delayed, rebooked and late - Airline not responding to my claim for compensation

Me and a friend went to Hungary for the Grand Prix in July, it didn't go as planned :

Original itinerary :

 

Departing Manchester (MAN) 19th July 11.05am (flight SN2174) via Brussels (BRU) arriving (flight SN2825) Budapest (BUD) 17.10pm

 Returning Budapest 25th July 18.00pm via Brussels arriving Manchester 25th Jul 21.30.

 What actually happened was:

 firstly MAN-BRU (SN2174) was delayed and then we were cancelled from that flight and rebooked with KLM, from Manchester, via Amsterdam and Vienna to Budapest.

 I received a message notifying me of the initial delay (11.05 to 12.15) on my phone, whilst en-route to Manchester airport at 08.26am  but then nothing else, all other updates appear to have been sent via email which I received when I returned home, even though they have my mobile phone number and I have the App on my phone.

The rearranged flights Departing Manchester 19th July 13.45pm {actually 13.55}  (KL1076) to Amsterdam, then 17.15pm (KL1847) to Vienna; KLM had no information on the Vienna to Budapest flight for us.  

On arrival in Vienna, the KLM desk directed to Austrian Airlines, who confirmed that our seats had been reserved on the Vienna to Budapest flight earlier in the day, but that the booking had not been completed and the reservations had expired, so we were issued stand-by tickets for the already full flight (OS 0717). Fortunately there were seats available at the Gate and we finally departed Vienna at 22.00pm arriving Budapest at 22.33pm.

 On arrival in Budapest, our checked baggage did not appear and I had to log a lost baggage claim with Austrian Airlines. The baggage was eventually found and delivered to our hotel, which we received when we returned to our room around midnight on Saturday, 3 DAYS after our arrival in Budapest,  during this time we had no choice but to buy some clothes and toiletries to replace what was missing in the luggage.

On a better note, our return flights from Budapest via Brussels to Manchester SN2826/SN2183 on 25th July went smoothly with only as short delay.

 In Summary:

 Our flight departed Manchester 2h 50m later than originally booked.

We arrived in Budapest 5h 23m later than originally booked.

 We incurred additional costs buying food in airports en-route, in different currencies, having to use a taxi from the airport to the hotel because we arrived too late for our intended bus, missing a full evening of entertainment and evening meal in Budapest ahead of our 4 day visit to the F1 Grand Prix, because we arrived at the Hotel after all of the Restaurants and bars had closed.

 We had to buy additional clothes to wear and toiletries for the weekend, due to the baggage being lost. Austrian Airtlines accepted responsibility for this and refunded all of our costs in full.

I logged all of this with Brussels airlines while we were in Budapest, and updated it with further details when we returned home, the only communication I have received from them is he original case number, and a further email saying they are very busy. Phone calls and contact via social media, say they will pass my case number to the services team, then nothing.

Has anyone had any success at all in dealing with this airline, or should I just got he small claims court, where they'll be hit with my costs and punitive damages as well ?


Comments

  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,817
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    ghstone said:

    firstly MAN-BRU (SN2174) was delayed and then we were cancelled from that flight

    Do you mean that you were denied boarding (i.e. the flight operated) or the flight itself was cancelled?  If you were denied boarding on a flight that operated then you'd be due compensation, but if the flight was cancelled then your rights would depend on the reason for the cancellation, and in particular whether it was deemed to be within the airline's control.

    ghstone said:

    We incurred additional costs buying food in airports en-route, in different currencies, having to use a taxi from the airport to the hotel because we arrived too late for our intended bus, missing a full evening of entertainment and evening meal in Budapest ahead of our 4 day visit to the F1 Grand Prix, because we arrived at the Hotel after all of the Restaurants and bars had closed.

    [...]

    should I just got he small claims court, where they'll be hit with my costs and punitive damages as well ?

    You should have a case to reclaim whatever you paid for the evening meal that you ended up buying, and maybe the difference between taxi and bus fare if the latter had stopped operating by the time you landed, but don't be under any illusion that there'd be 'punitive damages' if you went to court (assuming you're able to sue Brussels Airlines in the UK)!
  • Sorry, I wasn't clear - our first flight, Man-Bru was delayed , the flight was not on the board at Manchester when we arrived, after a wait, I went to the check-in desk and discovered that everyone else in the Queue was asking about the same flight, the delay is a daily occurrence apparently. When I reached the desk, I was told we were no longer on the flight, iyt would not make the connection, so should go to the Air France Desk.

    Re:  punitive damages, as I have had no communication or response to any emails, and been fobbed off on every social media and phone contact I've had with Brussels Airlines over a period of 3 months, I think a solicitor could make a good case. 
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,817
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    ghstone said:
    Sorry, I wasn't clear - our first flight, Man-Bru was delayed , the flight was not on the board at Manchester when we arrived, after a wait, I went to the check-in desk and discovered that everyone else in the Queue was asking about the same flight, the delay is a daily occurrence apparently. When I reached the desk, I was told we were no longer on the flight, iyt would not make the connection, so should go to the Air France Desk.
    OK, so you were effectively automatically rebooked onto alternative flights to your final destination (albeit with an error) once it was clear that the original connection wasn't viable?  If so, then the reason for the delay comes into play, i.e. if it was something within the airline's control then you should be due compensation.

    ghstone said:
    Re:  punitive damages, as I have had no communication or response to any emails, and been fobbed off on every social media and phone contact I've had with Brussels Airlines over a period of 3 months, I think a solicitor could make a good case. 
    Poor post-flight customer service (without tangible losses arising from that) is highly unlikely to result in punitive damages IMHO, but good luck if you choose to pay a solicitor and try to pursue that, you'll need it!
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