EU261 & what time is classed as delay?

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  IanFromHKG 12 Feb 2018
at 00:27
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  • mikewebley
    Participant

    My flight from BRS to GLA, was delayed, as the plane ran out of fuel & we diverted to EDI, by the time we had re-fuelled & got back to GLA, we was at the gate 2 hr 58 mins late, but then we had to wait for steps to be arranged, as no-one was waiting due to the delay, which was a further 25 mins delay.

    So, under EU261, is the delay, 2hr 58 mins or 3hr 23 mins, which would mean EU261 pay-out ?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I believe for this purpose arrival time is defined as the time that the disembarkation door is opened. I would need to check.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I believe for this purpose arrival time is defined as the time that the disembarkation door is opened. I would need to check.

    capetonianm is correct, with the rider that the pax must be able to disembark!

    Opening the doors, with no steps there, doesn’t count 🙂


    philsquares
    Participant

    I think you will find the “official” time is the “IN” time as calculated by the ACARS. It is automatically sent depending on what options the airline has selected. If you have an issue with the times, it will be an uphill battle to get the airline to even consider amending the time. They will use the excuse the time is based on a GPS time which is good +/- .001 seconds. They will argue the time is calculated automatically and it can’t be “tinkered” with.

    That said, I don’t think the cockpit would not change time based on the additional 25 minutes they would get paid. The Captain can override the automatic report . I would contact the airline and get the official time or you might want to try FR24 as they have the historical times on the website. I can’t remember if they are the IN times on the ON times.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    No, you are incorrect, the EU261 time is when the passenger door is opened and the passengers are able to disembark.

    Reference Germanwings GmbH v Ronny Henning (C‑452/13).


    philsquares
    Participant

    FDOS_UK, you are missing the point. Depending on what criteria the airline has selected, the door opening might or might not trigger an “in” event. Unless you know the official “in” time as reported by the airline, you are kind of trying to herd cats! I am not disputing what the definition actually is. But unless you know the exact time the airline is using rather than the time you think you should use, you really have no leg to stand on.

    Just as an example…when I worked for a certain carrier based in Singapore, the logic they used to trigger an out event was doors closed and brakes released. That was the out event. The airline also had a requirement of any delay over 2 minutes from scheduled departure required a “Captain’s Report”. So, the easy way to get an “on time” departure and not spend hours trying to craft a report for a 2 minute delay was to ensure doors were closed and pop the brakes. Now you had an out time, the meter was running and you didn’t have to waste any time or paper trying to pin the blame on any organization or individual.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    philsquares

    Who says the door opening time recorded by ACARS is ‘official’?

    Did you read the reference?

    If there was a court case, the airline would submit evidence and the passenger would submit evidence, the judge would review it and make a ruling on the balance of probability.

    Judges are not stupid and if the airline figure was ‘doors open at hh:mm’ and the passenger said ‘doors open at hh:mm’. ‘disembarkation at hh:mm’, then I believe the outcome is reasonably predictable, unless the airline could produce compelling evidence that disembarkation was earlier.

    Contrary to what you appear to believe, the court is the arbiter of justice, not the airline.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    It’s very interesting.

    I think we need an update to this piece

    Your rights under Reg 261 explained


    drflight
    Participant

    Following the Germanwings GmbH V Ronny Henning case (as referenced earlier by FDOS_UK on 29 Jan) the Court of Justice of the European Union issued the following press release re. the court’s conclusion.

    “The Court concludes that the ‘arrival time’, which is used to determine the length of the delay to
    which passengers on a flight have been subject, corresponds to the time at which at least one of
    the doors of the aircraft is opened, the assumption being that, at that moment, the passengers are
    permitted to leave the aircraft.”

    The press release can be viewed here:

    https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-09/cp140116en.pdf


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Following the Germanwings GmbH V Ronny Henning case (as referenced earlier by FDOS_UK on 29 Jan) the Court of Justice of the European Union issued the following press release re. the court’s conclusion.
    “The Court concludes that the ‘arrival time’, which is used to determine the length of the delay to which passengers on a flight have been subject, corresponds to the time at which at least one of the doors of the aircraft is opened, the assumption being that, at that moment, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft.”
    The press release can be viewed here:
    https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-09/cp140116en.pdf

    Absolutely, I’ve emboldened a key phrase. If the passengers cannot disembark, e.g. due to lack of stairs, then the time of disembarkation becomes the relevant point.


    philsquares
    Participant

    philsquares
    Who says the door opening time recorded by ACARS is ‘official’?
    Did you read the reference?
    If there was a court case, the airline would submit evidence and the passenger would submit evidence, the judge would review it and make a ruling on the balance of probability.
    Judges are not stupid and if the airline figure was ‘doors open at hh:mm’ and the passenger said ‘doors open at hh:mm’. ‘disembarkation at hh:mm’, then I believe the outcome is reasonably predictable, unless the airline could produce compelling evidence that disembarkation was earlier.
    Contrary to what you appear to believe, the court is the arbiter of justice, not the airline.

    Did you read and comprehend my response? I don’t really think so. My point and please read this carefully, is not to argue about what definitions are and what the judge will do. You first need to reference what the “IN” time really is. That is triggered by, in most cases the door open and engines shutdown. That time is computed by ACARS and is done by the masterclock which is synchronized with the GPS time. If the times are pretty close to what the OP has recorded, it might be a matter of someone’s timepiece being wrong. However, it it is grossly off, the OP needs to have ammunition to refute the alleged “IN” time. It helps if he knows the possible scenarios which would trigger an “event”. Just getting up there and saying he/she disagrees and my times are accurate won’t work. If the times are off by a large amount, then he/she would be able to argue it was a false “event” and the crew most likely manually updated the times after all pax disembarked.

    Perhaps if you would take the time to read the posts you wouldn’t come across with such a belligerent attitude.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    My point and please read this carefully, is not to argue about what definitions are and what the judge will do

    That is what is going to decide the ruling.

    Just getting up there and saying he/she disagrees and my times are accurate won’t work

    Have you ever pleaded a case in the County Court?

    I repeat, at the risk of your annoyance, that the claimant will present his/her evidence and the airline will present theirs and then the judge will decide which is more credible, on balance of probablity.

    In the OP, we read that the aircraft arrived on stand 2 hour 58 mins late – there does not seem to be a dispute about that. The OP then says it took 25 mins for the steps to arrive, meaning this will be well in excess of 3 hours and EC261 compensation will be due.

    You can argue GPS, atomic clocks and new techology from the planet Zorg, but unless the airline has credible proof that the steps arrived within the EC261 limits (i.e. within 1 minute 59 seconds after the aircraft arrived), then the judge is highly likely to find for the claimant, in my opinion.

    May I also suggest that intemperate remarks are best not written?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    A poster asks a perfectly reasonable and sensible question and is given several reasonable, clear and sensible responses which all say pretty much the same thing.

    Then someone comes in and tries to blind us with ‘science’ and various points which in themselves make sense but are invalid in this context. BS doesn’t baffle brains. I know exactly what ACARS is and how it works, and it’s not germane to this discussion.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    A poster asks a perfectly reasonable and sensible question and is given several reasonable, clear and sensible responses which all say pretty much the same thing.
    Then someone comes in and tries to blind us with ‘science’ and various points which in themselves make sense but are invalid in this context. BS doesn’t baffle brains. I know exactly what ACARS is and how it works, and it’s not germane to this discussion.

    Yep, it seems some people associated with the airline industry do love to try and the BBB route.

    I had it from a large airline last year, who had a schedule change somewhat in advance and it resulted in a impossible connection, requiring a next day reroute, which they arranged and hotac – which I was promised they would arrange/provide.

    On the day, it wasn’t provided, for reasons best known to them and they grudgingly offered £35 in lieu (against a walk up price of £200 for the hotel room at midnight – talk about captive audience). I did tell them straight that the UK small claims track is efficient if they would not honour the agreement, but they decided to stand their ground – it eventually cost them the full hotel cost and court fees – the BS was the airport had arranged runway works and it wasn’t their fault. When you have already made the offer of hotac and the client has conditionally accepted the schedule change on that basis, in writing, it is not smart to try to renege.


    drflight
    Participant

    There is quite a good summary of the Germanwings V Henning case here:

    http://www.kennedyslaw.com/casereview/arrivaltimeaviation/

    It is interesting to note the airline regarded the arrival time as the minute the aircraft touched down on the runway (17:38) and the claimant regarded the arrival time as when the aircraft parked at the gate (17:43). The comment at the end of the summary notes the court departed from the widely accepted convention the arrival time is when the chocks are applied. The International Civil Aviation Organisation classifies a flight as:

    Aircraft hours. Aircraft hours are based on “block-to-block” time (i.e. from the moment the aircraft is pushed back from the gate or starts taxiing from its parking stand for take-off to the moment it comes to a final stop at a gate or parking stand after landing); also known as block time.

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