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View Full Version : Your experiences with flight delays and refunds?

Jan 1, 2007, 10:06 PM
what are your experiences with seriously delayed flights? How many of your trips have been spoiled that way and did you demand any refunds from the airlines? And did you get the refunds?

In 2006 I've made 7 trips using 21 aircraft to Europe, Asia, North and South America. 3 flights were delayed 4 hours each within one year! (Not counting other delays as "tiny" as just 1 or 2 hours.) Of course I will generously publish those airlines that wasted my time so carelessly, here they come:
- :maddown: Germanwings (Hamburg-Stockholm, snow --> 4h late)
- :maddown: KLM (Montreal-Amsterdam 2h late, missed connecting flight --> 4h late)
- :maddown: Way Brasil (Rio-Cologne, unscheduled stopover in Milan to clean aircraft and cater --> 4h late)

Of the ~100 flights I had made before 2006 none was delayed that bad.

Is this normal? I wonder if I can get refunds from those airlines. What are your experiences?

Jan 2, 2007, 12:21 AM
Airlines cannot control the weather and you get nothing for that.

The EU has newer compensation rules for mechanical and aircraft problems.
In the states if you miss a connection due to the airline you normally get a voucher and booked standby the next day.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Veni, Vidi, Bibi

Jan 2, 2007, 4:10 AM
northwest. they suck. every time i have flown on that airline...something is always wrong and i end up sitting in detroit for several hours with only "go sit down" when i ask what's the deal.

no voucher. no sorry. just STFU and wait like all the other idiots who took NWA.

Jan 2, 2007, 6:13 AM
I've flown two Air Canada round trips in my life and they both sucked. No refunds on crappy service...ugh! :rant:

Jan 2, 2007, 9:54 AM
Paris -> Francfort -> LA with Lufthansa. (Me and 13 friends, summer 2005).
6 hours of delay in Paris due a technical problem on the plane ..
We missed our flight in Francfort. And it was impossible to find 14 places on a another plane the same day (we wanted to fly on the same plane all together).

They finally paid us a night at the hotel (Sheraton ****) with superb individual rooms about 350$ each and a fantastic buffet dinner!

The day after we took all together a plane to Mexico and a connection to LA with a (I have to admit it) a vera crappy aeromexico plane ..:slob:

Jan 2, 2007, 5:08 PM
A recent situation of mine:

Flying from Jacksonville back to New Orleans via Atlanta on Delta. Flight from JAX to ATL was piece-of-cake. Get to Atlanta and find that our flight had a 1 hour delay, so we (my Lieutenant and I...this was a Navy trip) went and grabbed lunch. Got back after lunch and learned from the screen that our flight was outright cancelled.

After standing in a line waiting to get our newly-worthless tickets scanned, we found that we were automatically rebooked...onto two separate flights WAY LATE in the evening. At this time, it was 2pm Eastern, and my flight was the later one and wouldn't have gotten into New Orleans until around Midnight central. And I was the one who drove us to the airport.

After some more waiting-in-line and wrangling at the ticket counter, we managed to get onto the same flight going into Gulfport instead of New Orleans (him having his uniform on and me carrying sensitive material probably helped our situation).

Of course, that flight to Gulfport wound up leaving 2 hours late. And to add insult to injury, our checked bags still went to New Orleans. So after we got into Gulfport later than scheduled we not only had to find a way to get back to the office (fortunately one of our guys lived in Gulfport and was heading in for duty at the time), but we had to then get to New Orleans airport to both get our bags and get my car.

Jan 2, 2007, 5:11 PM
You can't get a refund after the fact - and refunds are against contract of carriage in most cases anyway. If you want compensation for failure of and/or poor service, you have to demand it at the time it has occurred. Don't expect compensation for weather delays either.

Jan 2, 2007, 5:30 PM
I got stuck in Atlanta for 2 hours with Airtran. The problem was the communication. They canceled one flight, moved the gate, then delayed another all without an announcment (audible anouncement at least). With the delayed flight I ended up missing the last train out of Midway. I waited for a bus for a half an hour before deciding to brave the taxi queu which ended up being close to 45 minutes. I should have been in bed by 11, but ended up not getting to the hotel till close to 3am.

Jan 2, 2007, 10:30 PM
Somewhat soothing that I'm not alone with those annoyances. I still cannot understand why I didn't have serious delays for many years and in 2006 it struck me 3 times, but maybe that's the law of randomness. I hope it will not continue this year.

The problem was the communication.
Yes, that was also the problem in my cases. They didn't say "okay, we're delayed 4 hours, see you then", so I could go back to the city or do some other interesting things. No, at first they posted a 30-minutes delay. After an hour, they said it's 90 minutes. After two hours they said it's only a matter of minutes, and so on. After two-and-a-half hours you could see the plane arriving and passenger deboard. Sitting around in a featureless waiting area seems to my like being in jail. After 3 hours they let you into the plane but for some "technical reason" it took another hour before it took off.

Even worse with Germanwings: They didn't even bother to display it on the screens. I suspect they refused to make their delay official to manipulate some delay statistics.

When I hate a thing, that's bad customer service!

Buckeye Native 001
Jan 2, 2007, 10:36 PM
I almost always have delayed flights out of PHX because the planes are coming from someplace back east with bad weather.

That, and I always happen to be flying in/out of Phoenix when "weather" affects the Valley of the Sun...

Jan 3, 2007, 3:18 AM
Equipment change and delay on my Houston-Amsterdam flight tonight.

Continental asked for volunteers and I got a $500 coupon, rebooked tomorrow, and 6 drink coupons :D

Life is good with CO!

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Veni, Vidi, Bibi

Jan 3, 2007, 3:25 AM
I got an equip change back in April, $400 on delta. They put me on a CO flight that arrived before the original DL flight did, by almost 2 hrs. As soon as I heard it was a 767-->757 change, it doesn't take a rocket scientest to know that a) the entire plane has to be reticketed, and b) that a 757 is the smaller plane and everyone ain't going to fit. I ran and was third in the reticketing line, ran over to the CO flight, got on and arrived hours ahead of the DL flight AND am going to France in March for $150 out of pocket. Most of the chumps stood in the insane line at the DL gate. :)

Jan 3, 2007, 3:31 AM
DELTA= Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, You may now move about the cabin

Policy Wonk
Jan 3, 2007, 3:36 AM
Speaking of Delta, I had enough trouble getting a refund when they canceled the flight more than a month in advance!

Jan 3, 2007, 3:37 AM
I actually had 27 flights this past year betweem Chicago and South America, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, California, Vegas, New Orleans and Washington DC and ZERO of the flights were delayed even 5 minutes.

It was probably the most amazing flying year I've had, and there have been quite a few.