Cancelled flight

(61 Posts)
NadiSel Wed 20-Mar-13 06:21:04

Hello peeps,

After some advice from anybody with practical experience of fighting the airlines!

Had my US Airways flight cancelled twice a week ago. Should have travelled out on Sat morning at 1055hrs am from Brussels to the US, but the flight was eventually cancelled at 8pm after a sorry tale of a pilot going sick, followed by a mechanical fault on the aircraft. We were housed in a hotel overnight ready to take the same flight on the Sunday morning. I turned up on Sunday morning but this was also subsequently cancelled after the part required to sort out the mechanical fault had not arrived.

I was eventually rebooked onto an alternative airline and I got out to the States on Sunday. However, I incurred a wasted Saturday obviously as well as the cost of the hotel in the States that I had booked for Saturday evening. I could not cancel the hotel as their terms and conditions stated I had to cancel before 4pm, and the flight was not finally/officially cancelled until 8pm on Sat. At 8pm I called the hotel to cancel but was told it was too late.

The airline have offered me a free flight that I must use within a year, but have refused compensation for the hotel that I was charged for but could not use because of the airlines inability to get me to the States as booked.

So what should I do ? I would have preferred cash instead of the offer of a flight, and I would have liked a refund of my hotel costs, as well as the international telephone charges that I incurred trying to cancel the hotel.

Anyone out there with experience?

Portofino Wed 20-Mar-13 08:39:35

Do you have travel insurance?

specialsubject Wed 20-Mar-13 11:06:12

the airline's Ts and Cs are to get you to the destination. It doesn't define when or how.

as the other poster says, speak to your travel insurers.

dreamingofsun Wed 20-Mar-13 11:11:40

i thought i read somewhere about them having to cough up some money if they cancelled within certain time periods - in the uk at any rate. i would google. there's was an issue with ryan air not compensating people due to the volcanic ash and them claiming it was a freak of nature so they didn't have to....or something along those lines.

SolomanDaisy Wed 20-Mar-13 11:13:14

You probably are entitled to compensation and you should also have been offered a free call to the hotel:

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/i-had-a-flight-delay-can-i-get-compensation/

Rosa Wed 20-Mar-13 13:56:42

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/2200/Major_disruption_advice_accessible.pdf this might also help

LIZS Wed 20-Mar-13 13:59:14

Isn't that only for EU flights/airlines though

Rosa Wed 20-Mar-13 14:01:52

No they apply to all flights from an European airport. Op was leaving from Brussels.

NadiSel Wed 20-Mar-13 16:46:52

I had no travel insurance.

I did get a copy of a sheet that explains what travellers can get for delayed or cancelled flights, produced by US Airways from a Swissport rep. It clearly states that I am eligible for compensation. However, what they have offered is a ticket which I initially pay for, but which I can then claim for a refund. And yes this sheets explains that compensation is only for flights leaving from a EU airport.

I guess I was after some experience of whether this sort of thing is a normal 'try on' from the carrier, and that they only meet their obligations when someone contests their offer. Or, is a ticket equivalent to the monetary compensation that is suggested in their info sheet. I was going to google it but you get all the disinformation when doing so, and I thought the Mumsnet crowd was a more informed bunchwink!

I do remember Ryan Air not fulfilling their obligations initially until the public outcry, but they did eventually pay up.

TeamEdward Wed 20-Mar-13 16:49:37

And this is what travel insurance was invented for...

hermioneweasley Wed 20-Mar-13 16:52:39

You are crazy to travel to the US without travel insurance.

NadiSel Wed 20-Mar-13 17:38:13

Well you live & learn. I got there in the end. What benefit would travel insurance have got me?

LIZS Wed 20-Mar-13 17:39:19

You could lreclaim some of the out of pocket expenses via insurance.

specialsubject Wed 20-Mar-13 19:05:41

bloody hell. IF (perish the thought) you had an accident or illness in the US, you would be looking at a bill of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. You have that spare, do you?

there is another thread about this. Read the post from someone who spent a day and night in a US hospital and the bill (on insurance) was six thousand dollars. And the one from the person who used to work in travel and knows of families who had to sell their homes to pay bills.

leaving the UK without travel insurance is stupid. Going to the US without it is certifiable. You have got away very lightly.

Lighthousekeeping Wed 20-Mar-13 19:12:14

I think being offered a free flight would have satisfied me tbh.

NadiSel Wed 20-Mar-13 19:35:13

Good point about the health insurance - I had not thought about that. I'm fit and healthy so did not think about this. In any case won't a Ehic card cover you for the basics?

preggersbycheggers Wed 20-Mar-13 19:46:04

Good heavens. No. Only in Europe and even then it's not adequate cover when travelling overseas.

montage Wed 20-Mar-13 19:54:16

A EHIC would be worth absolutely nothing in the USA.

It's a massive gamble to go to the US without health insurance.

SolomanDaisy Wed 20-Mar-13 21:09:00

shock That you don't know more about travel insurance. We have had some major medical claims abroad and it is very, very expensive. Accidents happen to healthy people and medical evacuation is really costly too.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 20-Mar-13 23:39:01

I have to report from bitter and expensive experience that it is only airlines that are registered in the EU that are subject to the compensation rules.
USA without travel insurance the average hospital stay in the USA is over $20,000.

Rosa Thu 21-Mar-13 06:30:53

A fit and healthly backpacker had world insurance exculding USA. She transited in the USA plane took off and she fell very ill. Plane returned to the USA and she was emergency recovered in hospital . $150,000 later she was released after a clot was removed and there were other complications.

wigglesrock Thu 21-Mar-13 10:01:14

An EHIC card as I understand it, only covers you for the same free reciprocal care that the participating country supplies ie you might get your injury fixed up but it wouldn't help with any costs such as getting you home. Locally a man had an accident on holiday and whilst he was treated and he was really lucky his parents had to raise the money for a flight home with medical assistance.

wigglesrock Thu 21-Mar-13 10:03:25

Sorry left out the very salient point that he had no insurance as he thought EHIC was enough. Also do I win a prize for repeating what everyone else said but less coherently smile

specialsubject Thu 21-Mar-13 16:39:01

OP, this is SO important that I hope everyone else will forgive a bit of repetition.

- the EHIC is essential when you travel in Europe, because it allows you to access the same care that the locals do, and may reduce your insurance bill; so many travel insurers insist on it. BUT it does not cover repatriation, extended hospital stays or (obviously) travel outside the EU. Remember that EHICs only last five years.
- you MUST take out travel insurance the day you book any foreign trip. This will provide cover for cancellation (Depending on the policy), as well as while you are away. Shop around, no need to buy from a travel agent.
- you MUST have insurance whenever you leave your home country. See scenarios below.
- things that will invalidate travel insurance include being drunk or drugged, working (unless a specialist policy), certain activities unless covered, anything involving a motor vehicle (so you need separate cover if you hire a car).

scenarios - rare but possible, regardless of your state of health.

- hit by car, hospitalised abroad, broken leg, need several seats to get home.
- hospitalised abroad, need air ambulance home. £££££ - you don't have it. Your family bankrupt themselves or leave you where you are. Nice choice. Even from Europe, it is lots of money.
- need ANY treatment in America. Big bucks due to their litigation culture. VERY big bucks even for short stays.

of course there are other benefits - cover against theft of possessions, emergency passport etc. But none of these will bankrupt you.

I'll shut up now. smile

clam Thu 21-Mar-13 16:54:02

I'm frankly shock that you could think travel insurance unnecessary because you are "fit and healthy."

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