I want to thank everybody for the great responses and advice regarding my cousin’s and my ongoing battle with US Airways.
After weeks of trying to file a claim under the EU’s Regulation EC 261 which should ensure my cousin compensation of 600 Euros (about $819 US) in cash, US Airways offered a travel voucher of $250.
After some more prodding, they offered a voucher of $600. The airline has stated that they cannot accept the EC 261 claim because the two days of delays in Munich my cousin experienced were due to unexpected flight safety shortcomings.
After reading the response to my last US Airways post, I have decided to move forward with the claim. Let me reiterate that, for me, this isn’t about trying to get a few hundred more dollars out of US Airways. I just think that so many airline policies are so convoluted and misleading that many passengers simply give up out of frustration before they can get any sort of compensation at all. My hope is that by pursuing this claim to the very end, I will at least be able to lay out some steps that will make it easier for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation in the future.
I have pretty much gone the distance with US Airways, so taking a reader’s advice, I am going to move forward with the LBA, which is, “the competent authority for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 in Germany.”
I hope that using the LBA Delay Form and working with the organization directly will, if nothing else, get me a definitive answer on what a passenger’s rights truly are under EC 261. I have said before that I think this policy is a great step forward, but we can still go further. The Air Transport Portal of the European Commission summed it up perfectly by saying:
“Air passengers are in a weak position to defend their rights. For example, when booking a flight, they have to accept conditions laid down by airlines; they cannot negotiate their contracts – and rarely know them. When their journeys do not go as planned, perhaps because of denied boarding or cancellation of a flight, they rely on the good will of the carrier to continue their journey or return home. In such cases, passengers are badly placed to look after themselves, particularly when far from home… As well as protection of such basic rights, passengers expect a certain level of service, which carriers do not always provide. While growing pressure on air space and congestion of airports can make this difficult, sometimes some carriers may lack a strong service culture. Competition should stimulate better service but should be accompanied by voluntary efforts by airlines and airports to raise standards.”
I’ll let you know how it goes.