Thursday, February 17, 2005

Air passengers win new EU rights

For those who haven't heard about this, have a look at the link below.

This is long overdue, and should have happened a long time ago. From my own experience where I was stuck at JFK in the past for over three hours, due to the plane, having a heavy landing and when they wanted to check the black box to make sure all was okay, they didn't have a reader on the plane, and the airport didn't have one either. It took the airline to find another airline to borrow their black box reader, talk about a right confusion, and all through it we were told little or nothing of what the score was, other than we were waiting to hear from airbus in France, right, this was late night US time, so you can imagine the scene, all of us thinking great, we have to wait until they wake up, before we can go, thanks a bunch.

I think the sooner the airlines, don't overbook flights, bump people, take responsibility for making sure that flights go on time, the better. But in true airline style, we the poor passengers will be made to pay for their poor practices, what a surprise.


Ian said...

Overbooking is an issue - I've seen lots of people stuck in airports because of it.
Becuase I fly pretty often I've actually never had the problem, and in fact have managed to secure a seat on an overbooked flight even though I wasn't originally ticketed for it. Unfair to the others, but great for me!

Here's the rub though.
Most airlines I've encountered offer some kind of conpensation (United offer a free ticket in the 48 states for example) if you opt to take a later flight. Virgin will bounce people from economy to upper (I've had this done to me) in order to get as many as possible on a plane.
This costs money.
The reason they overbook (so I've been told) is that about 10% of passengers fail to turn up for their flight. Becuase most airlines will allow a late passenger on the next flight for free they lose money on the original flight as it leaves less than full.
So, they overbook in order to attempt to get to 100% capacity on each flight. Sometimes everyone turns up and chaos ensues.

Compensation is good - the problem is that what will end up happening is the airlines will just push prices up to cope with the lose they take by having to pay more compensation.
Sucks for those that have to pay for their flights (ie not the frequent travellers who don't get hit with the overbooked nightmare in the first place).

want to avoid overbooking? Purchase a full price economy ticker (you'll be the very last person they try to bump).
Want a cheap flight? Buy a cheap ticket - but expect that you'll be the first one they bump if they need to.

Oh. if you get bumped or delayed. complain. My sister got 20k airmiles and free uk/us flight on virgin after missing her flight, being sent to boston for free so she could get home to the uk on time but then getting delayed in boston. The original delay was entirely her fault, and virgin bent over backwards to help her. After a mechanical delay in boston she complains and gets some major compensation (1/2 a round trip in airmiles and an entire round trip ticket).

Dad got 15k airmiles for a 3hr delay on a NY/LHR flight last year.

Speakers Corner said...

I wish I had gotten the compensation your family did when I was held up at NY last year when trying to get back to LHR for the morning, being the only ones in NY(JFK) at 2am wasn't fun, and that was with Virgin, though economy

I will keep your familys experience if I ever need to complain in the future, thanks for that, that is brilliant.