Cancelled / delayed flights, CX – who covers the expenses?

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This topic contains 30 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  SimonS1 3 Sep 2019
at 13:51
.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 31 total)

  • BrotherJim
    Participant

    I know these are the Amex Australian T&C’s but all covered on Page 14. Travel inconvenience.

    Though I would think it reasonable that the insurance company would try and hang some responsibility on the airline.

    https://www.americanexpress.com/content/dam/amex/au/benefits/Platinum/Insurance17July2018.pdf


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    @ BrotherJim – correct Travel Inconvenience max benefit AUS$700 – corresponding UK £500. no XS. UK policy, corresponding cover is £300

    However reading Travel Cancellation cover on page 18, my 48 hour delay was certainly a Travel Disruption. s7, it was the first leg of my trip, but the return trip. This section covers nearly 5 times the amount of cover…


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I am slightly surprised by the response from both CX and my travel insurers. This is the second time in 2 years, disrupted travel costs have not been covered in full by either the airline of my travel insurance. I had always thought AMEX plat card travel policy was strong – but to be caught out twice in 2 years, I am surprised. Remember in this instance, the delay was 48 hours and the airport remained open throughout.

    “Thank you for contacting us regarding your flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong.

    I note that the flight CXxxx on 5 August 2019 was cancelled due to Air Traffic flow control measures implemented on 5th and 6th August 2019, as informed by the Hong Kong Airport Authorities, which was beyond our control. Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused.

    During any flight disruption, we try to do our best to make appropriate arrangements where possible. I understand that you were re-accommodated on flights with Cathay Pacific and British Airways on 7th and 8th August 2019 respectively. I am sorry if this initiative did not meet with your expectations. We will share and review the feedback internally to serve our customers better.

    I would like to inform you that if a flight is delayed or cancelled due to poor weather or due to air traffic control restrictions, we are not obliged to provide recompense for the cost of telephone calls, accommodation, refreshments or transportation. However, we will try to assist our passengers as best we can in the prevailing circumstances. In doing so, you can be certain that no discourtesy is intended.

    We do advise our passengers to obtain travel insurance before travelling for any claims for direct or consequential expenses. If you require a flight certificate to support any claim you wish to put forth with your travel insurer, please write in to us by return email and we will be happy to assist you.

    We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us. I hope that I have been able to address your concerns.”


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Standard fob off there Martyn. Albeit the basic facts are correct – the airport may have remained open but it was down to one runway and at times the train to the airport was stopped.

    Remember before the days of EC261 the UK airlines were the same, stories of the LCCs leaving people stranded in semi-rural locations.

    Really not much to be done here I fear apart from a good reminder for all of us to check our travel policies meet needs. These ‘exceptional’ situations seem to be becoming less so – weather, protests and so on.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    The Cathay strike – was it really a Cathay strike? It was reported in the media as mass demonstrations that reduced capacity at the airport, shut down the airport express, saw cancellations on different airlines. So Cathay could legitimately say it was outside their control (I am sure BA would try to weasel out of cash compensation in similar circumstances), and in any case legislation in different places (including the US) is not always customer friendly. Hence need to fall back on insurance.

    The re-booking 48 hours later – very annoying, but why was this -did you ask Cathay? I suppose it could be chicken and egg here – 150 flights were cancelled Monday so a major backlog of people to get shifted.

    As it happens my sister and her three kids were also disrupted by the protests/strikes at HKG. They had stopped over to visit us on their way back from Australia to the UK and were due to fly last Tuesday evening on BA. The flight was cancelled (although interestingly flightstats show that it actually did fly that night! – perhaps it was empty and they were simply repositioning the airframe?). BA were very sympathetic and offered to rebook them free of charge, which they did – but not two days later. The rebooking was in fact for SIX days later (yes, from Tuesday evening to the following Monday). However, they did offer GBP200 per “pair” of pax per day (which was enough for hotel rooms and basic food, although to be fair we fed them fairly well for every meal except breakfast). We eventually managed to get them rebooked on a Thursday flight, so my older nephew was in the air when the A-level results and uni places came out!! Fortunately, although he found out rather late as a result, he got his first choice* so the fact that he was in the air and unable to call universities to beg for places or to go into clearing wasn’t a problem.

    * Same was true for Junior Offspring, so we have another dark blue in the family to offset the Memsahib’s double-light-blue! Now all we need is five more wins in the Boat Race…

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    CX sent me the following last night following a further email about the airline refusing to cover my costs when my BKK-HKG sector was delayed by 48 hours.

    Dear Mr Sinclair

    Thank you for your latest email.

    I am sorry to learn of your disappointment with my previous response.

    I do understand your dissatisfaction as your travel plans were affected due to the flight disruption. I would like to share with you that airlines are unable to guarantee their flight schedules and therefore do not offer compensation for flight delays caused due to reasons beyond their control.

    Once again, I would like to sincerely apologise for any disappointment caused.

    Thank you for contacting us and we remain at your service.

    Yours sincerely

    Nxxx Nxxx
    Customer Relations Executive
    Customer Relations Department
    Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
    Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited

    I find it extraordinary an airline can delay a departure for 48 hours and not offer affected passengers any kind of compensation, even meal vouchers…


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Irritating, yes. Extraordinary, no.

    Honestly Martyn this is how it is around much of the world. Even in USA – some airlines may show a bit of goodwill but there are few legal protections, even where the matter is in the airline’s control. The EU, with EC261, is one of the exceptions and let’s face it before regulation came in the actions of the likes of Ryanair were legendary.

    Where I travel mainly (Africa and ME) you are largely on your own. The answer in most cases…..speak to your travel insurer.


    Polly
    Participant

    Martyn
    Amex Plat are usually very good. We usually HUACA, or hang up and call again..try another agent..it’s amazing what some of them are not aware of.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Much as I sympathise with you, Martyn, I am afraid CX are entirely within their rights. The situation was not of their making, and in a no-fault scenario it isn’t too surprising that “costs lay where they fall” (to use a legal expression), meaning that wherever the costs are incurred (where they fall) that is where they stay (lay). Personally I was astonished that BA provided my sister with anything as pleading “extraordinary circumstances” under EU261 would have been incredibly easy (and, for once, justifiable – I have written before about my battles with BA to get EU261 compensation when it was clearly due so the fact that they volunteered compensation was extraordinary).

    On a separate but related note, we arrived back into HK from Bali on Sunday and managed to catch the Airport Express shortly before it was shut down. Huge sigh of relief there. We did see, from the train windows, a large number of protesters walking from Tung Chung towards the airport. Lots of riot police in the airport as well. Interesting times…


    SimonS1
    Participant

    BA were very sympathetic and offered to rebook them free of charge, which they did – but not two days later. The rebooking was in fact for SIX days later (yes, from Tuesday evening to the following Monday). However, they did offer GBP200 per “pair” of pax per day (which was enough for hotel rooms and basic food, although to be fair we fed them fairly well for every meal except breakfast). We eventually managed to get them rebooked on a Thursday flight

    Personally I was astonished that BA provided my sister with anything as pleading “extraordinary circumstances” under EU261 would have been incredibly easy (and, for once, justifiable – I have written before about my battles with BA to get EU261 compensation when it was clearly due so the fact that they volunteered compensation was extraordinary).

    In reality BA were just doing what they were legally required to do under EC261.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I don’t think so, Simon. These genuinely were extraordinary circumstances and therefore outside the scope of EU261. To quote one of the claims firms who have (I think) accurately paragphrased the rules:

    QUOTE
    An eu261 extraordinary circumstance is defined as something that is:
    * Not inherent in the normal activity of the airline, and
    * Outside the control of the airline.

    In short, eu261 extraordinary circumstances include:

    * Military unrest
    * Acts of Terrorism and Sabotage
    * Air Traffic Control Strikes
    * Political Unrest
    * Airport Security issues
    * Natural Disasters
    * Adverse weather conditions
    * Hidden manufacturing defects
    UNQUOTE

    I don’t think any airline would have much difficulty in characterising the events as “political unrest” or “airport security issues”


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I don’t think so, Simon. These genuinely were extraordinary circumstances and therefore outside the scope of EU261. To quote one of the claims firms who have (I think) accurately paragphrased the rules:

    QUOTE

    An eu261 extraordinary circumstance is defined as something that is:

    * Not inherent in the normal activity of the airline, and

    * Outside the control of the airline.

    In short, eu261 extraordinary circumstances include:

    * Military unrest

    * Acts of Terrorism and Sabotage

    * Air Traffic Control Strikes

    * Political Unrest

    * Airport Security issues

    * Natural Disasters

    * Adverse weather conditions

    * Hidden manufacturing defects

    UNQUOTE

    I don’t think any airline would have much difficulty in characterising the events as “political unrest” or “airport security issues”

    Thanks, yes I’m aware of what extraordinary circumstances are, however the issue of extraordinary circumstances only applies to Article 7 covering cash compensation, not to duty of care payments.

    BA is required legally to offer hotel, food, transport to hotel and 2x calls regardless of the cause of the delay.

    In your case this was not some nice gesture from BA, just the airline meeting its obligations under EC261.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    These genuinely were extraordinary circumstances

    I have at least 2 more trips to HKG/Asia during 2019. When do ‘extraordinary circumstances’ become non extraordinary circumstances or does time and frequency of these circumstances not matter?

    If I was unlucky enough for these situations to affect both of my next trips – would they then be considered non extraordinary circumstances?


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I have at least 2 more trips to HKG/Asia during 2019. When do ‘extraordinary circumstances’ become non extraordinary circumstances or does time and frequency of these circumstances not matter?

    If I was unlucky enough for these situations to affect both of my next trips – would they then be considered non extraordinary circumstances?

    I would say the criteria mentioned by IanFromHKG above are a reasonable guide. Extraordinary things are issues which are:

    * Not inherent in the normal activity of the airline, and
    * Outside the control of the airline.

    So to answer your question, I don’t think the frequency is necessarily relevant if the cause of the disruption is outside the airline’s control.

    Remember as well the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ question is a EC261 issue, if you are travelling on a non EC airline this may not be relevant at all. A trip from Bangkok to HK being an example.

    However really if you are doing the same trip on a regular basis you need to pause and ensure your have the right protections in place:

    1. If my trip is disrupted, will I be looked after by the airline? (example as mentioned above – in US there is no mandatory duty of care, regardless of whether extraordinary or not, whereas under EC261 there is a duty of care)
    2. Have I got appropriate insurance to cover me, or alternatively am I happy to ‘self insure’?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    However really if you are doing the same trip on a regular basis you need to pause and ensure your have the right protections in place:

    1. If my trip is disrupted, will I be looked after by the airline? (example as mentioned above – in US there is no mandatory duty of care, regardless of whether extraordinary or not, whereas under EC261 there is a duty of care)
    2. Have I got appropriate insurance to cover me, or alternatively am I happy to ‘self insure’?

    Thank you Simon, quite clearly, it is a case of covering these costs myself..

    Q1 – The airline has shown it will not look after me, other than re booking me 48 hours later

    Q2 – My travel insurance does not cover this extraordinary circumstance – and as you know the Amex cover is an Insurance policy not a group free gift.

    I would find a comprehensive and independent article in the BT magazine about travel insurance very interesting.

    I have also previously mentioned, i would happily pay a broker to research a market leading / comprehensive travel policy …, using the Amex policy as a benchmark, but it must be a clear recommendation by a professional broker.

    Any brokers out there want to take the challenge?

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