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Swiss Air, Expedia and Reimbursement


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Hi All,

 

First Post. Volcano related, inevitably. My parents are stuck in Istanbul at the moment. They were due to fly back to London yesterday, but the flight was cancelled and has been rebooked for Wednesday. They are travelling via Swiss air, but the flight and hotels were booked through expedia. I have a few questions:

 

1) I understand that as a non-EU airline, Swiss Air is NOT obliged to pay for my parents hotel - is this correct?

 

2) Are expedia responsible for arranging accomodation/flights?

 

Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers.

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Switzerland signed up to the provisions of the regulation on 1st December 2006 so any Swiss airline is legally bound by its requirements. Insofar as your first question is concerned, Swiss Air are responsible for meals and accommodation for your parents.

 

The airline should be contacted directly to rebook any cancelled flights not Expedia as they were only the agent.

 

Cityboy62

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Switzerland signed up to the provisions of the regulation on 1st December 2006 so any Swiss airline is legally bound by its requirements. Insofar as your first question is concerned, Swiss Air are responsible for meals and accommodation for your parents.

 

The airline should be contacted directly to rebook any cancelled flights not Expedia as they were only the agent.

 

Cityboy62

 

My understanding on this whole situation does not follow the above.

 

From what I have heard because this is basically an 'act of god' (i.e. no one's fault/beyond anybodies control ect), the airlines are only obliged to provide alternative passage of offer a refund. Accomodation will be an insurance issue although the general feeling is that most policies exclude such events. You have to see it from the airline's point of view; at the moment there are an estimated 100,000 people from the UK alone affected by this. If the airlines had to meet the accomodation for all of these people in addition to the lost revenue involved, how many will still be in business afterwards? There are other avenues to explore for help. For example; you may be protected if you paid for the holiday via a credit card ect.

 

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Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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My understanding on this whole situation does not follow the above.

 

From what I have heard because this is basically an 'act of god' (i.e. no one's fault/beyond anybodies control ect), the airlines are only obliged to provide alternative passage of offer a refund. Accomodation will be an insurance issue although the general feeling is that most policies exclude such events. You have to see it from the airline's point of view; at the moment there are an estimated 100,000 people from the UK alone affected by this. If the airlines had to meet the accomodation for all of these people in addition to the lost revenue involved, how many will still be in business afterwards? There are other avenues to explore for help. For example; you may be protected if you paid for the holiday via a credit card ect.

 

The airlines are legally bound by Article 9 of EC 261/2004 to provide meals and accommodation in the event of a cancellation or long delay. There is no defence available to the airlines not to provide these (acts of God, extraordinary circumstances, beyond airline's control etc).

 

Full reg here: EUR-Lex - 32004R0261 - EN

 

Before you post a reply stating that Recitals 14 and 15 cover extraordinary circumstances and therefore lets the airline off the hook, those recitals only cover the right to additional compensation under articles 5 & 7, something that is not in question in this instance.

 

The airlines tried to have this covered when they took the DfT to court and appealed to the ECJ over this in 2006. The airlines lost the case and it reinforced the regulation as it stands. Decision here (Case C344/04): RECENT CASE-LAW - Results

 

Trust this clarifies the regulation for you (and the OP).

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The airlines are legally bound by Article 9 of EC 261/2004 to provide meals and accommodation in the event of a cancellation or long delay. There is no defence available to the airlines not to provide these (acts of God, extraordinary circumstances, beyond airline's control etc).

 

Full reg here: EUR-Lex - 32004R0261 - EN

 

Before you post a reply stating that Recitals 14 and 15 cover extraordinary circumstances and therefore lets the airline off the hook, those recitals only cover the right to additional compensation under articles 5 & 7, something that is not in question in this instance.

 

The airlines tried to have this covered when they took the DfT to court and appealed to the ECJ over this in 2006. The airlines lost the case and it reinforced the regulation as it stands. Decision here (Case C344/04): RECENT CASE-LAW - Results

 

Trust this clarifies the regulation for you (and the OP).

 

Who has decided and where does it say that these circumstances are not 'extraordinary which could not have been avioded'?

 

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.

 

As I have clearly previously stated; From what I have heard (both through the professional grape vine and national media), the carrier's obligation ends with the flight ticket and as such is expected to offer a refund or an alternative flight. It would appear that some tour operators (i've heard Thomas Cook is one) are not even offering that and are suggesting that customers claim off their travel insurance.

 

Which ever way you look aty this, these most certainly are extraordinary circumstances and will result in signifitant loss of revenue to airlines and misery to the travelling public. If your interpretation of the regulations is correct, then some passengers may have to instigate legal action which may be the only way we will find out who is right.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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Who has decided and where does it say that these circumstances are not 'extraordinary which could not have been avioded'?

 

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.

 

As I have clearly previously stated; From what I have heard (both through the professional grape vine and national media), the carrier's obligation ends with the flight ticket and as such is expected to offer a refund or an alternative flight. It would appear that some tour operators (i've heard Thomas Cook is one) are not even offering that and are suggesting that customers claim off their travel insurance.

 

Which ever way you look aty this, these most certainly are extraordinary circumstances and will result in signifitant loss of revenue to airlines and misery to the travelling public. If your interpretation of the regulations is correct, then some passengers may have to instigate legal action which may be the only way we will find out who is right.

 

I agree these are some of the most extraordinary circumstances we have ever seen as regards the wholesale grounding of aircraft across much of northern europe.

 

You have quoted Art 5.3 which refers to the compensation available under Art 7. I agree that this compensation will not be payable in these circumstances.

 

Art 9 Right to Care is completely separate from this compensation in Art 7 and is not bound by the extraordinary circumstances defence as I stated in my previous post. The correct interpretation is (now) being stated by the BBC BBC News - Iceland volcano: Air passenger rights and other news media, along with governoments Advice for stranded passengers : Directgov - Newsroom and consumer advice bodies (AUC, which etc).

 

There has been widespread misinformation from a number of airlines (full service, charter and low cost carriers) which I would think will get rather more than a slap on the wrist over this, especially as these same airlines are now crying out for governments for financial assistance!

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I doubt that all passengers will achieve the rights they theoretically have. Since a volcano is definitively an extraordinary circumstance which could not have been avoided, there will always be ground enough for the airlines to argue that they don't have to pay. You're lucky if the new tickets get paid, let alone accomodation and food. Don't think that there will be any chance to get refund for that. Seen from the airlines perspective one can understand that they are not able to pay for all of this. They lost so many money anyway during those days, that they'll hardly be able to refund everyone for the costs they had in the meantime. He who needs good shoes because he is meant to walk home instead of flying, should have a look at those shoes.

Edited by AlwaysOnHoliday
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I would agree with that. Also any air tickets which have been booked AFTER the event, would not be liable to any form of refund under 'extraordinary' rules.

 

__________________

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my scales at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice usefull.

Please Note

 

The advice I offer will be based on the information given by the person needing it. All my advice is based on my experiences and knowledge gained in working in the motor and passenger transport industries in various capacities. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidence only.

 

I would always urge to seek face to face professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

 

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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