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ORAC
20th Oct 2002, 15:25
Sunday Times:

AIR PASSENGERS whose flights are delayed or cancelled will soon be able to claim compensation of up to 380. The European parliament is expected to pass laws this week aimed at ending the delays, cancellations and other problems such as lost baggage that bedevil air travel. The move will target all airlines but is expected to hit carriers such as Buzz, Ryanair and Easyjet especially hard......................

Under the new rules, passengers whose flights are cancelled will also get statutory compensation plus alternative tickets or refunds. The level of compensation will rise sharply, to 250 for short-haul and 380 for long-haul flights. Additionally, passengers on delayed flights will have a legal right to refreshments, meals or hotel accommodation.

After they are passed by the parliament the rules must be ratified by national governments, but they are expected to come into force next year..........

The rules will force carriers to pay compensation even when flight delays and cancellations are caused by factors outside their control. They will have to claim the cost back from whoever is to blame. Delays caused by bad weather will fall outside the compensation scheme..........

Late last week a consortium of low-cost airlines launched a last-minute attempt to halt the legislation. In a private document sent to Euro MPs the group, including Buzz, Go, Easyjet, Ryanair and Virgin Express, claimed that giving customers new rights would force up the price of tickets.

They point out that a flight of 150 passengers each paying an average of 32 generates about 5,000 in revenue, while cancellation could leave them liable for compensation of 375,000.....................

The laws also contain a measure that particularly angered airlines. Each carrier would have to publish all its data on delays, cancellations, lost luggage and customer complaints. In America, a similar ruling had a major impact on airlines. Many travellers were willing to pay higher fares to minimise the chance of disruption.

sky9
20th Oct 2002, 15:47
It might therefor be cheaper not to cancel.
They have I'm afraid brought it on themselves by their cavalier attitude to there customers.

ecam dongso
20th Oct 2002, 16:26
Can we receive compensation from the EU when delayed on the M25?

Ramrise
20th Oct 2002, 16:51
Well,

about time. And I will admit it: the fact that it hits low cost airlines hard sounds good.

Hopefully this will make MOL tone down the arrogance for a day or two.

CHIVILCOY
20th Oct 2002, 17:15
AT LAST THE "SO CALLED" LOW COST AIRLINES MAY START TO REALISE THAT PASSENGERS ARE DOING THEM THE FAVOUR FLYING WITH THEM, RATHER THAN THE OTHER WAY ABOUT.

THIS RULING MAY GET THEM TO OFFER GOOD CUSTOMER RELATIONS. A DEPARTMENT WHICH HAS BEEN RATHER LACKING IN THE PAST IF THEY HAVE EVER HAD A CUSTOMER RELATIONS DEPARTMENT THAT IS :)

Hand Solo
20th Oct 2002, 17:28
Hmmm, can't see phony Tonys government ratifying this one in a hurry. Whos going to pay next time Swanwick falls over, or a runway at LHR is blocked and this countries creaking air transport infrastructure can't cope with it? What about if the Italian or French ATCers go on strike and we have to cancel services? I think you've got as much chance of reclaiming fines from the French as you have of getting compensation for their illegal ban on British beef.

Young Paul
20th Oct 2002, 18:35
TANSTAAFL.

There are three consequences that I can think of.

1. Ticket prices will rise to cover the cost of compensation.

2. Lifestyle for crews will become impossible because, on a disrupted day, the airline will do anything to avoid cancelling. Day lengths will extend indefinitely (not for individuals, but for the operation).

3. Currently, it is very unusual for meteo. delays to start to bite into night jet bans eg at LHR after 2330L. However, if a cancellation will cost the airline hundreds of thousands of pounds, then they'll be pushing really hard to keep operating overnight, with a consequent deterioration of life around the airport. And for meteo. delays, there's not much the noise lobby could do to seek redress.

At the moment, airlines do what they can to keep things going, or offer sensible alternatives. This proposal, if true, would do little other than add to a litigious burden on society, swell the coffers of the legal profession, and decrease the availability of air travel.

Please bear in mind that, from a noise and a ground level pollution point of view, air transport is actually a pretty good neighbour (speaking as one who lives close to railway lines and dual carriageways).

Rwy in Sight
20th Oct 2002, 19:13
Back in Summer of 2001 before September 11 the Association of European Airlines launched an initiave toward the same goal: to create a framework of assistance to passanger that would not put an undue burden in the operation.

Obviously the thikns change in the months following the attempt but there should be some support for pax blocked in some airports. At least towards providing food and beverages... However it is important to avoid at all costs a deterioration in safety due to press-on-itis (the desire to complete the flights at all costs).

Rwy in sight

Devils Advocate
20th Oct 2002, 20:30
I've just been through my own airline's delay stats ( for the period 1st Jul 2002 thru 31st Aug 2002 - i.e. typically the busiest months for a UK charter airline ) and find that most (85%) of our delays are due to factors not directly related to the airline itself.

Nb. The delay stats are as follows and are ranked as a percentage of the total delay time attributed to the major delay groups, as annotated by the IATA delay-code groupings:

So, delays directly attributable my own airlines flight ops and / or (non-planned) engineering requirements = 15%

All the other non-airline related reasons (i.e. misc) = 11%
Aircraft and ramp handling = 12%
Passengers & baggage = 13%
Airports, ATC, and government delays = 50%

Nb. The above times do not include the 'reactionary' delays, as (quite obviously) any such delays are knock-on's caused by those above.

Of course I'd be more than happy so long as it cuts both ways, i.e. that the airlines can reciprocate charges when pax are late, e.g. "Sorry madam but as a result of you turning-up late at the gate here's a 1500 bill for delaying our departure by 20 minutes........ and indeed your baggage is just leaving the hold as I speak - and please do remember to pay within 30 days or we'll add penalty charges to that too !", i.e. we've a legal requirement not to depart with such bags, right ?! - and the pax ARE late, right ?! - and as they say "what goes around, comes around !"

......... and also, such that we can similarly pass on any / all delay charges to those whom supply airlines with 'services', e.g. all the ATC units, all the government agencies, all handling agents, all the fuelers, all the baggage loaders, all the caterers, all the airport check-in staff, etc...... indeed have we finally found the rod with which to beat them in order to make them provide a decent service ? ( and which we already pay for ).

And so if all is an equal playing field then, "Hurrah !!!"

PS. but I somehow very much doubt that this will be the case !! :rolleyes:

eng1170
21st Oct 2002, 09:19
How many of you read yesterdays Sunday Times back page article on the proposed new laws regarding automatic compensation to pax for delays or hold ups?

As a Licensed Engineer I can see a potential hazard here. Companies not wanting to be hit with the cost of unnecessary refunds/compensation costs are going to start leaning on you chaps at the sharp end not to snag certain defects, and us engineers to be a bit more generous in what we "let go". I know that as professionals, with ultimately the final say, we should not give in to pressure from further up the ladder, but we all know that this is not always the case! Smaller companies and low-cost carriers operating shorthaul routes are expected to bear the brunt of these new laws, and as they are already trying to minimise costs is this proposal going to cause a degredation of quality and safety to the travelling public and aircrew alike. I do not belive it will purely affect only low cost carriers, many large operators are still fighting to recover from the events, and subsequent buisness down-turn from Sept 11th.

Surely these airlines, large and small, still need support, not another financial burden that may be the nail in the coffin for those who thought they had seen the worst pass and were finally on the road to recovery.

Again my primary concern, and reason for this post, was to suggest that there is the potential for aircraft to be turned around and dispatched quicker, without defects being actioned in order for companies not to have to pay pax compensation for delays/hold-ups, and will this create a greater danger to the public. I feel this is something that may have been overlooked by the bureaucrats and politicians in making such a decision should it be passed by the European parliament, and would like some views from others in the aviation industry, especially pilots, engineers and all the others who, together, dispatch our aircraft to tight schedules.

DX Wombat
21st Oct 2002, 10:15
As a passenger may I say I find that idea rather frightening. I would much prefer the aircraft to be repaired and perhaps have some delay but arrive safely as a result rather than have an accumulation of minor defects build up to something nasty. Perhaps there needs to be a sensible time limit before compensation could be paid, or maybe all airlines should behave as some of the better ones do. I recently returned from Australia, the flight I should have taken from Singapore to Frankfurt was delayed, passengers were being accommodated in hotels overnight (I was put on an alternative flight) and looked after properly at the airline's expense. I myself was given as much help as anyone could possibly have wanted. I certainly don't think it would be reasonable for me to claim compensation because I arrived in Manchester two hours later than I originally planned

Yarpy
21st Oct 2002, 10:33
eng1170 you have hit a nail on the head.

Putting pressure on crews to rectify defects during planned downtime is exactly what less scrupulous employers will do. I speak from experience having had my last airline haul me in to the office to argue the toss over a flight I had delayed with a tech problem. It was 'suggested' to me that "what the airline does not want is delays round the network". The implication was clear. Don't put in the book until last thing at night and you'll be alright.

I politely ignored this pressure and just carried on with my duties as a licensed airline pilot and snagged things as and when I thought fit. However, I wasn't the only Captain who was nobbled in this fashion. After the airline approached me a number of crews tried to give me verbal handovers of defects rather than put them in the tech log. Some of these were not small problems either. FMC failure was one and a flap problem another.

I left this airline and got another job and haven't looked back.

The last thing a pressurised Captain needs is commercial pressure bearing down on him/her to fly round with notifiable defects. It just isn't safe.

Konkordski
21st Oct 2002, 10:51
Ask your managers whether there might be commercial side-effects to TV pictures of people picking through a field littered with shredded aluminium, most of it bearing your airline's brand-name.

eng1170
21st Oct 2002, 11:49
I half expected replies like those you have posted. I certainly do not intend the post to scare potential pax, but maybe to highlight problems that may emerge by trying to take every pax complaint into account, and as DX points out he would feel happier knowing the a/c is safe and accept a short delay! There has to be some common sense applied here surely. Yes, our business is to get people from A to B as we advertise in our timetables, but do pax complain when we cant go for weather reasons - no, so surely the odd tech delay has to be expected.

I myself have experienced the "I never put it in the book, I'll take it" situation and had to stand up and say no, resulting in a canx flt. Yes, I do feel for the pax (who in this case were accomodated on the next flt) and would be a bit put out if it was me, but there are times when it's just not viable or safe to carry on. One of my colleagues was faced with 2 irate pax on the flt being canx and put it simply (not very diplomatically though!!!) as "would you like to get there in one piece!". I didnt think it was most appropriate but it did seem to make the 2 gent's a little more understanding.

I am pleased to see from Yarpy's reply that it is not just ground staff who are pushed into turning a blind eye or urged to "just take it back to base". Thanx

Tony_EM
21st Oct 2002, 12:30
This'll put cowboy handling agents like Aviance out of business, as long as they can regulate their 'creative' style of attributing delays to ground congestion and ATC instead of the shortages of trained manpower and serviceable equipment.

no sig
21st Oct 2002, 13:46
ORAC

This will hit 'all' airlines, the LCA's on time performance is often better than the scheduled carriers, no difference, it will affect us all.

BTB
21st Oct 2002, 16:09
Why would this hit easyJet? The airline has a policy of reimbursing pax for a delay of 4hrs+ completely without obligation, unlike other non-uk aoc`d low-cost carriers, who canx flights at a whim with no compensation whatsoever?
I agree with the post about idiot pax who can`t manage the rocket science of getting to the correct gate on time, causing delays not only to their own flight, but also every one on the line for the a/c for the rest of the day! Is this pathetic knee-jerk, Daily Mail/Watchdog pleasing, vote-getting piece of legislation going to extend to punishing them too?:confused:

eng123
21st Oct 2002, 21:49
BTB,the non uk registered low cost carrier you refer to [it's obvious the one you mean] does NOT cancel flights on a whim as you suggest.What do you have to back up this ridiculous statement?The airline i'm sure you refer to does everything in its power to avoid cancelled flights as i'm sure do ALL carriers.Stop talking out of your backside.
It's true there is little available in the compensation stakes but 'you pays yer money,you take yer choice'If you want the perks that go with the full fare then buy one.

PAXboy
21st Oct 2002, 21:55
If the airlines were nationalised, running through a (fully) nationalised ATC, then national governments could force them to pay compensation.

All the above examples of delays due to pax in the bar/duty free and someone else's tug that broke down at the wrong moment, etc. etc. are but a few of things that cause delays! If the government want to levy fines on private companies, I need to tell them that a mail order firm is late delivering my new winter boots ... :rolleyes:

This is politicians at the stupidest. If they manage to organise ATC properly, to give it the staff and money that it needs, if they organise runway capacity to match the demand ... one could go on for quite a while. :mad:

ILUV2FLY
22nd Oct 2002, 06:59
Paxboy -No basis for your belief that if owned by ATC, compo would be paid. ATC is probably single biggest cause of delays
and canx. How much compensation? ZERO!!!
This new rule is stupid, when airlines will be expected to compensate for failures of others atc/slots/wx/strikes etc
By the way BTB seem to recall it was ej which was canx flts
at a whim recently due to roster failures. Fr's record for canx and on-times is better than most incl ej. just look @ figures on both websites which confirms frs better performance. facts dear boy,
so when standing in glasshouses keep the stones in your pocket.

eng1170
22nd Oct 2002, 07:45
Devils Advocate, that sounds good to me - I whole heartedly agree, charges should be put back onto "late to the gate" pax, and the handlers for poor service, it is about time people realise that if they want a transport system in this country that is efficient then we stop pandering to every poor excuse, offload the bags and go.
I still cant help feeling there is a real safety issue here, and no one else seems to have picked up on it.

ORAC
22nd Oct 2002, 14:24
Airlines will be required to pay compensation, then seek to recover their costs from the agency that caused the delay. Which means they will have to prove who caused the delay, probably in a court of law. I can see contested cases taking 5 to 10 years before a final settlement.

The other question you have to ask is whether all airlines will have equal success in recovering their costs in an expeditious manner from nationally owned ATC and agencies.

PAXboy
22nd Oct 2002, 16:07
ILUV2FLY, I was not being clear enough as the Red Rage was in front of my eyes, whilst writing!

What I hoped to say was that, since the governments do not own the airlines or the full path of responsibility, they cannot impose fines. I agree that, the chances of ATC being liable to fines back to the carriers (to pass on to us loverly people) is zero.

eng1170: I have no doubt that you are right. In my line of work (telecomms and I.T.) I see people cut corners all the time, in order to finish on time. The only risk is that a user might get disconnected from the network, rather than disconnected from their life ...

mainfrog2
22nd Oct 2002, 23:16
On the basis of the above would it not be equally correct to make railways be responsible for late trains and have to pick up the bill then claim it off railtrack(back with the government). Also if buses are late should they claim off the Highways authority (the Government) for delays caused by roadworks. If the EU wishes to impose this rule it should cover all transport systems, ships trains, planes and automobiles. If this goes through it seems that the governments are going to be paying out the most. Yeh! that'll happen ;)

Grotehaasje
23rd Oct 2002, 09:13
Ultimately the only person wh will suffer will be the pax as the cost of compensation will be added to every ticket, be it full frills or no frills carrier.

I do. however, agree with the sentiments expressed about Govt interference in private companies; can we all be compensated for traffic delays caused by appalling planning?