Delta delays compensation levels questioned

Delta delays compensation levels questioned

An offer of compensation has been extended by Delta Air Lines as the US carrier cancelled a further 317 flights yesterday. 

But the level of compensation offered to passengers affected in the UK has been called into question.

Data from Law firm Bott & Co shows that eight flights departing from the UK on Monday were delayed due to the Delta power outage, resulting in around 2,500 potential passengers who would qualify for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004.

It said that affected passengers were entitled to more than the flight vouchers offered by the airline as compensation. However Delta said that where applicable passengers will also get the "EU 261 compensation" also.

Flight delay compensation lawyer, Kevin Clarke, said: “The circumstances of this incident are akin to a technical defect in a plane – yes it may be unpredictable and beyond the control of the airline but the law is clear on this point; if it stems from an event which is inherent in the normal activity of an air carrier then compensation must be paid. 

“We’ve heard stories of passengers being given vouchers worth $250 but this is insufficient.

“If a passenger was delayed between three and four hours they are entitled to €300 compensation and if it is over four hours then they are entitled to €600 compensation.

“A voucher is only appropriate if a passenger explicitly says so. If you want financial compensation the airline is obliged to provide it.”

The latest flight groundings came on the third day of disruption at Delta following a major computer glitch early on Monday morning which led to thousands of passengers having their travel plans disrupted.

The 800 cancelled flights Monday were triple the number of mainline Delta cancellations previously during the entire year to date, chief executive Ed Bastian revealed while issuing a personal apology to passengers in a video message.

He said he did not have a final analysis for the cause of the systems outage.

The airline had hoped to return to normal operations by yesterday afternoon and operated 3,100 flights with 317 cancellations.

Technology systems that allow airport customer service staff to process check-ins, conduct boarding and dispatch aircraft are functioning normally, the airline said.

The bulk of delays and cancellations came as a result of flight crews displaced or running up against their maximum allowed duty period following the outage.

Delta’s airport customer service and airline operations senior vice president, Bill Entsch, said yesterday: “We’re in the final hours of bouncing back from the disruption.

“Delta employees have been working around the clock and are committed to bringing the airline back to full strength.

“We know this has been a rough couple of days for our customers and apologise to those who have experienced our less-than-stellar operation.”


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