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Iberia Strike Passengers Urged to Claim Compensation

Source: FACUA - Sat 2th Mar 2013
Iberia Strike Passengers Urged to Claim Compensation

FACUA-Consumers in Action has recommended that Iberia passengers affected by the recent strike action claim compensation for the economic damage they have suffered, and not to settle for the refund of the ticket if they cancel the contract instead of changing the flight date.

Before the 15-day strike FACUA maintained that it should be the companies, and not passengers, who take the risk of a strike when contracting a service.

By way of avoiding compensation claims, Airlines often argue that any strike action is an "extraordinary and inevitable circumstance" - an opinion not shared by FACUA.

Otherwise, the association believes that passengers would be left facing huge costs due to such flight cancellations, such as being forced to pay for alternative transport.

1,222 flights cancelled so far

At the time of writing the FACUA report, the airlines had cancelled a total of 1,222 flights in due to the first 5 days of strikes action alone. The strikes have been scheduled for the Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February; from Monday 4th to Friday 8th March and from Monday 18th (a public holiday in some regions) to the 22nd of April.

Passengers are entitled to compensation

FACUA reminds consumers that if Airlines has not advised passengers of cancellation with sufficient notice of the event, European regulation states that the airline must provide passengers with compensation of between €250 - €600 (depending on the distance), unless the company can prove that the cancellations were as a result of "extraordinary circumstances".

With regards to the Iberia strike, FACUA note that as the Unions gave notice of their intention to strike many weeks ago, sufficient notice was given, and therefore "extraordinary circumstances" cannot be claimed.

To avoid paying out compensation, the Airlines must notify passengers at least 2 weeks in advance of the scheduled flight date, or offer alternative flights (Departing either a maximum of 2 hours before, and arriving 4 hours after the original flight) if the original flight is cancelled between 14 and 7 days of departure. If the flight is cancelled with less than 7 days notice to the passenger, the alternative flight offered must depart no sooner than 1 hour, and arrive no later than 2 Hours of the original flight.

Claim from your Travel Agent !

FACUA also notes that the claim for compensation should be directed to the company who you bought the flight ticket from - which may not be Airline itself.

Along with the complaint, you must attach copies of the receipts or tickets for expenditure during the delay as well as any costs accrued by having to buy further travel tickets as a result of the delay.

If the cancelled flight results in the subsequent cancellation of a package holiday, FACUA recommends passengers claim compensation for the full costs of arranging a similar package holiday at short notice.

If the trip has not been cancelled but a number days of the holiday are lost, a proportionate amount of the lost holiday should be reclaimed.

Alternative transport

FACUA also remind passengers of the responsibility that Travel Agents hold to offer suitable alternative transport and/or dates - or offer a full refund of all money paid.

Any extra charges as a result of being offered any alternative flights or travel arrangements should also be reclaimed.

In cases of a missed connections, the airline or the travel agents should organize and pay the cost of the new tickets to ensure that the user arrives at their destination.

Other costs

Travel Agents and Airlines are also responsible for the provision of Food and Drink during any delay, so all receipts should be kept.

If the passenger is delayed whilst overseas for a qualifying period of time, the passenger is also able to claim compensation for any Hotel expenses.

They must also pay the cost of basic necessities such as soap, toothbrush and toothpaste or underwear, if the luggage has already been stowed.

Recommended Reading

FACUA : Claim compensation for economic losses caused by the strike in Iberia

Comment on this Story

 
All sounds great in therory, but does this actually work in practice ? Has anybody ever actually made a successful claim from a Spanish Airline ?
C Timpson - Mon, 4th Mar 2013