Reply To: Current rulings relating to EU Rule 261/2004

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Swiss diver’s comments are reassuring re the human race and this should always prevail in cases of inconvenience to many when it is rarely one person’s fault. Many comments on these BT forums (fora?) are extremely helpful for EU 261 claims which of course applies to EU-based airlines only.

But what happens when an American carrier, in this case a United flight to Europe (UA36 EWR to EDI), goes technical, when they announce 90 minutes after boarding that there is a persistent maintenance issue (from “engine bleed”; no me neither), de-plane the entire crowd, announce a replacement aircraft a further 2 hours later, and all without so much as either an apology or any mention of a voucher for a cup of tea?

In this event, as I wait in Newark waiting lounge with my struggling wife plus 2 small children (one 22 months), I realise that I would not mind so much in a very pleasant Newark airport if the airline had not been so unpleasant and discourteous throughout. Even trying to re-arrange to have my family sit together was an ordeal (“you can pay to upgrade sir. If not, there is no availability of seats together” “but I booked 3 months ago as a family of 3 + baby, and I checked in online 2 hours after it opened”. “Sir there is nothing I can do, you will have to take this up with reservations” etc etc.).

So, now that I have my wish of sitting together with my family for an extra 4 hours and counting, all I would dearly love to know is what is the best way to obtain any compensation from a non EU airline that appears to have forgotten what a customer is and appears to treat a technical delay as simply another inconvenience… for the staff…Any ideas?

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