Lufthansa / United Delay Compensation

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Oct 14, 2019
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Hi - Booked our Ticket from Oslo to Brownsville through Lufthansa (Return) which connected at Frankfurt and Houston. The last leg between Houston and Brownsville was operated on Code-share by United. All flights operated on the same booking code.
Outward leg all ok no problems.
On the Return leg when we arrived at Brownsville, United informed of a delay to the flight to Houston due to the incoming plane not being able to fly out from Houston due to a Technical issue. Subsequently we were 3+ hours delayed leaving Brownsville and so had to be re-booked all the way through to Oslo. The Re-booking was done by United and they booked us on United operated flights through to Frankfurt and then Lufthansa up to Oslo. Worth noting all flights are all on the same Lufthansa Booking Code.
We arrived home 12 hours later than planned. After re-searching the possibility for claim under EU 261 we established that yes due to the technical fault and that we got home+12 hours, we should be entitled to €600 per passenger.

I have contacted Lufthansa who basically say "not our issue, we have forwarded to United to handle".

However, given that we actually flew United from the US (and not Lufthansa as we were supposed to but because they re-booked us on United we had no choice), I am skeptical that we will receive anything in compensation. (US operator US airports - not their issue).

Does anyone have any advice here on how to push this one?.... I will of course go back to Lufthansa but at the moment its unclear if I have a case....
My feeling is that its same booking code, booked under Lufthansa so they should honor it... and we did arrive 12 hours later than planned...

any help will be appreciated.
 
Apr 1, 2018
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#2
I this happened to me, I would use AirHelp. They do take part of any compensation (in my case they too € 150 of the € 600) but the did do all of the work. Also, they will let you know pretty quickly if your claim is valid for compensation under EU 261.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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@Fleming5477 Was the original booking on UA of LH metal?
John Baker the flight that was delayed was a United Express domestic flight in Texas — United operated but with a LH codeshare.

LH did not cause the problem and no airline pays out Eu 261 unless required to. I expect LH to reject any such request and would not bother even going back to them.

UA May give a goodwill voucher or points but likely will not give 600 euro compensation.

The EU 261 info frequency asked questions on Elliott.org addresses this issue:

“My U.S. domestic flight was delayed, and I missed my connection to Europe. Am I covered?

EU 261 would not apply in this case, for two reasons. First, the delayed flight was entirely within the U.S. Second, even though the flight from the U.S. to Europe might have been covered under EU 261, that flight was not delayed or canceled.”


https://www.elliott.org/frequently-asked-questions-about-eu261/#ustoeurope
 

johnbaker

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Oct 2, 2014
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@Christina H If the original routing was LH over the water, they can't avoid EU261 compensation by rerouting onto a different airline. EU261 has already been shown in court to apply to the entire routing including legs that wouldn't have EU261 protection. So, a BA flight from London connecting to an AA flight in the US can receive EU261 compensation if the AA flight is delayed and the passenger arrives at their destination too late (https://condonlaw.com/2019/07/europ...r-connecting-flight-delays-and-cancellations/ ) . Ultimately, it does matter if he was on a LH ticket and LH metal overseas or not.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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@Christina H If the original routing was LH over the water, they can't avoid EU261 compensation by rerouting onto a different airline. EU261 has already been shown in court to apply to the entire routing including legs that wouldn't have EU261 protection. So, a BA flight from London connecting to an AA flight in the US can receive EU261 compensation if the AA flight is delayed and the passenger arrives at their destination too late (https://condonlaw.com/2019/07/european-court-of-justice-extends-eu-261-to-compensate-passengers-for-connecting-flight-delays-and-cancellation


This was the return flight and the routing was Brownsville - Houston - Frankfurt - Oslo— not the outbound which originated in Europe. Brownsville to Houston was delayed — which is a domestic UA flight.

The court cases cover connections from EU or on EU flagged carriers to the EU — but this was neither.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#9
@Christina H Unless its a LH ticket on a LH codeshare connecting to LH metal over the water, in which case EU261 would apply. If it was a LH ticket on a LH codeshare including over the water then EU261 may not apply (a little grey area here). Because its a LH ticket, who is bound by EU261, there is more liablity.

As I said, the details on whose plane they were supposed to fly over the water matter.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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“The recent ECJ decision clarifies that passengers are entitled to the same compensation for the long delay or cancellation of connecting flights that are the subject of a single reservation even if the second of the two connecting flights was performed by a non-Community air carrier from and to a country which is not an EU Member State.”

The above is from the law firm you linked and this is what Elliott.org says.

The Brownsville to Houston flight was not a connection from the EU. It was the first flight of the return portion of the ticket.
 
Likes: VoR61
Oct 14, 2019
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@Fleming5477 Was the original booking on UA of LH metal?
The ticket was booked through Lufthansa on the same booking code all the way through.
We were supposed to fly Lufthansa from Houston to Frankfurt then on to Oslo but they (United at Brownsville airport) booked us on a United Plane from Houston over to Frankfurt and then a much later Lufthansa flight to Oslo. Total delay 12 hours. So we arrived 12 hours late at our European Destination under a Lufthansa booked journey.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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#12
Even if the ticket were a code share, the language of EU261 is reasonably clear.

This Regulation shall apply:(a) to passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies;(b) to passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that third country, if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a Community carrier.

A code share operated by a US airline is not operated by a (European) Community Carrier -- so the compensation would not apply. (Just as it would apply if a Lufthansa flight were late, and you had a United code share ticket.)

Lesson for the day -- fly a European flag carrier to Europe. (Except BA and Virgin to the UK after Brexit.)
 
Oct 14, 2019
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Even if the ticket were a code share, the language of EU261 is reasonably clear.

This Regulation shall apply:(a) to passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies;(b) to passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that third country, if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a Community carrier.

A code share operated by a US airline is not operated by a (European) Community Carrier -- so the compensation would not apply. (Just as it would apply if a Lufthansa flight were late, and you had a United code share ticket.)

Lesson for the day -- fly a European flag carrier to Europe. (Except BA and Virgin to the UK after Brexit.)
Thanks California. I understand this angle and the regulation is indeed clear. However it was not our choice to use United. We had booked Lufthansa (for various reasons - ticket price, quality, EU backing under this regulation, ) and so our expectation was that we would actually use a European Flag Carrier over the water and not an American one. I specifically wanted to fly Lufthansa or another in order to be sure we were supported by EU regulations. The booking was made with Lufthansa and code-shared with United on the Brownsville - Houston leg only.
 

Neil Maley

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#15
Thanks California. I understand this angle and the regulation is indeed clear. However it was not our choice to use United. We had booked Lufthansa (for various reasons - ticket price, quality, EU backing under this regulation, ) and so our expectation was that we would actually use a European Flag Carrier over the water and not an American one. I specifically wanted to fly Lufthansa or another in order to be sure we were supported by EU regulations. The booking was made with Lufthansa and code-shared with United on the Brownsville - Houston leg only.
They most likely do not have a European carrier that flies to Brownsville so they have to use a US partner.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Thanks California. I understand this angle and the regulation is indeed clear. However it was not our choice to use United. We had booked Lufthansa (for various reasons - ticket price, quality, EU backing under this regulation, ) and so our expectation was that we would actually use a European Flag Carrier over the water and not an American one. I specifically wanted to fly Lufthansa or another in order to be sure we were supported by EU regulations. The booking was made with Lufthansa and code-shared with United on the Brownsville - Houston leg only.
This something that the EU regulation does not cover -- in the Elliott.org info I posted the example was given of an AA domestic flight connecting to BA -- and it is the same if one is taking a domestic flight in China (as an example) that connects to an EU carrier -- the court decision only covers the delay on an EU flagged carrier or departure from EU connecting to a non EU Carrier.

In a way this makes sense, because EU laws have no jurisdiction on the first flight if it is non EU carrier operating outside the EU.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#17
Thanks California. I understand this angle and the regulation is indeed clear. However it was not our choice to use United. We had booked Lufthansa (for various reasons - ticket price, quality, EU backing under this regulation, ) and so our expectation was that we would actually use a European Flag Carrier over the water and not an American one. I specifically wanted to fly Lufthansa or another in order to be sure we were supported by EU regulations. The booking was made with Lufthansa and code-shared with United on the Brownsville - Houston leg only.
You actually did choose United. Lufthansa is a Star Alliance carrier and their US mainland partner is United. Lufthansa (and all foreign air carriers) cannot fly from one US airport to another.
 
Apr 1, 2018
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#18
Not at all taking sides here when I say the uncertainty and disagreement over this is another reason to use AirHelp. Let the experts figure out if this is claimable and they will give you that answer pretty quickly.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jun 24, 2019
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#19
As I read this story, OP had a ticket from Brownsville, Texas, to Oslo, with a couple of stops/equipment changes along the way. The first flight was delayed because the carrier had a mechanical issue, and its staff chose not to fly a plane that might be unsafe. So the carrier got to work and got OP back to Oslo, nearly halfway around the world, with only a 12 hour delay. Apparently, OP's luggage arrived with OP.

There are lots of stories, here and elsewhere, of folks missing a connection and having days added and luggage mis-routed.

I'd start off any correspondence (a) thanking United for caring about my safety, and (b) thanking United for getting my trip rearranged.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#20
Not at all taking sides here when I say the uncertainty and disagreement over this is another reason to use AirHelp. Let the experts figure out if this is claimable and they will give you that answer pretty quickly.
I would use AirHelp too. Unless you're retired and have no hobbies, your time can be much better spent doing other things. It would be worth 25% to me if I didn't have to deal with all this. Just MHO.