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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Guy
    • By MSE Guy 15th Apr 10, 11:03 AM
    • 1,628Posts
    • 1,255Thanks
    MSE Guy
    MSE News: Volcanic ash cloud grounds UK flights: your rights
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 10, 11:03 AM
    MSE News: Volcanic ash cloud grounds UK flights: your rights 15th Apr 10 at 11:03 AM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    "Hundreds of thousands of passengers face massive disruption as thousands of flights remain grounded ..."

    Read the full story:



    Update 20 April, 7pm: Due to the fast-moving nature of this crisis, we've written the new Q&A guide above. See the original Volcanic ash MSE News story published last week.

    Update 05 May, 12pm: With further flight cancellations today, see the Iceland volcano causes further disruption MSE News story.
    Last edited by MSE Guy; 05-05-2010 at 12:32 PM.
Page 4
  • Pelican_eats_pigeon
    Hi

    Original Trip was to leave London on 15th April then staying 2 nights in Hong Kong before heading to Vietnam to do a 10 day tour through a tour company called Interpid (whose cancellation policy results in being charged 100% of the fee). After the tour, we were due to leave Vietnam and spend 5 nights in Thailand before returning home. All flights and hotels were booked through Trailfinders.

    Now that BA flights have been cancelled, there is no way I can make the start of the 10 day tour in Vietnam on Sunday. Therefore I want to cancel the whole holiday and rebook at a later date.

    Will my travel insurance (which is through the Halifax Ulimate Reward account) cover me for the Intrepid tour and associated hotels and costs? BA will refund my flight in full.

    Please advise
    Originally posted by Dam4n
    I'm afraid I don't know. If you contact the hotels or trailfinder you might be able to cancel these with no penalty as one often can. You might also be able to get Intrepid to waive the cancellation fee under these circumstances but I wouldn't bank on it. I have no idea which insurers are paying out on this event and which aren't, sadly.
    • Babycakes
    • By Babycakes 16th Apr 10, 9:50 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Babycakes
    Its at times like this that you realise what crooks there are in the travel industry. We booked our holiday through onthebeach.co.uk and are going to have to pay huge cancellation fees. Their website says this:


    Information regarding the closure of UK airspace due to Volcanic ash

    Customers whose airline has cancelled your flight and are offering only a refund

    Please contact our sales centre on 0871 911 0202 and we will attempt to find you an alternative flight and re arrange your travel dates. Alternatively, if you wish to cancel any associated hotel or ancillary bookings we will contact your providers for you. Please note their cancellation fees may apply.
    If you have successfully re-arranged your flight with your airline

    If necessary please contact our customer services centre on 0871 472 4813 so we can assist you in re-arranging your hotel and or transfer bookings. We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls we thank you for your patience.
  • strandedhales
    Thanks for the advice, I am with my husband & 2 kids in Grand Cayman due to leave today 16-04-10 I was trying to get through to BA for 11 hrs yesterday, got through and was rebooked on to a flight in 12 days time, I asked about accomodation and she said BA will pay up 200 per day, I have managed to stay in my rental accomodation, but at a cost of 1704 where do I stand with claiming back accomodation and food costs?
  • Pelican_eats_pigeon
    Thanks for the advice, I am with my husband & 2 kids in Grand Cayman due to leave today 16-04-10 I was trying to get through to BA for 11 hrs yesterday, got through and was rebooked on to a flight in 12 days time, I asked about accomodation and she said BA will pay up 200 per day, I have managed to stay in my rental accomodation, but at a cost of 1704 where do I stand with claiming back accomodation and food costs?
    Originally posted by strandedhales
    12 x 200 = 2400... I don't see the problem, you seem to be well under the 200 a day BA told you they would cover - or do I misunderstand you?

    Make sure you keep accommodation & food receipts!!!
  • strandedhales
    [QUOTE=Pelican_eats_pigeon;31941221]12 x 200 = 2400... I don't see the problem, you seem to be well under the 200 a day BA told you they would cover - or do I misunderstand you?
    Thats the question, is that fact - 200 per day or is that just what the US BA call centre operator who rebooked our flights said, there is no advice from any airline for people who are forking out 100's of 's because they are having to wait over a week to get home.
  • Pelican_eats_pigeon
    Thats the question, is that fact - 200 per day or is that just what the US BA call centre operator who rebooked our flights said, there is no advice from any airline for people who are forking out 100's of 's because they are having to wait over a week to get home.
    Originally posted by strandedhales
    There's no figure set by law but that sounds like a fairly reasonable one to me. You should be sensible with what you eat and don't just go up to that 200 for the sake of it. You should only be claiming back the actual costs of your accommodation/food rather than a flat rate so make sure you keep receipts.

    I don't think you should have a problem reclaiming that sort of sum from BA really as they have to cover your accommodation & food and I can't imagine there will be bags of cheap accommodation where you are.

    If one of their customer service people has actually promised you that you will be covered I don't really see how they can try to get out of it seeing as they have to cover you anyway by law.


    P.S. This is all presuming you are waiting on a flight back to UK (or elsewhere in Europe).
  • Dam4n
    I'm afraid I don't know. If you contact the hotels or trailfinder you might be able to cancel these with no penalty as one often can. You might also be able to get Intrepid to waive the cancellation fee under these circumstances but I wouldn't bank on it. I have no idea which insurers are paying out on this event and which aren't, sadly.
    Originally posted by Pelican_eats_pigeon
    Thanks p-e-p.

    Interpid aren't doing anything to refund or reschedule. They change 100% for cancellation, which is ridiculous! Trailfinders can't refund any hotels without incurring charges either.

    I think hotels and tour operators need to take a leaf out of the airlines book - where if the flight isn't taking off, a full refund is given.

    If anyone is in the same boat with Trialfinders, Intrepid or Halifax Ultimate Reward insurance, please let me know.
  • strandedhales
    There's no figure set by law but that sounds like a fairly reasonable one to me. You should be sensible with what you eat and don't just go up to that 200 for the sake of it. You should only be claiming back the actual costs of your accommodation/food rather than a flat rate so make sure you keep receipts.

    I don't think you should have a problem reclaiming that sort of sum from BA really as they have to cover your accommodation & food and I can't imagine there will be bags of cheap accommodation where you are.

    If one of their customer service people has actually promised you that you will be covered I don't really see how they can try to get out of it seeing as they have to cover you anyway by law.


    P.S. This is all presuming you are waiting on a flight back to UK (or elsewhere in Europe).
    Originally posted by Pelican_eats_pigeon
    Thanks for that it has put my mind at rest !!!
    • socks_uk
    • By socks_uk 17th Apr 10, 5:49 AM
    • 2,714 Posts
    • 2,103 Thanks
    socks_uk
    I was due to fly back to UK yesterday but I am currently stuck in California but I am booked on the next available Air Canada flight to Heathrow on SATURDAY 24TH APRIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones in that I have come back to my sister's house for another week rather than waiting at the airport. Good luck everyone!
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  • Benmorse
    OK, so I could use some advice. Help me out, Moneysavers! I was flying with United back from Honolulu to London. We got into San Francisco at 7AM thursday, and were grounded. Now, United asure us that as an "Act Of God", they are under no obligation to help us past re-booking our flights (which we have, to tuesday) BA and Lufthansa people are getting free accomodation, meal vouchers etc, as they are European airlines. Are we REALLY that screwed because the airline are American? or are we being fobbed off? I have tried calling United, they have said the same as the check in people. Daily, we can be issued with a coupon that gets us a small discount at hotels local to the airport, but it doesn't seem fair that I'm shelling out for food and accomodation for an extra four days... so advise me please, internet!
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    • Sandypan
    • By Sandypan 17th Apr 10, 8:15 AM
    • 245 Posts
    • 1,688 Thanks
    Sandypan
    Still standed in Spain
    Thanks to everybody offering advice, I love the ML site but have never posted anything before I think it's fantastic that people take the time and trouble to help others out just wish the airlines would be more supportive!
    Do you think I should make contact with Monarch again and say that I want to claim hotel and food expenses, I still haven't heard anything back from them about flights!!!!! Also do receipts need to be vat type receipts because I have kept some but they are only hand written beach bar type?
    Thanks once again stuck in room now thundering and lightening outside!!!!
  • kgdean
    I should have flown out on Thursday to join a cruise in the red sea. We checked in and were sent into the departure lounge for 8 hours before our luggage was returned. The tour company keeps giving us alternative flight dates ( the next one is tomorrow, Sunday, at 8.15am) but this isn't looking hopeful. The company are refusing to cancel our holiday but what should have been a two week hoiliday is now down to 10 days at most. Does anyone know whether or not we have the right to 'abandon' the holiday and would we be able to claim on our insurance ( which allows us to claim abandonment) or would the insurance company use the 'act of god' get out clause?
    Last edited by kgdean; 17-04-2010 at 10:29 AM. Reason: additional info added
  • vixstix
    voyages of discovery
    My parents were also due to fly from Manchester thurs morning to join their cruise. To date the cruise company keep issuing new flight departure times and are insistent that my parents must be on the flight or will forfeit the cruise. As my parents have now missed 3 nights of the holiday and the places they particularly wanted to visit they have requested a refund. Response from Voyages of Discovery, "there is no way you are getting a refund".
  • karen333
    hi
    Just text me now saying they have booked into a hotel. Virgin last phoned her at seven o clock this morning ,and have not phoned her since.
    Originally posted by karen333
    hi every one
    Just found out this morning my daughters cruise is officially cancelled. Virgin have phoned her and said she will get a full refund within 28 days. Hope this thread is usefull to anybody in the same situation. She has kept receipts for extra expenses and will post them to virgin when she comes home. Thanks for every ones help.
  • Benmorse
    Benmorse

    The EU regs only apply to EU based carriers plus non EU carriers flying outbound from the EU. Inbound flights by non-EU carriers are excluded from the regs.

    Unfortunately you are at the mercy of the airline and your travel insurance.
    Originally posted by Cityboy
    Oh well! thanks for clearing it up. A more concise and clear answer than the airline managed to stumble out. But then, I imagine they were under some pressure. Oh well, back to checking standby flights each day.
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  • kgdean
    Depends on whether you booked a package (flights, transfers, cruise) through one tour operator or whether these have been separately booked elements - your invoice might tell you this.

    If a package, TOs will usually allow you to re-book for a later date or allow you to cancel (abandon) and receive a full refund.

    If this is separate elements, then apart from you being offered a re-route or a refund, then you may lose the cruise bit and have to rely on insurance for any possible cover.
    Originally posted by Cityboy
    The cruise was booked as a package with Voyages of Discovery. I have had the same response as the parents of the other lady who has posted a message on here. It is the first time I have used this company and I am far from impressed...the company's attitude is that as long as they keep giving us additional flight details then they are giving us our holiday and that they do not have to give us a refund as the delay is an act of god . It's really annoying when other cruise companies are giving refunds.


    Just had another update from Voyages of Discovery. Still refusing to give a refund...we now might be flown out on Monday. We have paid 4000 for what could turn out to be a week in the Med. This is just not fair!!!
    Last edited by kgdean; 17-04-2010 at 4:45 PM.
    • andybrock
    • By andybrock 17th Apr 10, 4:08 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    andybrock
    My Mum,Dad,Brother Neice and Nephew are in Dubai ,returning home tomorrow.Just rung KLM and they say they are not liable for hotel costs.
    Saga insurance who my folks are insured with-useless,offices closed.
    Post office insurance only will pay for delayed departure and no hotel costs.
    Is there any way of claiming for hotel costs apart from delayed departure section?

    Thanks.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th Apr 10, 4:27 PM
    • 39,805 Posts
    • 164,152 Thanks
    silvercar
    These airlines can SAY what they like. If they are legally liable to pay your hotel costs, then that is what they will have to do. The cynical may say that denying liability may be an attempt to put people off claiming or ensure people spend the minimum possible. Provided you have the means to pay, I would be inclined to pay out and make the best of things. Worry about claiming the money back when you get home. If however you are not in a position to pay for accommodation or food yourself then you need to pester the airlines to do honour their legal obligations now.
    • Sandypan
    • By Sandypan 17th Apr 10, 5:12 PM
    • 245 Posts
    • 1,688 Thanks
    Sandypan
    Still standed in Spain
    Sun has just come out in Spain so makes delay feel slightly better!!!
    I am trying to remain positive that airlines will pay our hotel and food but still got that horrible nagging doubt that they will try to wriggle out of it!! and really can't afford that!! Would it be possible for somebody via this website to create a letter template for applying for refunds?
    Thank you again for everybody helping myself and all of the other refugees.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 17th Apr 10, 5:30 PM
    • 39,805 Posts
    • 164,152 Thanks
    silvercar
    I think the priority now should be:

    1. to secure accommodation and money so you can buy food.

    2. Find a way to keep in touch with the airline / travel operator /airport.

    3. Plan a route home. (consider booking a flight with an alternative airline if necessary)

    4. Let people in the UK know that you are OK (people do worry) and how to contact you. If you think you will need family/ friends to send money to you, start thinking about how you will do this.

    If your airline or insurer is being difficult about assisting you, then spend on necessaries only and keep receipts. Once you are home you can worry about claiming back your expenses.
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