Flight refund help

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  • bagand96
    bagand96 Posts: 6,098 Forumite
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    edited 11 January at 11:53AM
    Edit: this might all be irrelevant if the flight did leave 2.5 hours late but I'll leave it here for reference. 

    EC261 regulations allow passengers the option to cancel for a refund once a flight is delayed by more than 5 hours.

    Article 6

    Delay

    1. When an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure:

    (a) for two hours or more in the case of flights of 1500 kilometres or less; or

    (b) for three hours or more in the case of all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres and of all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres; or

    (c) for four hours or more in the case of all flights not falling under (a) or (b),

    passengers shall be offered by the operating air carrier:

    (i) the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2); and

    (ii) when the reasonably expected time of departure is at least the day after the time of departure previously announced, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)(c); and

    (iii) when the delay is at least five hours, the assistance specified in Article 8(1)(a).

    2. In any event, the assistance shall be offered within the time limits set out above with respect to each distance bracket.


    Article 8

    Right to reimbursement or re-routing

    1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

    (a) - reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

    - a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

    (b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

    (c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.

    2. Paragraph 1(a) shall also apply to passengers whose flights form part of a package, except for the right to reimbursement where such right arises under Directive 90/314/EEC.

    3. When, in the case where a town, city or region is served by several airports, an operating air carrier offers a passenger a flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring the passenger from that alternative airport either to that for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.

    So the argument over cancelled/delayed is in part academic. However if you're claiming for a refund based on cancellation the airline and agent are not showing the flight as cancelled hence their defence.

    Did the staff at the airport do anything with your reservation to show you wanted to cancel? I'm assuming they didn't, so Air India will just show you as a no-show for the flight. This could be where the issues lie. (Don't even know if Air India have staff at LGW capable of amending reservations or whether they're just contracted handling agents who can do the basics)

    You could go back to your bank with a copy of EC261 regulations https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32004R0261 as well as proof the flight was delayed more than 5 hours. Reword your claim stating you're exercising your right to cancel, rather than claiming for a cancelled flight. 

    The issue from there may be that Air India owe the refund, but you paid the agent and are technically taking action against them. But it's a start. 
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,302 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 11 January at 12:12PM

    Edit: this might all be irrelevant if the flight did leave 2.5 hours late but I'll leave it here for reference. 

    EC261 regulations allow passengers the option to cancel for a refund once a flight is delayed by more than 5 hours.

    Article 6

    Delay

    1. When an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure:

    (a) for two hours or more in the case of flights of 1500 kilometres or less; or

    (b) for three hours or more in the case of all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres and of all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres; or

    (c) for four hours or more in the case of all flights not falling under (a) or (b),

    passengers shall be offered by the operating air carrier:

    (i) the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2); and

    (ii) when the reasonably expected time of departure is at least the day after the time of departure previously announced, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)(c); and

    (iii) when the delay is at least five hours, the assistance specified in Article 8(1)(a).

    2. In any event, the assistance shall be offered within the time limits set out above with respect to each distance bracket.


    Article 8

    Right to reimbursement or re-routing

    1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

    (a) - reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

    - a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

    (b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

    (c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.

    2. Paragraph 1(a) shall also apply to passengers whose flights form part of a package, except for the right to reimbursement where such right arises under Directive 90/314/EEC.

    3. When, in the case where a town, city or region is served by several airports, an operating air carrier offers a passenger a flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring the passenger from that alternative airport either to that for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.

    So the argument over cancelled/delayed is in part academic. However if you're claiming for a refund based on cancellation the airline and agent are not showing the flight as cancelled hence their defence.

    Did the staff at the airport do anything with your reservation to show you wanted to cancel? I'm assuming they didn't, so Air India will just show you as a no-show for the flight. This could be where the issues lie. (Don't even know if Air India have staff at LGW capable of amending reservations or whether they're just contracted handling agents who can do the basics)

    You could go back to your bank with a copy of EC261 regulations https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32004R0261 as well as proof the flight was delayed more than 5 hours. Reword your claim stating you're exercising your right to cancel, rather than claiming for a cancelled flight. 

    The issue from there may be that Air India owe the refund, but you paid the agent and are technically taking action against them. But it's a start. 

    I don't think the OP has proof that the flight was delayed more than 5 hours. In fact, I don't think the OP has any evidence that it was anything other than 2 hrs 24 minutes delayed.

    I suspect the OP will have been a no-show and therefore offloaded, and I suspect (but have not checked) that might preclude claiming even the delay compensation detailed above.

    OP, did you have checked bags on the flight; if so, how did you retrieve those?
  • bagand96
    bagand96 Posts: 6,098 Forumite
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    The fact that there are sites showing details of it flying and being delayed suggests it was not cancelled.

    eg, https://nl.flightera.net/en/flight_details/Air+India-London-Amritsar/AI170/EGKK/2023-11-25

    So, unless you have proof that you were told it was cancelled by airline staff, then I think you're stuck. Even if airport staff (who might not work for the airline) or the departure screens said cancelled, and you had evidence of that, the airline could still state they did not inform you of the cancellation (that's what will be in the T&Cs) and to pick that issue up with the airport.

    The above site says it left 2 hrs 24 minutes late. At what point did you leave to get the other flight?
    This is curious. Flightera list the aircraft as VT-ANQ on that flight going 2hrs 24mins late.

    Flightradar24 show VT-ANQ as landing in LGW from Amhedabad as AI171 at 17:36 on 25/11. Shows no more flights for VT-ANQ until departing Gatwick as AI170 to Amristar at 22:41 on 27/11

    Planefinder also show VT-ANQ landing LGW as AI171 at 17:36 on 25/11. Also shows no further flight for the aircraft until departing LGW on 27/11 as AI170 to Amristar 22:50ish.

    I'd query whether Flightera is correct, as two other sources don't agree. These flight logging sites are generally very good, but not infallible. Their departure time stacks up, but not the date! 

    Also pretty sure Air India wouldn't be arranging hotels for people if the flight was going to go? 
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,302 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 11 January at 12:41PM
    bagand96 said:
    The fact that there are sites showing details of it flying and being delayed suggests it was not cancelled.

    eg, https://nl.flightera.net/en/flight_details/Air+India-London-Amritsar/AI170/EGKK/2023-11-25

    So, unless you have proof that you were told it was cancelled by airline staff, then I think you're stuck. Even if airport staff (who might not work for the airline) or the departure screens said cancelled, and you had evidence of that, the airline could still state they did not inform you of the cancellation (that's what will be in the T&Cs) and to pick that issue up with the airport.

    The above site says it left 2 hrs 24 minutes late. At what point did you leave to get the other flight?
    This is curious. Flightera list the aircraft as VT-ANQ on that flight going 2hrs 24mins late.

    Flightradar24 show VT-ANQ as landing in LGW from Amhedabad as AI171 at 17:36 on 25/11. Shows no more flights for VT-ANQ until departing Gatwick as AI170 to Amristar at 22:41 on 27/11

    Planefinder also show VT-ANQ landing LGW as AI171 at 17:36 on 25/11. Also shows no further flight for the aircraft until departing LGW on 27/11 as AI170 to Amristar 22:50ish.

    I'd query whether Flightera is correct, as two other sources don't agree. These flight logging sites are generally very good, but not infallible. Their departure time stacks up, but not the date! 

    Also pretty sure Air India wouldn't be arranging hotels for people if the flight was going to go? 
    Hmm, that is weird. And, i just noticed on this screen:

    https://www.flightera.net/en/flight/Air+India-London-Amritsar/AI170/Nov-2023#flight_list

    It has the 25/11 flight departure as "Estimated" whereas none of the others have that, and... it does not have the flight departing on 27/11 as per FlightRadar and Planefinder. It has the next flight as 28/11.

    I now suspect the flight was not technically cancelled as such, but it looks like it might have left 2 days later. If so, that seems a bit disingenuous to me, and hopefully not an airlines way of only having to pay delay compensation, as a way to circumvent cancellation rights.

    If we want to find the standard schedule for that route, and look at other departures on that page, there is one scheduled for a week before the 25/11 flight, on 18/11, and one a week before the 28/11 flight, on 21/11, but not one a week before the 27/11 flight, which further makes me think the flight on 27/11 was actually the delayed one from 25/11.


    Any way the OP could get Gatwick or Air India to confirm whether the flight departed?
  • Js181
    Js181 Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post
    Thanks all for your help so far, it’s appreciated.  So I’ve contacted Gatwick and they have confirmed via email that the flight was cancelled on the 25th November.

    Meteredout, The checked bags were returned to us after the announcement was made about the cancellation.

    I have struggled to find any evidence the flight was cancelled via the normal internet sites besides the one which shows it was delayed by 2hrs 24mins ( which is also the screenshot that has been provided by the agent as evidence the flight did go)  

    Next step is to get something in writing from Air India confirming the flight was cancelled.
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,302 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Js181 said:
    Thanks all for your help so far, it’s appreciated.  So I’ve contacted Gatwick and they have confirmed via email that the flight was cancelled on the 25th November.

    Meteredout, The checked bags were returned to us after the announcement was made about the cancellation.

    I have struggled to find any evidence the flight was cancelled via the normal internet sites besides the one which shows it was delayed by 2hrs 24mins ( which is also the screenshot that has been provided by the agent as evidence the flight did go)  

    Next step is to get something in writing from Air India confirming the flight was cancelled.
    Whilst you're waiting for Air India, I'd be going back to your TA with that evidence. 
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 30,939 Forumite
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    Perhaps also worth noting that the Flightera data shows the flight departing 2:24 late but doesn't have any information about arrival time, thereby bringing into question its integrity and legitimacy....
  • Js181
    Js181 Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post
    Js181 said:
    Thanks all for your help so far, it’s appreciated.  So I’ve contacted Gatwick and they have confirmed via email that the flight was cancelled on the 25th November.

    Meteredout, The checked bags were returned to us after the announcement was made about the cancellation.

    I have struggled to find any evidence the flight was cancelled via the normal internet sites besides the one which shows it was delayed by 2hrs 24mins ( which is also the screenshot that has been provided by the agent as evidence the flight did go)  

    Next step is to get something in writing from Air India confirming the flight was cancelled.
    Whilst you're waiting for Air India, I'd be going back to your TA with that evidence. 
    So you think it’s a good idea to go back to them with this?  I was going to wait and get as much evidence as possible before replying to the dispute.  But maybe this will be enough.
  • bagand96
    bagand96 Posts: 6,098 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 11 January at 2:53PM
    I now suspect the flight was not technically cancelled as such, but it looks like it might have left 2 days later. If so, that seems a bit disingenuous to me, and hopefully not an airlines way of only having to pay delay compensation, as a way to circumvent cancellation rights.

    It shouldn't be a way for the airline to circumvent. Per EC261 at 5 hours compensation would be payable anyway as well as the right for the passenger to choose not to travel and receive a refund. If the pax chooses not to travel though I'm not sure they'd be eligible for the compensation, just the refund. 

    I think there's enough evidence that the flight was severely delayed/cancelled, especially if Gatwick have confirmed it in writing. The only source saying it went 2.5hrs late is Flightera.net and that seems to be wrong compared to other sources.

    OP I'd be going back to the TA and bank saying you are entitled to cancel your ticket for a refund becusse the flight was 5 hours + delayed. Staff at Gatwick correctly advised you of this. Quote EC261.  Include the evidence from Gatwick. 
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