Easyjet, Ryanair, BA cancellations

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  • drykl
    Participant

    Fortunately BA don’t have a good legal team, otherwise they might come up with a nice riposte to the Honourable FDOS, which I imagine would read like this:

    We are very sorry to hear of the experience. Unfortunately, EU261 only applies to cancellations, flight delays, and denied boarding.
    1. BA 2781 was rescheduled to depart on Monday rather than Tuesday. The flight has not been cancelled, and so EU261 is not applicable. Please note that alterations in date and time (whilst keeping to the same flight number) are categorised as ‘schedule change’.
    2. Nevertheless, as per the BA Terms and Conditions which the customer signed up to during purchase of the ticket, this schedule change of >2 hours is classified as ‘Major’. We complied with the terms and conditions by offering an alternative flight +/- 2 days of original schedule.
    3. Also, as per Terms and Conditions, we would offer the option of a refund if the alternatives did not meet the customer’s requirements.
    4. Unfortunately, the customer chose to cancel the booking before we were given the time and opportunity to meet their requirements.”

    Incidentally, we note the customer comment that Easyjet and Ryanair were quick to offer refunds or change of flight when the airline cancelled the flights. We are pleased to reassure you that if we (BA) cancel the flight, we will definitely offer a refund or alternative arrangements right away. Regretfully, in this instance, it was the customer (and not BA) who chose to cancel their booking.


    FDOS
    Participant

    Your understanding of the law is not very good, is it?

    That argument is compost, to put it nicely and would not survive first contact with the legal system, who understand the law.

    As I said earlier, Articles 6, 8 and 15. Airline can reasonably expect flight to depart >5 hours after scheduled (because it has been rescheduled), thus the passenger is entitled to a full refund. End of story – this is the law and airline T&Cs do not have primacy over it.


    drykl
    Participant

    [postquote quote=1361866]

    My legal knowledge is clearly deficient compared to the esteemed FDOS, but I can’t help imagining a BA legalese reply like this:

    To the Honourable FDOS
    You mention flight delay >5 hours after schedule as the basis of an EU261 claim. However, we are very pleased to assure you that we have offered the customer a service enhancement that enables them to arrive home 24 hours earlier than scheduled. Flight 2781 is now departing on Monday rather than Tuesday, and as such, the customer will not be inconvenienced by any delay. Thus, we are delighted to inform you that there is no cancellation and no delay that would fall under the remit of EU261


    FDOS
    Participant

    Reported for trolling.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    [quote quote=1361950]You mention flight delay >5 hours after schedule as the basis of an EU261 claim. However, we are very pleased to assure you that we have offered the customer a service enhancement that enables them to arrive home 24 hours earlier than scheduled. Flight 2781 is now departing on Monday rather than Tuesday, and as such, the customer will not be inconvenienced by any delay. Thus, we are delighted to inform you that there is no cancellation and no delay that would fall under the remit of EU261[/quote]

    I hesitate to step between the the two contributor arguments – but I did have a similar experience as the OP with BA during 2022, as I am sure many others have also. They cancelled our 1650 flight from TLV to LHR with 4 weeks notice and offered us the same day at 0800, effectively a day earlier. The cancellation notice did say we could get a refund if we preferred. We decided to move to the 0800 the following day instead and (after checking the EU 261 regulations) we stood the cost of an extra hotel night ourselves, as we thought that the success of a claim would be dubious.


    drykl
    Participant

    [postquote quote=1361963]

    A very valid point. We have had similar major schedule changes with BA where we had to choose between accepting the altered timings, or to opt for the refund instead.


    FDOS
    Participant

    [postquote quote=1361963]

    ASK

    Article 5 covers cancellation and as BA informed you at -4 weeks, there is no compansation due, but assistance under Article 8 is due.

    Article 8 gives some options, two relevant being

    (b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

    (c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the
    passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats

    So you were completely within your rights to choose (c) and you should have received EC261 care, that is a hotel room, meals, transfers, phone calls – if you still have the receipts, I’d submit to BA Customer Services and ask for reimbursement.

    Full details of Article 9 FYI

    Article 9

    Right to care

    1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered free of charge:
    (a) meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time;
    (b) hotel accommodation in cases
    – where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary, or
    – where a stay additional to that intended by the passenger becomes necessary;

    (c) transport between the airport and place of accommodation
    (hotel or other).

    2. In addition, passengers shall be offered free of charge two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    FDOS

    Thank you for your clarification. However, as I understood the regs, Articles 5.1(b) and 5.1(c)(i) – Article 8 does not apply when the cancellation is more than four weeks.The difference in my case was the alternative flight offered was earlier the same day. Also, i was offered a full refund.

    I do have the receipts for our costs and might try to claim from BA if the OP is successful in their claim.


    FDOS
    Participant

    [postquote quote=1361973]

    ASK

    Here is Article 5 – if you read it carefully, you will notice there is a time bar for compensation, but not for care. You were offered a flight earlier the same day, but were not obliged to accept it and chose to take a later flight, per your rights and (IMO) are therefore able to claim for care.

    Cancellation
    1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:

    (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and

    (b) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 9(1) (a) and 9(2), as well as, in
    event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after
    the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)
    (b) and 9(1)(c); and (c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, unless:
    (i) they are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or
    (ii) they are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of
    departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled
    time of departure and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival;
    or
    (iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are
    offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure
    and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.
    2. When passengers are informed of the cancellation, an explanation shall be given concerning possible
    alternative transport.
    3. An operating air carrier shall not be obliged to pay compensation in accordance with Article 7, if it can prove
    that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all
    reasonable measures had been taken.
    4. The burden of proof concerning the questions as to whether and when the passenger has been informed of
    the cancellation of the flight shall rest with the operating air carrier.

    So your logic path is Article 5, Article 8 and Article 9. I wouldn’t be surprised if you claimed via BA that they settled without argument.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    I am really sorry to lengthen this thread by re-posting a part of EU261 but (FDOS) most of thw above quote is not relevant to my (and the PO’s) cancellation by BA, as we both suffered a cancellation more than two weeks before the flight in question. So, taking out the conditions quoted in the regulation which are not relevant, we are left with:

    Cancellation
    1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:
    (a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and
    (b) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 9(1) (a) and 9(2), as well as, in event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1) (b) and 9(1)(c); and (c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, UNLESS
    (i) they are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure; or

    It is very common in regulatory law in the UK for items in the earlier part to be conditionalised by a later part. In my case, I was offered a flight the same day, but several hours earlier, which takes out regulation 1(b) for me.

    PS: I meant to agree with you earlier – regulations (the law) do trump Terms and Conditions laid down by companies and I have had battles with companies over this in the recent past – with me always winning.


    FDOS
    Participant

    [quote quote=1362024]t is very common in regulatory law in the UK for items in the earlier part to be conditionalised by a later part. In my case, I was offered a flight the same day, but several hours earlier, which takes out regulation 1(b) for me.[/quote]

    Don’t forget that EC261 is a European Commission originated law, so needs to be read, as such.

    The preamble to EC261 is instructive
    THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

    Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 80(2) thereof,

    Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),

    Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(2),

    After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

    Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3), in the light of the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 1 December 2003,

    Whereas:

    (1)

    Action by the Community in the field of air transport should aim, among other things, at ensuring a high level of protection for passengers. Moreover, full account should be taken of the requirements of consumer protection in general.

    (2)

    Denied boarding and cancellation or long delay of flights cause serious trouble and inconvenience to passengers.

    (3)

    While Council Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 of 4 February 1991 establishing common rules for a denied boarding compensation system in scheduled air transport(4) created basic protection for passengers, the number of passengers denied boarding against their will remains too high, as does that affected by cancellations without prior warning and that affected by long delays.

    (4)

    The Community should therefore raise the standards of protection set by that Regulation both to strengthen the rights of passengers and to ensure that air carriers operate under harmonised conditions in a liberalised market.

    I understand your concerns about being offered a flight earlier, but IMO it does not affect your right to care, because you were under no obligation to accept it and chose the option of a later flight at your convenience.

    One of the reasons that airlines get away without paying their due is that people do not understand their rights, the EC did consumers a big favour with 261, however pax need to use it to gain the benefits.


    FDOS
    Participant

    @ASK1945

    I think you are reading this incorrectly

    “the assistance specified in Article 9(1) (b) and 9(1)(c); and (c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, UNLESS”

    The assistance is not linked to the compensation (Article 7) – I write this from experience 😉


    ASK1945
    Participant

    [quote quote=1362047]The assistance is not linked to the compensation (Article 7) – I write this from experience[/quote]

    Agreed. But all the articles refer to being offered a later flight, not an earlier one. We were offered an earlier one and the cancellation was more than two weeks before we evn left the UK so my interpretation was from article 5 “…………when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1) (b) and 9(1)(c); and (c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7 ….”

    My own experience is from the occasionally contributing to writing UK regulations, albeit in another sphere. I became very experienced in reading them and learnt that words like “and” or “or” can be very important and I took the view here that precluded me from claiming. However, that doesn’t guarantee I interpret them correctly. I am not a judge.

    Unless your own successful claim was from identical circumstances to mine, it doesn’t create a precedent.


    FDOS
    Participant

    @ASK

    From my experience and those of others, I know the two are not linked.

    In fact, offering an earlier flight may give arise to compensation, when the time bar does not apply and extraordinary circumstances are not in play.

    I would suggest that the way of drafting UK regs is somewhat different to the EU – that is not my opinion, as I am not a lawyer, but I have a friend whose wife is highly experienced in drafting European legislation and she shared that thought with me.

    It is how one reads ‘and’ that is key.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FDOS
    Participant

    For anyone reading this thread, I’m sharing my experience/layman’s opinion to provide data that others may find useful.

    It is not my intention to persuade anyone to do anything that they are not comfortable with 😉

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