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I’ve written before about how my recent trip to Europe was marred by the fact that my initial flight to Dublin was canceled
(SEE ALSO: 5 things I did right when my flight was canceled)
(SEE ALSO: 3 mistakes I made when my flight was canceled)
While going through the rebooking process, I decided that I wanted to concentrate on GETTING to Europe, and then how to get EU261 / 2004 compensation for my canceled (and ultimately downgraded) flight. I didn’t want to do something to my ticket (like refund or cancel it) and find out that all of a sudden I didn’t have ANY ticket to get to Europe
I wrote before about my original attempts to get EU261 / 2004 compensation – see Submitting an EU261 compensation claim for a delayed or cancelled flight
Fighting for EU261 / 2004 compensation on two fronts – British Airways
I’m in a bit of an interesting situation, because I used British Airways Avios to book a flight on Aer Lingus, so neither airline seems to want to really take care of things (even though interestingly they’re both owned by the same parent company)
Originally, the British Airways phone representative had offered to refund my 50,000 Avios that I had paid in lieu of rebooking me. I declined that at the time (which in hindsight was wise since I think that would have canceled my ticket and left me without ANY way to Europe), but after I was back in the states, I called to try and get my Avios refunded.
Even if they wouldn’t refund my entire 50,000 Avios as they originally offered, I thought that I had a clear case to get at least 25,000 Avios back, since I was eventually downgraded and only flew Economy.
Unfortunately, after being bounced around to 3 different departments, the phone agent told me that because my ticket was showing as “flown” they could not automatically refund me, and I would have to submit any EU261 / 2004 compensation claims online through their customer service form.
I’m still waiting on a reply to that after having followed up a few times.
EU261 / 2004 compensation: Aer Lingus version
I originally tried to Tweet out to @AerLingus to find the correct way to submit a claim for EU261 / 2004 compensation
(SEE ALSO: List of Airline and Hotel Twitter contacts)
After a delay, they suggested I fill out an online comment form, which I did, receiving a case number. After receiving no response for quite some time, I called in and they opened up an ADDITIONAL case, which actually has started to get some traction. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten 2 email responses from Aer Lingus about my EU261 / 2004 compensation claim
Please accept my sincere apology for Aer Lingus not having met your expectations during your travel with us on September 15, 2015. I am very sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment caused as a result of the cancellation of flight 138.
Aer Lingus is very conscious of the importance of providing customers a reliable service. Regrettably, there remains isolated occasions where service is affected due to an aircraft requiring unscheduled maintenance. Please be assured safety is our first priority.
Airlines under European Union regulation may be required to provide compensation for flight cancellation. Exceptions to the rule are in cases where a cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances including technical aircraft problems, which was the basis for the disruption on this occasion. It is our policy to reimburse customers for reasonable receipted out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the disruption to our maximum liability. Claims of a consequential nature such as lost wages, etc. are not covered. Please submit receipts for out-of-pocket expenses incurred for our review.
As previously advised by our Reservations Department, you would need to appeal to British Airways for consideration of reinstating your frequent flier points into your British Airways account. If British Airways requires a statement from Aer Lingus advising that you were downgraded, please have them include the Reference Case: XXXXXX number in their correspondence.
(emphasis mine). You can see them trying to wriggle out of paying out a compensation claim, which, from what I’ve read, is a pretty common occurrence. You can also see them suggesting I contact British Airways to get my Avios back (which of course I’ve already done).
The second email from Aer Lingus was more interesting
Regrettably, Aer Lingus does not process EU Claims, I would like to direct you to contact the Commission for Aviation Regulation, which has been designated as the enforcement body in Ireland for Regulation EC 261/2004 at Alexandra House, Earlsfort Terrace Dublin 2.
Processing an EU261 / 2004 compensation claim with the Commission for Aviation Regulation
Now, it would be super inconvenient for me to try and communicate via mail with a company in Ireland, but thankfully this is 2015, so the Commission for Aviation Regulation has a website for EU261 / 2004 compensation claims.
Clicking on Air Passenger Rights Complaint Form allows you to go through the process of submitting an EU261/2004 compensation claim.
The form for requesting EU261 / 2004 compensation appears quite ancient, but runs you through the basics of your incident.
I filled out the form for EU261 / 2004 compensation and we shall see how this goes!