UNFAIR AER LINGUS SURCHARGES

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Jul 30, 2016
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#1
We booked air travel between Boston and Dublin with Aer Lingus, and Dublin and Carcassonne on Ryanair for a 3 week vacation in France. The day before our planned return date of June 23 French air traffic controllers announced a one day strike, and the Ryanair flight for the first leg of our return journey through Dublin was forced to be cancelled. We notified Aer Lingus immediately that we would be unable to board next day on our scheduled flight to Boston.

The booking agent demanded a rebooking fee of $ 806 each, on top of the portion we had already paid months earlier. This was substantially more than the typical $ 300 rebooking fee for transatlantic flights. Under the circumstances we feel this was highly egregious for a situation which was not caused by any decisions we made.

We E mailed Aer Lingus our complaint of excessively high rebooking fees. The reply had no explanation for these high fees, with the implication that Aer Lingus doesn’t care if it is still legal.
 

Neil Maley

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#2
What they did was legal. You missed the flight and unfortunately you had to pay to rebook.

If all of your flights had been on AerLingus, then you would have a claim and Aer Lingus would have had to rebook you in another of their flights.

But you had tickets on Ryan Air and if their flights cause you to miss your next flight on a different airline, they are the ones responsible.

This would have happened on any airline. Unless all your flights are on the same airline or ticket, you are on your own when there is a cancellation. It doesn't matter if you called them the day before, they aren't responsible for missing the flight due to another airline.

You had to pay the change fees plus any difference in the new flight prices. If anyone owes you anything it is Ryan Air.

However I wonder if you are eligible for compensation due to the EU delayed flights rule.

One of the experts on this rule might be able to comment.
 
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Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#3
What they did was legal. You missed the flight and unfortunately you had to pay to rebook.

If all of your flights had been on AerLingus, then you would have a claim and Aer Lingus would have had to rebook you in another of their flights.

But you had tickets on Ryan Air and if their flights cause you to miss your next flight on a different airline, they are the ones responsible.

This would have happened on any airline. Unless all your flights are on the same airline or ticket, you are on your own when there is a cancellation. It doesn't matter if you called them the day before, they aren't responsible for missing the flight due to another airline.

Aer Lingus should have a credit for you to use within one year from the date you bought your tickets.
@Neil I'm curious to why there would be an airline credit. It sounds like the fee was the charge for changing the ticket and the fare difference between the original flight and the new one. I am under the impression the OP did, in fact, travel on Aer Lingus from Dublin to Boston.....but maybe I am incorrect on this.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#4
@Neil I'm curious to why there would be an airline credit. It sounds like the fee was the charge for changing the ticket and the fare difference between the original flight and the new one. I am under the impression the OP did, in fact, travel on Aer Lingus from Dublin to Boston.....but maybe I am incorrect on this.
You are correct- there won't be. I was answering three board questions at once and mixed them up. Thanks, Patina.
 
Jul 30, 2016
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#5
What they did was legal. You missed the flight and unfortunately you had to pay to rebook.

If all of your flights had been on AerLingus, then you would have a claim and Aer Lingus would have had to rebook you in another of their flights.

But you had tickets on Ryan Air and if their flights cause you to miss your next flight on a different airline, they are the ones responsible.

This would have happened on any airline. Unless all your flights are on the same airline or ticket, you are on your own when there is a cancellation. It doesn't matter if you called them the day before, they aren't responsible for missing the flight due to another airline.

You had to pay the change fees plus any difference in the new flight prices. If anyone owes you anything it is Ryan Air.

However I wonder if you are eligible for compensation due to the EU delayed flights rule.

One of the experts on this rule might be able to comment.
Wow ! That was a quick turn around Neil. Thank You ! Even though you say other airlines would have done the same, Aer Lingus did have the discretion not to exploit our situation to the degree it did. It would be nice to at least let the public see how they acted. Jack
 
Jul 30, 2016
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#6
Thank you for replying so quickly Neal !
I am not used to this forum so I may be repeating myself....
Even though you say other airlines would have done the same, Aer Lingus did have the discretion not to exploit a situation (which had nothing to do with our actions.), to the degree they did. It would be nice to at least let the public know how they acted. In other words they deserve a very visible black mark.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#7
Jack, technically you are right, but your seats probably flew empty on Aer Lingus. The bean counters run airlines these days. The good old days when an airline took care of you are long gone, I'm sorry to say. Today, they just rebook you, charging the new walk-up fare and the change fee. Even people with top status in airline frequent flyer programs are often subject to this treatment.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#8
They didn't exploit the situation. You were charged a rebooking fee, which is a per person fee and any difference in the fare you paid vs. the current fate when you had to be rebooked.

And again, this is what ANY airline would do. This is how the airline industry works.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#9
Looks like the anger should be towards the French Air Traffic Controllers since they were the ones that ruined your flights.

Also why didn't you buy connected tickets? If you did you would not have to pay anything extra.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,019
12,251
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
Looks like the anger should be towards the French Air Traffic Controllers since they were the ones that ruined your flights.

Also why didn't you buy connected tickets? If you did you would not have to pay anything extra.
That's correct- it is the air traffic controllers that deserve the black mark.

We do not realize in this country how lucky we are because our air traffic controllers cannot call strikes like this.

These strikes are very common in Europe. Italy and Germany are also famous for doing this and it affects hundreds of thousands of passengers when they do this. The passengers are the ones who get hurt.

But as Fly said, if you had all your flights on one ticket, you wouldn't be out anything. When you book a flight separately as we are assuming you did with Ryan Air, this is precisely what can happen.
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#11
Since the DUB-BOS ticket was stand-alone, you're solely responsible to check in and be at the gate before the published cutoff times. Even if your trip originated in DUB, there could have been a traffic jam on the road to the airport or a transit strike on the subway. That's no different than your Ryanair flight delivering you to DUB late. Hope this analogy provides a perspective on your unfortunate situation.

Next trip, be sure your trip is on a single ticket, or allow far more time than normal to connect. (It's OK to have outbound travel on one ticket and homeward on another, though there's pros and cons). If this is any solace, your missed flight was the last one on your ticket. If it were your eastbound flight, your return would have also been cancelled. When you "no-show" the remainder of the flights on the ticket are cancelled and the remaining value is forfeited. Another caveat of 2-ticket itineraries...the airlines are not required to transfer your luggage. You must provide enough time to get off the plane, claim your bags, carry them to the second airline, check-in, and clear security.

Trip insurance would probably have covered you, though policies vary widely and the devil's in the fine print.
 
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