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QANTAS grounding and E.U. Regulation 261 / 2004

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QANTAS grounding and E.U. Regulation 261 / 2004

Old 8th Dec 2011, 09:04
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QANTAS grounding and E.U. Regulation 261 / 2004

Does anyone who was affected (or who works for the company !) know the Qantas position with regard to E.U. based passengers and Regulation 261 / 2004 in respect of the grounding ?
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 16:32
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Couple of points. Regulation 261/2004 (in the context of QF) applies to flights from an EU airport. So it would apply to a LHR-SYD, LHR-MEL, LHR-HKG, LHR-SIN, LHR-BKK (if they still do that) but it would not apply to a flight (even a connecting flight) HKG-OZ, SIN-Oz, domestic flight etc. This is regardless of your 'base', it's the flight that was cancelled that matters.

In respect of flight cancellations (which appears to be the case with their grounding, although delays could have happened as well) there is a list of 'extraordinary circumstances' in which the regulation would not apply. Included in this list is 'strikes'. QF could (but I don't know if they are) argue that their shutdown was because of a strike.

I recall seeing in the press that QF had agreed to apply their 'normal rules' (See their Conditions of Carriage) for cancellations. I think the ACCC was putting pressure on them for at least this. Have you checked their web-site?
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 17:25
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If the flight was due to depart from an EU airport the regulation applies. If the flight was due to depart from an airport outside the EU (even if the destination was in the EU) the regulation does not apply.

Or am I preaching to the converted?
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 18:25
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Many thanks for your replies.

We were booked from Heathrow to Sydney (via Singapore). We are both E.U. / British Nationals living in the U.K although my wife has dual UK / Australian nationality.

I did check the QANTAS website regarding conditions of carriage (here). Additionally, I have a copy of the regulation in PDF Format on Qantas branded paper downloaded from their website.

Additionally, their UK manager (Paul Yankson) seemed to confirm they were going to pay the compensation due under the E.U. regulations in articles published here and here on the 24/11/11.

I decided to go right to the top and so e-mailed Alan Joyce personally about 10 days ago. He did not answer directly but passed my "query" on to a person called "Linda" in Executive Services but her reply made absloutely no mention of my enquiry and was of the "Qantas regrets any inconvenience etc" variety.

I was aware of the provision for "extraordinary circumstances" (although in this context there appear to be few precedents) but as the cancellation was not caused by strike action I cannot see how this would apply.

On other boards (Aussie Frequent Flyer etc) it appears that Australians are receiving free (internal & NZ) flights, Frequent Flyer points, upgrades et al !

We (along with many others) were severely inconvenienced by the grounding. We are still awaiting our reimbursment let alone any compensation.

Anyway, any information is gratefully received.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 05:43
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I have 2 comments. I think I would have gone through normal channels first and reserved going to the top until they failed me.

Be that as it may, airlines seem to adopt the "fob them off and they'll go away" attitude. You need to keep pestering them. Make it clear what you are claiming, why and under what regulation.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 10:13
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Are you talking about compensation or duty of care?

Since all QF departures ex EU are long haul, compensation if applicable would be 600/pax. Now just notionally multiply that by the number of people booked on the affected flights and you will see why QF will argue exceptional circumstances with every breath in their corporate body.

For duty of care, though, 261 has no escape clause. You were entitled to meals and overnight accommodation until such time as you eventually got away, or cancelled your booking. This is supposed to be offered to you at check-in but there now seems to be a habit of leaving passengers to their own resources and letting them present their bills afterwards. Did you have bills to present?
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 12:56
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I have already done the maths - which is why I don't think that I would have made such a decision to ground the fleet. It could certainly cost the company a considerable amount of money if all of those entitled make a claim.

However, according to his Wikipedia entry, Alan Joyce graduated with a BSc in Physics & Mathmatics, so it is quite probable that he has also done the sums - whether before or after the event can only be speculated upon.

I suspect that many of the passengers affected are unaware of the regulation although (quite correctly) it is published on the Qantas website for all to see. I put a link to it in my previous post.

Additionally, if you read the two articles, hyperlinked to in my previous post, Paul Yankson (UK Regional General Manager) appears to be stating that EU based passengers would receive both a Qantas voucher to the value of Aus$250 and 600 Euros compensation in accordance with E.U. regulation 261 / 2004.

I am pleased to report, that at 03.36 hrs today, I received an e-mail from the Executive Relations dept. at Qantas, stating that their London office is organizing the compensation for us and would be in contact.

Provided they follow through on their stated offer to compensate in accordance with E.U. regulation 261 / 2004 then I will be perfectly satisfied and I will consider the matter concluded.
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Old 20th Dec 2011, 07:11
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Here we are 11 days later and still no one has been in contact with us. So I have e-mailed Executive Relations (yet again).

Is anyone else, who was actually affected by the grounding, been having similar difficulties ?
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