Connecting flight delayed for 3 days - KLM refusing to pay hotel expenses

First time poster, I didn't know where else to turn and really hope someone can help!

In June 2022 we travelled back from Oslo - via Amsterdam - Newcastle. It was a public holiday weekend when we arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol and the airport was chaos, with lots of cancelled flights and people queuing for hours at the customer service desk.

Our connecting flight back to Newcastle was also now showing as cancelled and a KLM employee handed us a letter asking us to leave the airport and find our own accommodation. The letter confirmed they would pay hotel expenses up to 150 euros a night, food expenses, transport etc.

KLM were unable to offer us a flight back to Newcastle until 3 days later.

On arrival home, we immediately submitted all the necessary receipts, which added up to nearly £1000 due to the inflated costs of hotel rooms at the time.

After months of emails and chasing we have been told that our connecting flight was cancelled due to 'extraordinary circumstances' and we are not eligible for compensation. Fine, but they have still not reimbursed us for any of our expenses and closed our claim.

I have now sent multiple emails trying to recoup at least some of our expenses and received no response. I have also opened a case through resolver but it says it has already been escalated to the highest level. I'm not sure where to turn!

Questions:

- If a flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances am I still eligible to claim for expenses incurred whilst we were stuck in Amsterdam?

- Should I now try to claim through our travel insurance?

Thanks for reading ( sorry for the essay)!

Comments

  • If you have received written confirmation from KLM that they are not going to pay your claim for expenses , you can now escalate this to Aviation ADR . AviationADR is an alternative dispute resolution scheme approved by the Civil Aviation Authority 

    https://www.aviationadr.org.uk/
  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,933 Forumite
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    "- If a flight is cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances am I still eligible to claim for expenses incurred whilst we were stuck in Amsterdam?"

    Yes, but make sure they are 'reasonable'.  If they see things like alcohol listed on receipts, or you have claimed for fine dining meals or book yourself into an expensive hotel, then expect to have a claim rejected.  Reasonable expenses for your stay in Amsterdam, not for extended car parking at your home airport, dog kennel fees etc.  Might seem obvious but anything outside of the claim boundaries might mean the whole claim gets rejected.
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 30,739 Forumite
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    On arrival home, we immediately submitted all the necessary receipts, which added up to nearly £1000 due to the inflated costs of hotel rooms at the time.
    How many people was that for, and how does the figure break down?  Which hotel did you end up using?
  • Wonka_2
    Wonka_2 Posts: 641 Forumite
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    edited 1 February 2023 at 1:35PM
    Unusual for KLM - albeit the airport was chaotic at that time but 3 days is unheard of given even within their network they could offer AMS-CDG-NCL or 2/3 times a day flights to Teesside with a taxi to Newcastle

    How many of you were there or was there some other reason for such a delay ?

     


  • Thank you so much for your replies, all very helpful.

    There were 2 of us travelling (myself and my partner). They tried to reroute us via Paris and Edinburgh but all the options were still travelling 3 days later.

    Our spend included a hotel room for 3 nights (an average of £200 per night for a basic hotel due to the public holiday) and food. I also submitted receipts for essential items (back toiletries, a tshirt, undies etc) as we only had our hand luggage with us. I appreciate they may not cover all of these costs, but I would be happy to have even half our money back.

    KLM have closed our case so I'll try Aviation ADR and see if I can escalate. 

    Thanks again!
  • Wonka_2 said:
    Unusual for KLM - albeit the airport was chaotic at that time but 3 days is unheard of given even within their network they could offer AMS-CDG-NCL or 2/3 times a day flights to Teesside with a taxi to Newcastle

    How many of you were there or was there some other reason for such a delay ?

     


    This happened when the press were reporting issues at a lot of airports. We suspect the delay was actually down to airline staffing problems, especially with it being a public holiday in The Netherlands. I've never seen so many delayed flights and airport chaos!
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 30,739 Forumite
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    Our spend included a hotel room for 3 nights (an average of £200 per night for a basic hotel due to the public holiday) and food. I also submitted receipts for essential items (back toiletries, a tshirt, undies etc) as we only had our hand luggage with us. I appreciate they may not cover all of these costs, but I would be happy to have even half our money back.
    Easy to say with hindsight but it probably would have been worth submitting separate claims relating to the airline's obligations under the different terms and regulations.

    The flight cancellation regulations oblige the airline to reimburse overnight accommodation, meals and transport - in fact they actually require the airline to arrange the accommodation, so if they imposed an unreasonable blanket allowance for that, which didn't correspond to what was actually available, then that should be a strong case at ADR.

    However, these regulations don't cover emergency purchases of essential items, which are covered separately by KLM's delayed baggage policy, so if everything was lumped together on one claim then that may have contributed to its rejection.
  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,933 Forumite
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    eskbanker said:
    Our spend included a hotel room for 3 nights (an average of £200 per night for a basic hotel due to the public holiday) and food. I also submitted receipts for essential items (back toiletries, a tshirt, undies etc) as we only had our hand luggage with us. I appreciate they may not cover all of these costs, but I would be happy to have even half our money back.
    Easy to say with hindsight but it probably would have been worth submitting separate claims relating to the airline's obligations under the different terms and regulations.

    The flight cancellation regulations oblige the airline to reimburse overnight accommodation, meals and transport - in fact they actually require the airline to arrange the accommodation, so if they imposed an unreasonable blanket allowance for that, which didn't correspond to what was actually available, then that should be a strong case at ADR.

    However, these regulations don't cover emergency purchases of essential items, which are covered separately by KLM's delayed baggage policy, so if everything was lumped together on one claim then that may have contributed to its rejection.
    I would agree. It could be the claim for your new clothing items that is the cause of the blanket rejection.  Split those out and resubmit the 'care' items of hotel/food.   The clothing claim might need to be via your travel insurance. 
  • Thanks @Westin and @eskbanker this is a really sensible suggestion. I'll write a new letter to KLM and attach only the food and hotel expenses and see if they will open the claim again.

    I really appreciate your help. This situation has been causing me a lot of stress to the point where I felt like giving up. 
  • gimmeabargain
    gimmeabargain Posts: 27 Forumite
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    @northernbird can I ask how you got on with writing to klm and what contact you wrote to? We are having very similar issues trying to claim back an extra night at an Airbnb due to our flight being cancelled. Twice klm have closed our claim down and you just have no come back once they close it down. Managed to get their phone line to open my second claim for me, but it was knocked back as “losses incurred at the final destination of the passenger are considered indirect losses” but the Airbnb was in Amsterdam at our holiday destination not our final destination. Feel that the contact centre where claims go to either don’t read them properly, don’t understand English very well or are just abhorrently bad at customer services. Any advise from your claim would be madly appreciated, thanks!
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