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Forums Other Flight changes and cancellations help Lufthansa flight 12 hour delay – advice please

  • Deb TwoHoots 8 posts

    We were due to fly CPT – FRA – BHX. Received numerous texts to say our flight had a 12 delay. Contacted LH call centre in CPT and was told we had to turn up at original flight time. I asked for code share alternatives but no business class seats available. I was eventually offered an alternative flight home 24 hours later (CPT – JNB – FRA – BHX). All additional costs met by me.
    LH have said that because I accepted an alternative flight I am not entitled to EU compensation.
    Is this correct?

    NorthernLass 8,270 posts

    When did this happen, how much notice were you given and what was the reason for the delay? LH can’t deny compensation just because you accepted an alternative flight – there are a number of threads on here about delays and EU/UK261 with some excellent advice, though it might be slightly complicated now with LH being based in Europe, I’m not sure who you’d claim through if you needed to do that.

    Lady London 2,140 posts

    What happened to your original flight? That 12 hours looks more like they cancelled your original flight and moved you to a different one, than a delay. Was your original flight number different than the flight number 12 hours later? If so then that makes it a cancellation making things a bit simpler.

    LH as an EU based airline owes you things under 2 headings which are separate. Your case entitles you to both.

    (1) They either owe you delay compensation, or cancellation compensation according to distance on from your booked starting point to your booked final destination.

    (2) They also owe you duty of care. This includes rerouting free of charge on the date of ypur choice – and you chose the following day – and any meals or additional hotel nights needed in any extra time taken by the reroute either travelling it or waiting for the rerouted flights – if you took the earliest flight in which you could still travel in same conditions i.e. class of travel.

    If it was cancellation it’s a lot less complicated. But as your delay would surely have been more than 4 hours on landing in BHX it sounds like delay compo will be a few hundred £ same as cancellation basis.

    To keep these rights the one thing you must not do is accept a refund. If you do and the airline didn’t advise you of your rights, theoretically the legislation covers you to still claim but it makes the claim so much harder as there’s more to prove and more for them to argue about or slide through some chink of the law.

    Read on this forum for more. As to where you should sue after whatever written formal process LH have for dealing with EC261/2004 claims gets your claim refused, I don’t know if the German would have info but I suspect this type of question has come up in the Lufthansa sectiom of flyertalk so you might want to take a look there.

    Deb TwoHoots 8 posts

    Thank you for the information.
    This occurred on 11 April 2022. We were emailed with the delay 23 hours before our scheduled departure. No reason has been given for the delay and the flight did leave 13 hours late using the same flight number LH577.
    I have completed the LH online feedback form which it states should be submitted for delays and cancellations. I have received a reference number and a automated response that they have extraordinarily high volume of inquiries.

    Lady London 2,140 posts

    Hi Deb,I took a look at that flight and it would be great to know the reason for the delay as it’s completely out of pattern. I’m suspecting mechanical. Someone on flyertalk may be able to look up something like expertflyer if you ask on there. However…

    This is a really sticky one as it looks to be a cancellation but not in name. Annoyingly the following day LH wouldn’t normally run the flight. So there’s no glaring issue with 2 days’ flights being merged into the following day’s one (which is a cancellation even if same flight number) to help make it clear.

    It looked like landing at 18.45 or so on the delayed flight in Frankfurt would have left you with no connection that day to BHX and so you didn’t choose to travel a day later, it was the first reroute following your original flight that would get you through to BHX at the same time you would have now arrived in BHX anyway but without the extra cost of a night in FRA. But the problem is technically your flight wasn’t cancelled in name so not seeing reroute as a right, literally, in the Article of EU261. Also you paid extra for the reroute making it look like it was either a voluntary change by you or perhaps even refund and rebook. A reroute following a cancellation should never need to be paid for. Not your fault of course.

    are you aware of any particular case law that can be quoted saying this was so late it has to be compensated ? I have looked at the EU Article and just not seeing it so getting very uncertain here that LH won’t be able to maintain current line and weasel out of it. Which feels unfair. H*ll, I’m even beginning to sound like @JDB 🙂

    Deb TwoHoots 8 posts

    Hi Lady London, thank you for looking at this flight for me, I really appreciate it. I think I may have confused you by saying all additional costs were to be met by me, this was in relation to the extra night we had to stay in CPT. I did not pay any cost to change the flights, this was all done for free. Also within 2 hours of being informed the flight was delayed for 12 hours, LH proactively changed my FRA – BHX connection to LH958 departing at 2155 hrs on 12 April. Had we taken the delayed flight this would have resulted in a 13 hour wait at CPT airport and an arrival into BHX almost 12 hours later than our original scheduled arrival. We were not prepared to wait at the airport for 13 hours specifically because of a disability issue and LH refused to provide a hotel for the delay despite requesting this.
    Therefore I felt that I had no choice but to meet the costs of an extra night in CPT and request an alternative flight. The earliest flight that LH said was available in business class was the one that we took that left 22 hours later.
    Do you think this changes anything?

    Lady London 2,140 posts

    I think LH can slide out of this one way or another. Plus there is the issue raised by @NorthernLass in which jurisdiction do you sue them? Was your outgoing on the same ticket bought in UK departing from UK? If not then it sounds like you would need to look at pursing LH elsewhere, presumably Germany. Others here will be able to know better, which jurisdiction if not UK.

    Unless @meta can confirm a 12-hr delay to next day with same flight number (and it is same flight as there was no pre-existing flight with same number that following day) is counted by case law to be a cancellation in whichever jurisdiction you can pursue this, then looking at text of EU261 LH has managed to keep this to a delay not a cancellation so no cancellation compo.

    As a delay you are only given duty of care ie hotel, transport to hotel, meals, internet. Delay is only giving you Article 8 (1)(a) in EU261 text which is not thr reroute part of Article 8. This would change if someone can confirm if 12 hr delay on same flight is a cancellation not a delay – as presumably this would open both compensation and reroute parts of EU261 to you.

    I’m not clear why you left on a flight 22 hours later when your booked flight was delayed 13 hours or so, I presume LH will say they voluntarily rerouted you (as if your original flight wasn’t cancelled they didn’t have to). Re disability yes in EU261 there is text saying airline should take it into account. But not sure how your business class seat would have disappeared on the 13-hr delay if it was not a consolidation of 2 flights – and it wasn’t – so was it an equipment change?

    Nothing in EU261 says that if they voluntarily reroute you, or reroute you due to acommodate a disability?, you would give up duty of care. So I think you can submit receipts for hotel, transport to and from hotel meals around the overnight,and 2 telephone calls or internet to LH and there’s some chance they will pay. I’d mention the disablity when submitting as the reason for the 22 hour later flight rather than the 13 hour later flight as otherwise it may look like a voluntary flight change to the processing team – if so there’s a good chance they”d try to refuse. LH did not cover itelf in glory they simply refused passenger rights in peak covid.

    So I’d advise you to submit your duty of care claim to LH now. Then if you want to work on compensation, either we hope someone can confirm this delay is going to get you same compo as if it was a cancellation, or you can think about jurisdiction and ask in the German FF forum I mentioned or I’d suggest you do some research or maybe ask on Flyertalk if there isn’t a similar case there.

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