Long Delay, Spoiled Trip

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Nov 7, 2017
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On Dec. 20, 2016, I was on the last leg of my trip from OKC to Vienna, Austria. My plane was scheduled to leave Amsterdam at 8:55 p.m. and arrive in Vienna at 10:55 p.m. But what actually happened was the plane did not take off from Amsterdam until around 10:30-1:00 p.m., meaning that I had to wait over two hours for this plane to even begin to board. I recall the reservation clerk stating that the plane would be leaving as soon as they have a crew to fly us passengers to Vienna. I had already been waiting in the Amsterdam airport for 8:30 hours, and as you can imagine I was anxious to get to my final destination of Austria. Not only was my flight was my flight so late, I could not get internet to let my daughter know that the plane was late. She was so worried that she called the American Embassy because she had no idea what was happening, and I was helpless to inform her of my whereabouts and that the plane was over two hours late. Then to make matters even worse and to make me even later to check into my hotel so I could contact my daughter and to get some much needed rest, my luggage was lost by the airlines. Losing my luggage had the unfortunate effect of me having to then wait an additional hour or so of me waiting and filling out paper work for the return of my lost luggage. The baggage clerk told me that if and when my luggage was found, it would be brought to my hotel the following day, which it was, late in the day on Dec. 21st. On Feb. 10, 2017, I was informed that due to no fault of my own, and because my arrival to my destination was delayed over two hours, that I am entitled to compensation for such a long delay, but where is it? I would also like compensation for the loss of my luggage, which contained among other things my medications, and caused undue hardship for me once I arrived at my destination. I have requested numerous times a refund of $1200, but to this day, I have only received $238.00.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
What was the $1200 for?

We have company contacts on top of our page. Get the contacts for this company and write to the customer service email address.

Give them a week to reply. If they don't respond or refuse to help, write to the first executive shown. Tell him/her that Customer Service wasn't able to help or didn't reply. Give the executive a week to reply. If necessary, repeat weekly going up the chain of Executives one at a time. If you get all the Executives with no help, come back here and let us know and we'll
Tell you the next step. Make sure you keep all the emails as you'll need to forward them to the writers if they need to get involved.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#3
A nasty experience, Belle. Neil has outlined what you should do. For other readers, I will remind everyone to 1) not put anything in a checked bag that you can't live without and 2) leave a full itinerary with someone back home so they can check on things and not be worried. When travelling, there are all kinds of instances where you can't communicate via email, so you have to add that extra layer of information so these "just in case" issues are properly handled.
 
Nov 8, 2017
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jsn55, spot on about meds in carryone whenever possible. I've missed a connection once because of a departure delay when someone had to have a bag offloaded temporarily to get meds out. Frustrating.
And then I've heard the occasional story about someone putting their car keys in checked luggage but then could not drive home when they landed at destination but luggage didn't.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#5
Not only was my flight was my flight so late, I could not get internet to let my daughter know that the plane was late. She was so worried that she called the American Embassy because she had no idea what was happening, and I was helpless to inform her of my whereabouts and that the plane was over two hours late.
Did your daughter not have your flight information?

As for delay compensation, there's no requirement under EU261 unless your flight was over 3 hours late, which it doesn't sound like it was.

Where does the $1200 number come from?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,772
12,753
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
jsn55, spot on about meds in carryone whenever possible. I've missed a connection once because of a departure delay when someone had to have a bag offloaded temporarily to get meds out. Frustrating.
And then I've heard the occasional story about someone putting their car keys in checked luggage but then could not drive home when they landed at destination but luggage didn't.
Never put prescriptions, valuables, passports, jewelry, electronics and now laptops in checked bags. If you can't afford to lose it- don't let it out of your possession by putting it in your checked luggage.

If you are traveling with someone, you should each pack a complete change of clothes in each other's bag. Odds are both bags won't be lost and you will have at least a change of clothing until your bag can be found.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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I understand how a delay can add frustration to a long trip.

I do have some questions. It appears that the departure delay was about 2 hours -- but what was the arrival delay? Airlines often make up time in the air. (I am reading departure time of 8:55 pm and take off at the latest 11:00 pm which is 2 hours and 5 minutes).

Schipol Airport in Amsterdam has free wifi available in 4 hour increments. After 4 hours one just signs out and signs back on and it continues to be free. There are also several Internet cafes (paid) in the airport. It is too bad that the traveler was not able to access it. It is also a shame that the itinerary was not shared and that the Embassy had to be bothered.

As for the luggage, not arriving is an inconvenience but it appears that the luggage arrived less than 24 hours later. The luggage was delayed not lost.

Several others have posted the necessity of keeping medication and other important necessities in a carry on.

December travels in Europe can be delayed with snow so a traveler has to be proactive.

Based on the information given, Compensation of $1200 is not justified and it is unreasonable to ask for that amount for a delay of a flight of about 2 hours and less than 24 hours without luggage. This is not to say that the delays were pleasant and it is certainly annoying that with a flight delay the airline still could not get the baggage on the flight. $1200 sounds like it is almost the cost of a round trip Economy flight in December.

Phrases such as undue hardship should not be used when writing to executives-- this term has specific legal connotations which are not relevant.

Do not ask for too much compensation as that will certainly get the letter dismissed.
 
Nov 8, 2017
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Granted this comment amounts to water under the bridge at this point but, I recall Schiphol might have put in free internet PCs at some time. It has been a while since I have been there so I cannot be specific. Just a note that there are a number of international airports which you can find internet terminals available for public use and at no charge.
 
Likes: Neil Maley