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:

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

NadiSel Thu 21-Mar-13 18:45:30


the thread has veered off into a travel insurance for health benefits rant...not the original 'should I take the ticket or can I get cash compensation' discussion that I was after.

Secondly, a big bug bear of mine is that if you don't know definitively what you are talking about, then don't commit to print. I don't want the benefit of what you might have heard off a friend of a friend who heard it off the cleaner who might have picked it off the TV or newspaper or something. If I don't know something, then I certainly don't comment.

I'm after someone's practical experience of claiming compensation for a cancellation or delay - anybody got that or notconfused

TeamEdward Thu 21-Mar-13 18:48:12

Take the ticket. It's all you'll get. You should have got insurance, then the insurance company would have reimbursed your costs.

Enough?! grin

clam Thu 21-Mar-13 18:58:34

<Shrug> Good luck with that then.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 21-Mar-13 19:26:29

I'd be over the moon with a free plane ticket to the states.

JudithIscariot Thu 21-Mar-13 19:35:51

You were bloody lucky to get a free ticket. Nice that you decide to be snidey. If you travel you need travel insurance, or risk ending up out of pocket like you are. Them's the breaks I am afraid.

pompompom Thu 21-Mar-13 19:40:01

Sorry, but with no travel insurance you probably won't get anything back. This is exactly the sort of thing it is for.

A friend of mine flew to the state's without travel insurance, had seriously bad abdo pain while there, flew back, was treated for a huge tumour on return! She was told that she was lucky not to die on the plane.

Stop being so arsey and just take this as a lesson learned.

NadiSel Thu 21-Mar-13 19:52:36

Not being arsey or snidey. I just wish peeps would ATFQ - ie answer the f***g question. I would take the ticket but it would be a tad craaaap without the kids wouldn't it? Cash would contribute to a 'no conditions' holiday when and wherever I want to go.

And why should I feel lucky to get a free ticket. I wasted 1 whole day in an airport, and another travelling and paid for a hotel room that remained empty. I had booked a flight that would have got me to the hotel, in a strange country, on Sat afternoon. Instead I got to the hotel at 0130 am on Monday morning. I ended up paying 'after hours' taxi fares and 2 wasted days in the hotel

These penalties on airlines are to stop them messing passengers around so why should I feel grateful!

JudithIscariot Thu 21-Mar-13 19:57:46

Um because you had no fecking travel insurance maybe?

JudithIscariot Thu 21-Mar-13 19:58:05

Question answered.

specialsubject Thu 21-Mar-13 20:02:25

no insurance, no comeback.

lucky you didn't have any problems in the States.


SolomanDaisy Thu 21-Mar-13 20:05:33

I have experience of complaining compensation. I posted a link which explains your rights. I also have experience of the benefits of travel insurance. Are you always so rude?

hermioneweasley Thu 21-Mar-13 20:06:29

Erm, OP it is both rude and snidey to swear at people. Ie: ATFQ.

If you post on a forum you have no control over the responses. People came on here to help. You have had your answer. Be gracious.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 21-Mar-13 20:07:17

The kids weren't with you then which is why you only got one free ticket. You can have a break on your own as you seem to have travelled without them in the first place. Why didn't you email the hotel instead of making expensive phone calls? There's nothing you can do. Insurance would've only been a tenner. I know cos I've just bought it for the States. Well worth it.

dopeysheep Thu 21-Mar-13 20:08:23

"a tad craaaaap without the kids" What? Free flight plus perfect excuse to leave the children at home and it's crap? Noooooooo it would be fun, if you have someone to leave them with. You could do adult things. It would be great. I'll have your ticket. . .

NadiSel Thu 21-Mar-13 20:09:35

No not always so rude. I looked at your link. Thank you for it. It was one of the more helpful and relevant posts.

IntheFrame Thu 21-Mar-13 21:18:36

Do you have the ticket yet? I would check the conditions carefully as often their are certain exempt flights/times of year etc. If it's a simple free ticket then take it - you've done well. They did get you to your destination and back.

You might not have got any compensation as you flight was cancelled within 12 hours. Lots of flights/insurance require at least a 12 hour delay before they compensate.

Why should they have to pay out for a plane load of passengers onward bound plans? Would they have to compensate the businesswomen who missed her multi million dollar meeting...nah. As everyone says that's what insurance is for.

clam Thu 21-Mar-13 21:30:57

Question: do insurance companies pay out if the airline has offered some sort of compensation?
ATFQ, people! wink

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 21-Mar-13 21:46:38

Real life experience non-EU airline flight cancelled ultimately had to make own way home at a cost of £3500 for three of us we got nothing no even our taxes back from the airline. We struggled to get even confirmation from them that they had cancelled the flight for our travel insurance for the measly £300 they gave us. If I had been offered a free ticket to anywhere I would have grabbed it with both hands and run.

Bananasinfadedpjs Thu 21-Mar-13 22:03:07

Surely when it is 8pm in Brussels it is earlier than 4pm in the US?

Lighthousekeeping Thu 21-Mar-13 22:08:32

1300 or 1400?

clam Thu 21-Mar-13 22:19:07

Easy coast of USA currently 4 hours behind UK until our clocks go forward. Theirs switched a week or two back. But EU is already an hour ahead of us ...
<counts on fingers and toes. Falls over>

JudithIscariot Thu 21-Mar-13 22:23:26

Quite, Banana.

NadiSel Fri 22-Mar-13 16:43:48

So back on track...decided to contest their decision using the useful advice from here, and won! So cash in hand rather than a ticket with so many T&Cs that it would take a lawyer to decipher. IntheFrame thanks for the tip.

Didn't ask me about travel insurance or nothing. Lesson for me and others who may need it - There is law out there to protect passengers. When you confront them with it, they recognise their reputation is at stake. If they start from the EU or are a EU airline landing in the EU they are under the jurisdiction.

So for those who use this forum to spread useful advice and info, thank you. For those who see themselves as comedians or who contribute with nothing based on fact good luck. Perhaps the latter group would like me to start a thread so they can convince themselves they are being useful to the wider communitywink.

Lighthousekeeping Fri 22-Mar-13 17:05:55

Oh, you have a strange attitude. You don't come across as being very nice at all.

Hahahahaha to say that comments such as 'don't travel to the US without travel insurance' are not based on fact.

ha ha ha ha

But never mind you are fit and healthy.

My dad was taken off a plane during transit (luckily not in the US) and taken to hospital after he vomited and felt unwell on the plane. It was not a reciprocal agreement country. My parents had to pay the full bill for an overnight hosp, mums hotel and umpteen phone calls etc.

But they got the money back from their travel insurance.

OP I hope you got a ton of compensation. If I were you Id put it in the bank to pay any medical expenses you may incur when travelling in future.

pompompom Fri 22-Mar-13 17:15:28

Ugh, I'm glad there aren't many posters like the OP on here

NadiSel Fri 22-Mar-13 17:56:45

Nope I didn't say that. And, I do consider myself as a nice least one who would give anyone the benefit of my experience if I thought that would help.

Insurance is all a question of the level of risk you are comfortable with. By all means take it out when you feel uncomfortable being without it. Just make sure you understand the fineprint and that they will be as friendly and sympathetic if you have to claim, as when you hand over your cash to take out the policy!

AuntFini Fri 22-Mar-13 18:11:55

Who in their right minds would travel anywhere abroad, let alone the US without insurance??? I am baffled that you can't see that that's a stupid move!

Lighthousekeeping Fri 22-Mar-13 18:28:08

It's £12 that's all. It's pennies compared to the flight and hotel. I've never met anyone in my life that would go to the US without it.

clam Fri 22-Mar-13 18:29:02

I wouldn't be comfortable with any level of risk travelling abroad without insurance. Particularly to the USA.

montage Fri 22-Mar-13 20:42:27

But you're a comedian yourself OP! I am enjoying the juxtaposition of " a big bug bear of mine is that if you don't know definitively what you are talking about, then don't commit to print." and "Just make sure you understand the fineprint" with your thinking that "In any case won't a Ehic card cover you for the basics?" when you're travelling to the USA!

This thread really reminds me of the Mango one.

Lighthousekeeping Fri 22-Mar-13 20:53:24

A wind up?

clam Fri 22-Mar-13 21:02:38

E-hic. Clue is in the E standing for European.

NadiSel Sat 23-Mar-13 09:31:00


I did think of summarising the contributions to this thread from both Clam and Lighthousekeeping, in this post just to show how helpful these 2 posters have been, but I lost interest.

Thanks for your wonderful and helpful interventions. You have added to the body of human knowledge. As for the others - a genuine thanks

clam Sat 23-Mar-13 11:29:40

My main contribution has been, along with a fair few others, to express surprise that you would contemplate travel abroad to the US without insurance. If you really thought that it was unnecessary as you're normally in good health and have an EHIC card, then I would say my posts have been more than helpful.

Get travel insurance.

NadiSel Sat 23-Mar-13 12:10:22

Firstly, it all depends on the manner in which something is said.

Secondly my original post was not about travel insurance for health cover in the US.

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