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Flight delay

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ask100 | 21:00 Thu 15th Oct 2009 | Travel
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My wife and I were delayed by 16 hours on a flight from Dalaman to Gatwick due to a 'bird strike'.
I understand that we may be due some compensation but who does it come from, the airline or our insurance?

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The Montreal Convention specifies levels of compensation which airlines must pay when delays or cancellations occur. This is in addition to any meals or accommodation, which they are also obliged to provide. The level of compensation varies depending on the length of delay, and the flight distance. There is no "get out clause". The airline will not...
09:08 Fri 16th Oct 2009
The airline are probably under some duty to put you up overnight and feed you if necessary but possibly not much more than that. In theory they should compensate you but this sounds like the sort of case where they'd claim it was an Act of God, not something they could have done anything about, and therefore they aren't liable.

You'd probably have more luck suing the birds.

You may get a more precise answer from someone else, so don't take this off-the-cuff one as gospel.
Have to agree with jno, bet if you look in the small print of your flight booking confirmation there will be some sort of get out clause.
We were delayed overnight coming back from Portugal a couple of years ago, but because they (eventually) ferried us to a hotel for the night, including breakfast, it negated any claim we might have had, because the airline were literally just within the time limits for providing accomodation.
I'm convinced they kept us hanging around at the airport for so long so that they didn't have to get the hotel to provide us with an evening meal as well!
Question Author
Yes JNO we were eventually put into a magnificent new 5 star hotel but it was by then 3 am so we were too tired to enjoy it. Good breakfast too.
The Montreal Convention specifies levels of compensation which airlines must pay when delays or cancellations occur. This is in addition to any meals or accommodation, which they are also obliged to provide. The level of compensation varies depending on the length of delay, and the flight distance. There is no "get out clause". The airline will not volunteer this information, and will probably refuse to pay at first. They will probably send a vaguely worded reply which explains the circumstances under which the compensation is not due. If this happens, write back politely and ask them to explain how the circumstances apply to this situation. If they still won't pay, take it to the appropriate authority, the Air Transport Users Council. For clarification, the compensation is not payable when the delay or cancellation is for "extraordinay reasons" which means weather, security and other unforeseeable issues. This does not include technical reasons, and I am 99% sure that you will be entitled to decent compensation. I got €250 from FlyBe for a 4 hour delay on a domestic UK flight, but I had to stick to my guns. Check out Martin Lewis's website (moneysavingexpert.com)for excellent advice.
I reckon you are entitled to €600. Do your homework and stick to your guns. I think slinkycat should have got €250, depending on the cause. In my opinion it is very difficult for the airline to avoid paying if you understand your rights and are persistent. Remember they will oviously try to avoid paying. Do not take no for an answer at any stage, and refer it to the ATUC. It is well worth it for €600, and they are obliged to pay it..
Some further comments. It costs you nothing to pursue this. If the airline is ordered to pay by the ATUC then they will be fined £5,000 for their initial refusal to pay you. And they have to incur the costs of fighting the case. So if they are liable, they will pay up to avoid this.
Dalaman airport is probably the worst to get stuck in.. poor you!
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I will follow your good advise.
As it happened apart from the initial confusion with nobody knowing what was going to happen, the new 5 star Hilton Hotel we were put up in was a great surprise and probably better than the accomodation most people had on their holiday.
Speaking as someone in the industry, I\'m afraid BenDetoy is wrong as i don\'t think he spotted the birdstrike comment, you are entitled to nowt.
As far as the EU rules are concerned for delays, airlines are only liable to compensate for delay if it was within their power to cause/prevent, and i\'m afraid bird strikes are considered \"extraordinary circumstances\" and unfortunately considered (rightly) to be outside the airlines control. BenDetoy is correct however that IF it had been due to maintenance, technical problems, crew shortage etc, then you would have had a case.

Given they put you up, they actually did more than many airlines would do if the delay wasn\'t their fault.

If you have travel insurance, you may still be able to make a claim and get a small sum of cash back from them as the \"fault\" rule does not apply, its just a question of what the timing peramaters are for your insurer.
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Oh, kira000, I am sorry to hear that but understand what you have pointed out.
You should claim the money you are legally entitled to from the airline (regulation EU261/2004)

Was your flight delayed? How much compensation you are entitled to depends on the following criteria:
• for all flights of 1,500 kilometres or less: EUR 250 (± 199 GBP);
• for all intra-community flights of more than 1,500 kilometres and for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres: EUR 400 (± 320 GBP);
• for all other flights that do not fall under (A) or (B): EUR 600 (± 480 GBP).

If the airline offered the passenger a re-routing, they are allowed to reduce the amount of compensation with 50%. To which flights does this apply?
• the flight distance was less than 1,500 kilometres and the flight was delayed in arrival by more than two hours;
• the scheduled arrival of the original booked flight was exceeded by three hours, for all intra-Community flights of more than 1,500 kilometres and for all flights between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres;
• the scheduled arrival time of the originally booked flight was exceeded by four hours, for all flights that do not fall under (a) or (b).

More info: http://flight-delayed.co.uk/flight-delayed/

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