Enough Compensation for an 18 hour delay?

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Dec 15, 2017
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Hi All and thanks for your opinions

I recently returned from a United flight from Turks and Caicos to Dulles Airport close to DC. The incoming plane from Chicago had to circle PLS airport before landing for 40 minutes, was going to run out of fuel, so flew into Dominican Republic to fuel. DR didn't know how to handle them and considered it an emergency landing, so they sat in the tarmac for hours.

Our plane was to depart at 5:40ish. Each hour they added another hour delay. Finally when gate said 8:30 departure, the plane finally landed. Of course you guessed it, the flight attendants "timed out" and followed by the pilots timing out. They waited until 10ish to let us know, and that the flight was going to delayed until 10:30 AM, almost 18 hours later. (amazing how 18 hours is a delay and not cancelation!)

(On a separate note, the airport shut down the A/C at 6;30, adding to our fun. Same thing happened to a Delta flight PLS-ATL, but they managed to take off at 8:30)

So at 10:30 they tried placing travelers in hotels, but the island was almost sold out, and they were having a tough time doing so. They found some for $550 a night at Beaches Resort. The flight Attendants got lucky, were sent to Blue Haven. The pilots not so much and ended up at the Landings--which no self-respecting traveler would stay!). So they announced that if you had a place to stay, please get your luggage and leave (the airport was closing) and they would offer compensation in the morning.

Some had hotel receipts ($500 plus, some were $1200!) plus cab fairs of $75

I'm lucky and had many friends on island, so I called and stayed at a friends house. (I own there, costs $455 nightly, but had guests check in so couldn't go back)

The manager at the airport noted on my ticket that they could find no place for me, and to give me a travel voucher. She even let me take a picture of where she had written it. Said I need to call United Customer Care to collect, but that she had noted there was no place for me to stay.

So 9 days later, they offered me $125 good through 3/10/18. (which will be hard for me to use, but better than nothing)

In your opinion is this enough? 18 hours, and I saved them money! (original airfare was $560 but I know airlines use crazy math)

So I ask opinions--is this enough for an 18 hour delay? IF no, what is reasonable? Others got back what they paid in hotels and cab rides, to the tune of $600-$1200. If $125 is not enough, do I appeal to the email that customer care sent me, or do I start going down the list?

Or is this fair and I should accept it?

Thanks for everyones help!
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#2
@Barefootpalms My best guess is that it's weather related (circling for 40 min before diverting cost UA a ton of money). Two ways to look at this... UA's out of pocket or your in pocket. Is $125 less than what UA was out of pocket for other travelers... Yes. But you're way ahead on your in pocket. People who stayed some where just got their expenses covered and nothing for the trouble. You got $125 to spend another day.

I think $125 might be a little light but I don't see UA coming through with much more for a weather situation.
 
Likes: VoR61
Dec 15, 2017
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#3
Sorry--was not weather. Small airport, had to circle to land because of traffic control. Airport too small to handle landings in a timely matter. (and some landing still out in tarmacs lined up to get through immigration!)

Weather was perfect. They circled PLS for 40 minutes due to air traffic delays
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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@Barefootpalms Still something well outside their control... Even more in the case of a poorly run airport.

Doesn't change change my opinion.

Just ran the flight through some flight planning software... Having to divert to the Dominican is almost the same distance as a Chicago flight circling ORD and having to divert to Indianapolis. 30 - 45 min for each leg to mention any fun for an international divert and the paperwork involved.

If you want to be ticked, the airport should get your wrath
 
Likes: krisseye