Is a NBA/LBA my next step?

edited 17 February 2016 at 12:32AM in Flight delay compensation
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akira181akira181 Forumite
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edited 17 February 2016 at 12:32AM in Flight delay compensation
Just a quick summary of what happened and what I have done so far.

I'm 2012, I purchased tickets with KLM for my (now ex) boyfriend and myself to go to Lima. We boarded the plane and were left sitting on the tarmac for 3 hours before taking off. Halfway through the flight, we were advised there was a fuel shortage on the plane and we had to go back to Amsterdam (our departure airport) as a result. We were then left in the airport overnight and didn't begin our journey again until the following morning, arriving in Lima more than 24 hours late.

I filled out the KLM in-house form and their reply was that it was a safety issue that could not be prevented... I then sent them the flight delay compensation letter template I downloaded from from this site.

Thry replied saying this delay is classed as "extraordinary" and no compensation is due. I have attached the correspondence I've had with KLM below.

First letter to KLM
My boyfriend and I were delayed by approx. 3 hours before take-off on 3rd Feb. 2012. We then got half-way to our destination (Lima) and were advised that due to a fuel shortage we would need to return to Amsterdam (approx. 10 hours on this plane). Upon arrival back in Amsterdam we were advised to wait in the airport for another flight to become available, we slept on benches as no hotel rooms were available. A new flight became available the following day 4th Feb. 2012.

When we arrived in Lima (over 24 from our initial arrival time), we had to pay an additional cost for a taxi to take us to our hotel, whereas we had booked a transfer for the previous day. In addition to this we missed the first day of our tour, meals and the first night in our hotel, which were all paid for and non-refundable. The vacation was a birthday present to my boyfriend and I had paid for both airline tickets as a gift.

First reply from KLM
Thank you for your message. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience you mention and for the delay in our response to your message.

I am sorry to learn that you were unable to travel as planned due to the cancellation of your flight middway through its journey to Lima.

As an airline, we are acutely aware of the inconvenience delays in departure or arrival will cause. As such, we seek to prevent and limit such occurrences as much as possible.

Unforeseen circumstances may however severely affect our operations and result in unavoidable delays. As you will appreciate, we will always put passenger safety above all other considerations.

In this case the crew felt that it would not be safe to continue with the flight on the way to Lima and felt that the safest option was to return to Amsterdam and change the aircraft and the crew.
Unfortunately this meant a long delay for you and the other passengers on board, however, in situations such as this we feel safety is paramount and therefore believe that cancelling the fight was the correct decision.

When passengers find themselves in such a situation, we expect our staff to be on hand to assist them in arranging alternative means to reach their final destination and we sincerely hope this was the case in your situation.

Unfortunately, as this was a safety issue and one that could not have been prevented we regret that this is not a situation where additional compensation is offered. I am sorry for any disappointment that this may cause and I am pleased to read that you were still able to travel
to your destination on a rebooked flight.

I am sorry for the inconvenience you faced and we hope to see you soon on our routes in the future.

2nd message to KLM
I sent the flight delay compensation letter from this site

2nd reply from KLM
Thank you for contacting us again regarding your flight delay on 03 February 2012. We would like to apologise for the delay in our response to you.

As previously stated in our email to you back in November, the occurances leading to this delay are classed as 'extraordinary' under the EU 261/2004, and therefore there is no compensation due to you on this occasion.

Apologies for any misunderstanding this may have caused.

Sorry for such a long message but I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything out. I just cannot believe that gross negligence of not putting enough fuel in a plane can be considered an "out of their control extraordinary circumstance".

So can someone tell me if a NBA the next step? Can I write that myself or should I contact a claims firm?

Thanks very much for the help in advance!

Replies

  • Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    Akira181 wrote: »
    So can someone tell me if a NBA the next step? Can I write that myself or should I contact a claims firm?
    If you decide to take this further it looks like you would need to do this yourself - Bott & Co will not take it as it was not departing/arriving the UK and EUClaim agree with the airline (assuming KL743)
    Our check has shown that your flight is a problem flight affected by extraordinary circumstances. We are therefore unfortunately unable to process your claim.
    Our data shows that the airline can claim 'exceptional circumstances' e.g. there was a strike or bad weather conditions. This means they can't be held responsible and can't be forced to pay compensation.
    While it is possible to claim compensation it's unlikely you'll be successful. We recommend not pursuing this case.

    There may be others but I expect they use the same data
  • akira181akira181 Forumite
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    It baffles me how failing to put enough fuel in a plane is 'out of their control'. I'll double check the flight number but I cannot believe they're going to get away with this one
  • Hi Akira

    Caz is usually bang on. As you say it looks like incompetence so you could could NBA and MCOL. Read Vauban's guide.

    Playing Devil's advocate, across the Atlantic the jetstream blows west to east, slowing aircraft down. I myself was treated to an extra stop in Maine when a flight to Chicago couldn't reach as a result of this. So you may find the airline says it had enough fuel on take-off but it later became apparent the that wind had picked up and they did not have enough. You might reply that they should have anticipated this.

    Looks possibly tricky but you might fancy a go!
  • edited 17 February 2016 at 11:20PM
    akira181akira181 Forumite
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    edited 17 February 2016 at 11:20PM
    I don't doubt what caz is telling me, it was more my disbelief of the overall situation. Also, KL743 was the flight number. After trying to be thorough, I forget one of the most obvious details...

    I guess a stronger jetstream could be classed as bad weather conditions making it exceptional circumstances but they know it is there, so why was there not a surplus fuel allowance?

    I believe the 3 hour delay while sitting on the runway waiting to take off with the engines running (I believe a legal requirement) was the main factor for the fuel shortage. Also it wouldn't surprise me if the plane was overweight since it was a full flight, not that anyone can prove that at this stage.

    It's annoying that an airline can get away with treating passengers in this way. We slept in the airport as they apparently couldn't find accommodation, we lost a day of our holiday as well as a day of the prepaid hotel, tour, etc and sufferred additional costs as a result when all they needed to do was put sufficient surplus fuel in the plane.
  • Caz3121Caz3121 Forumite
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    If you have not already looked, I would suggest registering on flightstats and looking at departures from AMS around the same time that date. There appear to have been some significant issues affecting Amsterdam.
    Between a flight showing departing on time at 11:40am and the next on-time flight at 7:40pm there were 299 scheduled flights of which
    85 were cancelled and 163 showing as delayed with 51 showing unknown (including yours)
    Given that no flights were able to depart on time in an 8 hour period, this points to some significant issues that day and with so many cancellations, it is not surprising there was no accommodation to be found

    there are a couple of links that point to severe weather on that date
    http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-amsterdam-the-netherlands-3rd-feb-2012-amsterdam-hit-by-a-large-snow-40433960.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_2012_European_cold_wave

    Did you claim on your travel insurance at the time?
  • akira181akira181 Forumite
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    The snow had only just started when we left the first time and didn't look that bad at the time. When we returned, the snow had stopped but had settled everywhere. I didn't realise so many flights were cancelled as a result.

    I'll still probably write another letter saying bad weather in Amsterdam didn't affect the plane when it's 5 hours into the journey and halfway to Lima. The lack of fuel in the plane was the sole reason and putting fuel into the plane is directly in their control. Probably won't work but I can only try.

    I had travel insurance at the time but for the life of me, I do not know why I didn't put a claim in. That was unbelievably stupid of me.

    Thanks for being so helpful and thorough caz!
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