obliged to offer you anything, and they won't.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We live in the era of the entitlement, when people feel they have to be compensated because their TRANSATLANTIC flight was rescheduled three hours and said changed was announced 6 months in advance.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you said it.

 

I am surprised it's possible to purchase a ticket nearly 8 months in advance.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can purchase airline tickets 10 1/2 months in advance.

I checked my GDS and the only direct nonstop flight showing FRA to CLT is at 0920a, the 1255 flights are not showing at all, and I checked different dates and months. That 1255 flight no longer exists. Probably wasn't flying full.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah... I don't know how anyone interpreted my post as some "entitled" demands. I live in Germany and my family lives in the US so usually a transatlantic flight is the only way to go from one place to the other... I don't feel "entitled." I've flown a lot and am almost always very laidback and sympathetic to the problems airlines face. My feelings on air travel are generally best summed up by Louis C.K.'s "you're sitting in a chair, in the air!" video clip. However, when an airline cancels a flight which someone has already entered into a contract to be passenger on, and paid to do so, yes, I think that passenger is *entitled* to at least ask what they could possibly receive for accepting this change that was not in their original plans. If *I* asked Expedia, Air Berlin or US Airways "oh hey I would like to change or cancel my flight now" would they do it for free? No they generally would not, if they even let me change it. Why should a customer have to put up with the whims of the travel industry in this instance, without asking for something in return for their troubles?

 

I do not want to take the chance to travel to Frankfurt on the day of the flight for a flight that early in the day. There's very little time for error. Even when the DB drivers do decide to do their jobs, trains can be late and that can easily mean a missed flight, which the airline would see as my fault, which would mean I would have to pay for a new ticket. I booked my ticket for 12:55pm specifically so I would have ample time to get to the airport on the day of travel, not rushing, not having to get up at like 3:00am in order to get there.

 

Airlines can book flights up to 330 days in advance of scheduled travel. If you book even that far in advance you should still expect the airline or whatever entity you booked with to honor the contract. And this is Germany, land of contracts... So we'll see. Thank you for the helpful suggestions and comments.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not an advocate for any airline, but fact is any carrier whether bus, plane, train are permitted to change their schedule and do. In some cases you don't get ample notice, in your case you have 6 months plus notice...if you go online and check you will see that that 920a flight no longer exists, so it's not like they bumped you from the flight and it's still departing. They are honouring your booking as they are still flying with inconvenience to you. It is also possbile 3 months from now they make put the flight back on or have something in between the 920am and 1255. It is up to the place where you where you paid your money to see what can be done on your behalf.

How many strikes has LH had recently and people bought a ticket with the expectations that there were oing to fly and were stuck last minute at the airport, or with a few days notice.

Advise Expedia that the change is unacceptable to you and if they will allow you to cancel with full refund, then you can make other arrangements and hope they don't change their schedule.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting article on the increasing problem of cancelled flights: http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303496804579364973804887940

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You often find that if an airline has changed their schedule in such a way then they are normally more accomodating with rebooking. So while they might automatically rebook you onto another flight(s), if you call them and request a different flight at a better time, different connection or even a cahnge of date (1 or 2 days either way) then they will often do their best to accomodate you in such cases, according to flight availability.

 

Of course in your case you have to go through the travel agency (website) and they will often not be so accomodating. But the good news is that you would be entitled to a full refund of your ticket with no penalty or fees. So if you find better flights/prices elsewhere then you could just ask them for the money back (although they might not want to do this so you might have to fight).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I checked my GDS and the only direct nonstop flight showing FRA to CLT is at 0920a, the 1255 flights are not showing at all, and I checked different dates and months. That 1255 flight no longer exists. Probably wasn't flying full.

I know this doesn't help the op but your GDS must be broken. post-578-14158702940498_thumb.jpg

 

British Airways

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Sir Percy B! BA is still showing the FRA-CLT 12:55 and the CLT-FRA 20:25. But USAirways confirmed that they are not flying those flights. Frustrating. Be careful when booking with an airline when their "flight" is actually a codeshare on another airline.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question would be is it a BA flight or a US flight. The OP stated it was a codeshare flight with Usairways and Air Berlin, therefore if BA is still flying it was originally a BA flight that both Usairways and Air Berlin bought seats on. The point is Expedia is supposed to be working on her behalf to remedy the situation as she paid them the money and because Expedia bought bulk seats from the airline, the airline won't deal with her directly. I have already stated what the possibilities are above.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0