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Passengers win compensation from Emirates on the court of law

I’ve got this Press Release yesterday. I don’t usually publish passenger-related stories. Nevertheless, I found this story interesting and very informative.

Passengers win compensation from Emirates for marathon flight delay following two-year battle

 

  • Passengers on Emirates flight endured 23-hour flight delay
  • Airline tried to exploit ‘extraordinary circumstance’ loophole
  • Two-year battle for compensation
  • Case study in how airlines try to avoid compensation pay-outs

 

POTSDAM, Germany and PALO ALTO, Calif. – 28 April, 2016 – The process of claiming compensation for flight delays is not for the faint-hearted, as two Australian passengers have discovered. When Brett and Lisa Smith’s flight from Milan to New York was delayed more than 23 hours, they thought that their case for compensation under European Union legislation would be a simple matter. They were wrong.

 

Under EU 261/2004 compensation rules, passengers whose flight is cancelled or arrives more than three hours late can claim up to €600 (£473) depending on the distance of the flight. The compensation rules apply to flights departing from any EU airport (including Iceland, Norway or Switzerland) or arriving in the EU with an EU carrier.

 

The couple, booked on flight EK 205 from Milan Malpensa to New York (JFK) in April, 2014 experienced a long ‘creeping delay’. After check-in, they were advised the flight would be delayed by three hours or so. After finally boarding, passengers were told that the engine technical issue could not be fixed after all, and a part needed to be flown in from Dubai the following day.

 

Passengers were deplaned, returned through immigration, collected their bags, and transported to a hotel. Nearly 24 hours later, the exhausted passengers were finally on their way to New York.                         

 

The couple lost a day of their holiday, along with the cost of one night’s hotel accommodation, theatre tickets and dinner reservation, all of which was pre-booked, pre-paid, and non-refundable.

 

Ignoring the rules

 

Airlines are expected to inform passengers of their right to compensation in the event of lengthy delays. An estimated 11 million people per year in Europe alone are eligible to claim for €6 billion in compensation for flight disruptions under European Union (EC) 261 legislation. At no point during the 23-hour saga were the Smiths advised that they were eligible for compensation.

 

When Mr Smith, a frequent Emirates flyer, later contacted the airline, Emirates rejected the claim. The airline stated that the matter had been investigated by ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, and ENAC had ruled that the delay was due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and Emirates was therefore not obliged to pay compensation.

 

When Emirates provided no evidence of either the investigation or ruling, Mr Smith decided to contact the air passenger rights company (name of the company is known to the administrator of this blog) that advocates for travellers.

 

Mr Smith says: “I’m pretty relaxed about delays due to safety issues; these things happen. But I’m surprised and annoyed that the airline claimed there was an investigation and ruling to justify not paying out, when there doesn’t appear to have been either.”

 

‘Extraordinary circumstances’ – what counts?

 

Airlines can only legally sidestep compensation claims if a flight disruption is due to extraordinary circumstances beyond an airline’s control; events that ‘could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken’. These include bad weather, security issues, industrial action, and hidden manufacturing defects.

 

Airlines often try to avoid compensation pay-outs for aircraft technical failures, arguing that this also falls under extraordinary circumstances, but a recent European Court of Justice ruling (Corina van der Lans v KLM) rejected this argument.

 

It took two years, countless emails, forms, document submissions, and ultimately an investigation and ruling from the appropriate local ENAC Directorate to secure full compensation of €600 each for the Smiths.

 

“This case illustrates just how far airlines will go in an attempt to fob off passengers,” says Eve Büchner, Founder and CEO of the air passenger rights company. “The majority of passengers either don’t know their rights, or do not have the time, nerve or money to jump through the endless hurdles airlines put up in an attempt to force passengers to abandon their case.”

 

“It’s absolutely impossible for an individual who has no knowledge of the law and no experience of dealing with the claim process to get compensation,” said Mr Smith­­. “Which, of course, is what the airlines want. The airlines are happy to brush off customers with an array of excuses and push passengers to the point where they are forced to go to court. An impossible situation if you have to travel to another country to do so.”

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17 responses to “Passengers win compensation from Emirates on the court of law

  • Anonymous

    “If you don’t stand up for your rights, then you get squashed. So sometimes people need to stand up and, if it’s for a right cause, then there is no problem. We just have to understand,” said Oliver Munich, a traveller from South Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

  • tagha1

    Well, the last two paragraphs explain everything, passengers, staff, employees…etc don’t know the rules and don’t know their rights. I’m impressed that it took 2 years as other cases, won’t take that long because everything is clear and documented according to company rules however, I should say that money plays an important factor of reaching the court as not everyone has it to start the claim. This is well known for all and EK would challenge anyone by saying “If you don’t like it, go to court”!!

    Like

  • tagha1

    Thanks a lot, I will give it a try as my story is published here…I will definitely hire them if I have same!

    Like

  • Anonymous

    No justice in the Arab World. Welcome to Dubai. Keep Discovering

    Like

    • tagha1

      Justice is everywhere but you have to search for it and search for the right one to claim it and above all, you have to have enough money and patience….this is obvious and in every country my friend!

      Like

  • Anonymous

    Heard that EK files terrorists wanted by Interpol. EK flews Dawood Ibrahim DXB to Islamabad regularly inspite of knowing he is an international gangster and mastermind wanted in Mumbai bomb blast. The Govt of India has signed an undertakening with the UAE govt to deal with such terrorists and help India to get them back to Indian soil to be tried in Indian courts. When EK files terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim knowing fully well he is wanted by the US, India and other nations, the airline is directly supporting such terrorists. They say that Dawood has some connect with Emirates and the airline management. How true this could be, well the Airline management knows otherwise it would not fly a terrorist.

    Like

  • Anonymous

    Indian media cannot be wrong.If this is out int he newspapers and TV news channels, then EK should worry about it.

    Like

    • tagha1

      With all my respect, this is nothing…I mean, the links don’t say that he -personally- traveled on EK flights however, the links said that his family did…and his family members are not WANTED by the Interpol or any other country or courts that means, they will still be accepted as passengers on board EK. There are many international flights that use Dubai Airport other than EK and EK would never put itself in same situation as per my knowledge and experience. EK has its own Security Department and believe me, they are professional enough to sniff a “Terrorist” before leaving home to the airport. They always get a “fresh” information almost everyday from The Central Intelligence Department (CID) and action accordingly even though, this is not an airline job, this is a state job but, EK works shoulder to shoulder with officials concerning safety.

      In addition, lot of our colleagues from EK Security staff at the airport or”Men In Black” as we used to call them, they are Indians and for sure, they know Mr Ibrahim story…his family…features..they simply know everything about him even before they joined so, I am 100% that this didn’t happen even the links (above) didn’t mention that and all what said that he is in Pakistan.

      Like

  • Merlin Mary

    BOOKING REFERENCE – MA3CUW

    TICKET NUMBER – 176-2282217682
    DOHA TO DUBAI FLIGHT NUMBER – EK 848
    DUBAI TO IRELAND FLIGHT NUMBER – EK 161 ( MISSED FLIGHT )

    SKYWARDS NUMBER – 505965983

    This is to inform you that i had a really bad experience with emirates. EK 848 was half an hour late and I missed EK161 on 10.9.2016. I couldnt join for work on that night because I had to wait 8hrs for the next flight. So I lost 240 euros. I should get it compensated.I was badly treated in Dubai airport. Doha flight landed at 6.30am. The bus which took the passengers made things delayed. We could reach the arrival spot only at 6.58am. Gate closed at 6.55am. They didnt give me hotel accomodation which they promised to to give me when i met them at the Connections desk to collect the new boarding pass. I easily fell asleep in the restaurant(terminal 3, Mezzanine) to which i received the food coupon because i was really tired by the time. After half an hour one of the waiter told that “mam, you can’t sleep here.” I was really upset. The time was only 9.30am. I left the restaurant and went to the Connections desk once more. She said i need to have visa to go to the hotel. I stepped back and went to the lounge. The WORST part is each time while i went to the Connections desk i had to pass a baggage clearance queue and body checking.3 times since arrival. At the end i became physically unwell. I started vomiting due to lack of sleep.

    Like

  • Nadeem Akram

    Subject: Denied Boarding means Give Confirmed Seat in next flight which was same night- flight was not Given to me.

    EMIRATES Ref No: DXB/X/CG/070118/7316495, 08 January 2018, ISLAMABAD Civil Aviation Authority COMPLAINT- No- 269- Date 06-January-2018- ISLAMABAD AIRPORT-MISSING FLIGHT DUE TO CAA-EMIRATES FAULTS,

    Dear Sir ,

    Summary is as followings. Confirmation from EMIRATES Airlines and Civil Aviation Authority e-mails are in the last of this e-mail.

       CAA- Accepted 5- International & a lot of Domestic flights were operating that day, more than double the capacity of airport.
    

    •CAA has confirmed over capacity flight operation in e-mail, it is against International laws.
    •Only two small Entry gates and crowd of 5000 persons, a lot of passengers missed flights Dr. Anwer & Family also missed, I have mentioned it in EMIRATES on board complaint.
    •Boarding starts 45 minutes before flight & close 20 minutes before flight. I reached with family and luggage about 50 minutes before flight with all my PASSPORTS and initially we were Checked in about 50 minutes before flight but later on off-loaded, as per EMIRATES policy ( If you’re not accepted onto your flight, we’ll give you a confirmed seat on the next available flight to your destination. In addition, we’ll give you a voucher that you can use for a complimentary return ticket on selected routes, as outlined below.).
    •No any alternative seats were given to me the next flight was available same night January 05, 2018. ( EMIRATES has conformed it in their e-mail at the end of this).
    •I MADE A VIDEO RECORDING 47- Minutes of most of the Incidences.
    •I was advised next flight available on January 12, 2018, after 7 days, not acceptable to me, I bought my own return tickets PIA and cost me ( 520,000 ) Pakistani Rupees from ISLAMABAD to London.
    •All rules are attached or linked.

    • I humbly request following points. Request to please, as lesson learnt policy and avoid it to happen again, must be considered.

         I & my family, Five Members, are British Citizens, we missed flight EK 613, from ISLAMABAD on January 05, 2018, along with many passengers, due to extraordinary long queue, which we believe was due to more than double the capacity of ISLAMABAD Airport.
    

    •We stuck in CAA Islamabad Airport International Departure lounge Entry Door queue, only two small entry gates were available and more than 3000, three thousands passengers were held in queues., no any help or guidance, from any agency was given to passengers.
    •On 5th of Jan, 2018: Five International Flights & numerous domestic flights were being operated within a short interval of time, I believe it is more than double the capacity of this airport, without proper customer care were operated.( I want to know, the (NATIONAL AVIATION POLICY 2015, PAKISTAN & International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Montreal, CANADA, CODE OF CONDUCT were followed ?)Five International Flight detailed as below, domestic numerous flights are not included in it.

    Date Time (hrs) Flight Destination Aircraft

    05-01-2018 1100 PK785 London B777
    05-01-2018 1140 PA210 Dubai A320
    05-01-2018 1200 KU206 Kuwait A320
    05-01-2018 1220 EK613 Dubai A340/777
    05-01-2018 1235 PA212 Sharjah A32.

    •We reached EMIRATES Departure lounge ISLAMABAD AIRPORT, late, due to extra ordinary long queue, ( EMIRATE AIRLINE Checked in all 5 – family members for flight EK613, January 05, 2018, later on we all 5- family members were off-loaded. (I refer to CAA- Pakistan Air Passenger Rights / Air Navigation Order 2015, Clause D11.8, Denied Boarding ).
    •No any alternative next flight was given to us, next flight was advised on January 12, 2018, after 7-days.
    •A lot of other passengers suffered same situation, Dr. Anwer & his two family members were also denied flight. Booking Reference No IYLMB6.
    •There was no any alternative for me, I had to buy next day tickets from ISLAMABAD to Manchester via PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES & continued journey. It costed me about 500,000 Pakistan Rupees. No any Compensation was offered to me.
    •Please advise me CAA Pakistan Air Navigation Order 2015, Passenger Rights, Denied Boarding Clause D11.8 and CAA- Pakistan National Aviation Policy 2015, Paragraph 4.5, Policy Guideline For International Operation, sub-clause a,iii, and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Montreal, CANADA, CODE OF CONDUCT were followed ?.
    •Reply of my complaints from EMIRATES AIR LINES, Ref No: DXB/X/CG/070118/7316495 & CAA- ISLAMABAD, No 269, dated January 06, 2018, is as below.

    Kind Regards,

    Nadeem Akram

    London United Kingdom

    nadeem786akram@hotmail.com

    PLEASE SEE BELOW FEED BACK OF MY COMPLAINT FROM CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY- ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN

    From: Feedback BBIAP
    Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2018 3:46 PM
    To: NADEEM AKRAM
    Subject: RE: Civil Aviation Authority- ISLAMABAD COMPLAINT- No- 269- Date 06-January-2018- ISLAMABAD AIRPORT-MISSING FLIGHT DUE TO CAA-EMIRATES FAULTS

    AOA

    My dear sir at airport differenct agencies are operating according to their SOPs and responsibilities they are deployed for, like ASF (Security), Anti-Narcotics, Customs and FIA etc. These agencies are operating independently. As for as your case is concern you reach the counters of airline late that may include rush at first stage on the entries, the security scan area operated by ASF, Customs and ANF. Initially you are reported that you were issued boarding card whereas it was not handed over to you, and remember during that rush hour when Emirates was briefing their passengers, other scheduled airlines were also being under the process of scanning, briefing and other formalities.

    List of the flights is attached below:

    On 5th of Jan, 2018:

    Date Time (hrs) Flight Destination Aircraft
    05-01-2018 1100 PK785 London B777
    05-01-2018 1140 PA210 Dubai A320
    05-01-2018 1200 KU206 Kuwait A320
    05-01-2018 1220 EK613 Dubai A340/777
    05-01-2018 1235 PA212 Sharjah A321

    It is worth mentioning Domestic Departures were also taking place during this similar time slots, creates an additional rush at airport entry gate. However, CAA Management took serious notice and advised Airport Services and Vigilance sections to enhance the efforts for smooth flow of passengers.

    CAA assures best cooperation.

    Regards

    ZAHID NASEEM
    Sr. Joint Director (PF&SC)
    CAA BBIAP Islamabad.

    PLEASE SEE BELOW FEED BACK OF MY COMPLAINT FROM EMIRATES AIRLINE – UAE

    From: customer.affairs@emirates.com customer.affairs@emirates.com
    Sent: 08 January 2018 09:59
    To: nadeem786akram@hotmail.com
    Subject: Emirates Ref. DXB/X/CG/070118/7316495

    Our Ref No: DXB/X/CG/070118/7316495

    08 January 2018

    Mr Nadeem Akram

    By e-mail: nadeem786akram@hotmail.com

    Dear Mr Akram,

    I write further to my correspondence of 7 January.

    On behalf of Emirates, I regret to learn of your and your family’s disappointment when you did not travel as originally booked on flight EK613 from Islamabad to Dubai, on 5 January.

    I have since received feedback from the Airport Services Manager in Islamabad who informs me that you whilst the rest of your family were already at check-in, you reported 17 minutes after the flight was finalized.

    In an attempt to assist you and your family, our check-in staff checked you all in for the flight, however, when at 11.48 am, you still did not report to the counter, you were offloaded from the flight as you were not ready to travel without your luggage.

    Mr Akram, Emirates endeavours to offer the best possible service to its customers and priority in this regard is flights taking off on time. In customer surveys, conducted by Emirates, passengers have consistently identified punctuality to be one of their most important concerns when choosing an airline to fly with. We at Emirates of course strive to achieve what our passengers want and, therefore, reviewed the reasons our flights were not taking off “on time”. On time departure of our flights is an integral part of the Emirates product.

    We hope you appreciate that the latest check-in time given, has to be followed. Otherwise the boarding gate will never be closed, and flights will not be able to take off on time.

    May I respectfully suggest that you contact your nearest ticketing office for any applicable refund of the unutilized sectors on your tickets.

    Thank you for writing and for allowing me this opportunity to respond.

    Yours sincerely,

    Caroline Gamree

    Customer Affairs

    Sent from my iPhone

    NADEEM AKRAM

    MY COMPLAINT IS AVAILABLE IN EMIRATES AIRLINE AS BELOW LINK.

    https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/emirates-group-emiratescom-flight-c963563.html

    Emirates Group / Emirates.com – flight

    http://www.complaintsboard.com

    Dear, I missed flight Emirate during my ( London to Pakistan ) tour, when, coming back from Pakistan to London. I missed the flight due to delay in queue. Please see the below e-mail to EMIRITE, but Emitates did not help me, please guide me what to do next. NADEEM AKRAM JOINT REQUEST FOR Reference

    https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/emirates-group-emiratescom-flight-c963563.html

    Emirates Group / Emirates.com – flight

    http://www.complaintsboard.com

    Dear, I missed flight Emirate during my ( London to Pakistan ) tour, when, coming back from Pakistan to London. I missed the flight due to delay in queue. Please see the below e-mail to EMIRITE, but Emitates did not help me, please guide me what to do next. NADEEM AKRAM JOINT REQUEST FOR Reference

    From: NADEEM AKRAM nadeem786akram@hotmail.com
    Sent: 16 February 2018 05:56
    To: NADEEM AKRAM; NADEEM AKRAM
    Subject: Denied Boarding means Give Confirmed Seat in next flight which was same night- flight was not Given to me

    https://www.emirates.com/english/before-you-fly/travel/

    https://www.emirates.com/english/before-you-fly/travel/denied-boarding-compensation.aspx

    Denied Boarding Options Redemption

    Home

    Before you fly

    Travel information

    Denied Boarding Options RedemptionYou are here: Denied Boarding Options Redemption

    If you’re not accepted onto your flight, we’ll give you a confirmed seat on the next available flight to your destination. In addition, we’ll give you a voucher that you can use for a complimentary return ticket on selected routes, as outlined below.

    You can read our dedicated FAQs for more information.

    Check in online*
    Online check-in is available for most Emirates flights around the world. Mobile boarding passes are available for Emirates flights from selected destinations.
    Check in for your flight on emirates.com up to 48 hours in advance – choose your seat and print your boarding pass or get a mobile boarding pass sent to your phone. What is online check-in?.

    Check in online

    Checking in at the airport

    90 minutes

    60 minutes

    45 minutes

    90 minutes
    Get to the Emirates check-in counters no later than 90 minutes before your departure time. Emirates’ check-in counters open no less than three hours prior to departure.

    60 minutes
    Once you have checked in, please go through security no later than 60 minutes before your flight departs. If you are holding an eboarding pass and travelling with carry-on bags only, please go directly to security.
    45 minutes
    Make sure you get to your boarding gate on time. Boarding starts 45 minutes before your flight and gates close 20 minutes before departure. If you report late we will not be able to accept you for travel.

    Like

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