Flight cancelled - what counts as re-routing or alternative?

Appreciate help on this.  I am in the middle of claiming via the adjudicator against TAP Air Portugal for a diverted (cancelled) flight and they are Defending against it on the basis that I rejected the alternative provided.

Situation is:
I was on a flight Porto to London City which was diverted to Amsterdam due to bad weather.  I am claiming refund for cancelled flight (I realise I don't get compensation).
At Amsterdam we disembarked and made our own way back to London since TAP weren't offering any concrete assurances they would get us home.
They therefore count this as me having used the ticket and rejecting the protection flight, as they put it.
In reality what their alternative turned out to be (stated in their counter evidence to my claim) - they flew passengers on my diverted flight back to Porto on that aircraft.  They put passengers up in a hotel room in Porto overnight.  They then flew them Porto to LGW the following day on another flight.

I realise LCY and LGW are in the same region so they did eventually get passengers back to their "final destination".  But is there any guidance on how the airline can do that?  Presumably the airline can't fly people all over the place, at their own convenience, and eventually X flights later get them to where they intended with no time limit?

Appreciate any advice on what my final response should be.
Many thanks

Comments

  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628 Forumite
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    What flight was cancelled? Or do you mean you are claiming for the flight you flew but took you to the wrong place because of bad weather which is clearly out of their control?

    How did you get from Amsterdam back to the UK and what timescales? Did you speak to TAP about them using that mechanism before doing it yourself?
  • Hi Sandtree, thanks for your reply.

    What flight was cancelled? Or do you mean you are claiming for the flight you flew but took you to the wrong place because of bad weather which is clearly out of their control?
    Yes, the latter.  I'm claiming a refund for the "cancelled" flight from Porto to LCY.

    How did you get from Amsterdam back to the UK and what timescales?  We flew back with another airline.
    Did you speak to TAP about them using that mechanism before doing it yourself? 
    The options given on the plane were - get off here, or we *may* be able to get you back to Gatwick later today, we're not sure.  We needed to be back in London that day, so we got off.  As said, in reality, the passengers who remained on our plane were flown back to Porto.  And the next day TAP flew them Porto to LGW.

    EU Air Passenger Rights state:

    Cancellation occurs when:

    • your original flight schedule is abandoned and you are transferred to another scheduled flight
    • the aircraft took off but, was forced to return to the airport of departure and you were transferred to another flight
    • your flight arrives at an airport which is not the final destination indicated on your ticket, unless:
      • You accepted re-routing (under comparable transport conditions at the earliest opportunity) to the airport of your original final destination or to any other destination agreed by you. In this case it is considered as a delay and not a cancellation.
      • The airport of arrival and the airport of the original final destination serve the same town, city or region. In this case it is considered as a delay and not a cancellation.
    So my question is - for the points underlined, which I think are what applies here - are airlines allowed to do that via a combination of flights & overnight?  It seems pretty onerous on passengers if so - but the fact that TAP are defending the claim made me wonder...

    Thanks
  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,938 Forumite
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    Would you not be better to focus on claiming from TAP Air Portugal for the extra costs incurred to get between AMS LCY plus reasonable duty of car expenses?
  • Thanks Westin.  As it was a diversion due to poor weather, I understand I'm not entitled to compensation - only a refund for the "cancelled" flight.  But happy to be corrected on that!
  • Thought I'd update on this in case it helps anyone - Aviation ADR have ruled in my favour :smiley:
    Relevant points from the determination:

    I note from the passenger’s information that the passenger was not offered onward alternative transport from Amsterdam to London city (final destination).... I do not find it unreasonable that the passenger opted to leave the plane and find alternative means of transport to their destination instead of waiting in the plane, according to the Airline evidence file, to be returned to Porto and rerouted onto TPXXX to London Gatwick the next day. I consider that in making this choice, the Passenger chose reimbursement by default.

    For anyone else in this situation, I think it's interesting that they note a reasonableness test - which was my original question - what's reasonable for the re-route people back - looks like there is some consideration of whether the alternative offered by the airline is reasonable or not.

    Well, it's made my day, thanks moneysavingexpert :smiley:  Let's see if I actually get my refund though! ha
  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,938 Forumite
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    Glad you have had a positive outcome. Presumably this covers your costs to get between AMS LCY rather than ‘compensation’? 
    Thanks for returning to update the thread.
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