View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked nyc - london delay

May 2, 2010, 11:00 AM
Here is a brief description of my delta delayed journey.
I was supposed to leave JFK on 20/april/2010 destination to London Heathrow (non sop direct flight)
Delta booked me on the 25/april/2010 destination to Gatwick which is the wrong airport (Heathrow) and also booked me on 2 flights (first stop Atlanta where I had to wait 2 hours then London). I had to purchase an extra bus ticket from Gatwick to Heathrow to get on the normal bus that I had previously purchased before my journey plus 2-3 hours to get from Gatwick to Heathrow.
Because I was supposed to leave on 20 April 2010, I had no where to stay and had to stay at some random personís house in nyc and pay rent for the next 5 days and on top of that running out of money pretty bad as I was on a limited budget to start with.

What can I do to claim compensation from Delta?

May 2, 2010, 12:14 PM
I thought I read about some Volcano in Iceland causing airspace in the UK and all over Europe to close.

May 2, 2010, 4:07 PM
yes I forgot to mention, the delay was due to the volcano. I know no one is responsible for the natural disaster but the fact they got me on a 2 stop journey and the wrong airport isn't right.

May 2, 2010, 4:53 PM
Honestly if i HAD to be there then i would have taken that flight, it may have been the only way of getting to london heathrow

It may have been the only concievable option that would work in the timeframe, there is a shuttle between the two airports and they are not that far from one another

May 2, 2010, 10:55 PM
Many people on this site might faint, but I am going to defend Delta. It is unrealistic to expect airlines to be able to route you without disruption when an extraordinary natural event, such as a volcano, occurs. Somethings are just outwith the control of airlines. I have a friend who has been stranded in Australia for over 2 weeks, even though flights resumed more than a week ago.

The fact that they were unable to accommodate you on a direct flight is not unreasonable. When flights resume, these aircraft already have people booked on them. Therefore the number of available seats is limited. In order to reduce the time that you remained stranded, it is reasonable and fair for you to be routed via Atlanta and to an alternative London airport.

If your journey originated in Europe and you travelled to the US on a return ticket, I have some good news for you. Under European Law (EU 261) Delta are required by law to reimburse you for your reasonable accommodation costs in New York and for the costs of up to 3 meals per day. This is a legal obligation on the airline in the event of a flight cancellation, irrespective of the cause. All the major airlines have accepted their liabilities in this regard, even Ryanair (who initially announced they would not pay and promised to take it to court, but rapidly backtracked when they realised they would have a huge class action law suit on them).

So you may be entitled to some redress. If your journey was originating in the US, I fear you may be entitled to nothing. There is less protection for travellers under US law than under EU law. However, you may be able to claim the costs associated with travelling from Gatwick to Heathrow. That is probably not much more than $30 I would imagine.

May 4, 2010, 7:07 PM
yes I forgot to mention, the delay was due to the volcano. I know no one is responsible for the natural disaster but the fact they got me on a 2 stop journey and the wrong airport isn't right.

Have you considered that there may have been no other alternative short of being stuck for another 5 days? There are only so many planes and flight crews to go around, and when all of this hit there were tons of passengers to get where they need to go.

Also you may want to read up on the contract of carriage - and jim you may be wrong in this case - the COC may state that the airline is not responsible for ground transportation if you are changed to an airport that serves the same city. So had they sent you to Liverpool for example, that would be different.

May 5, 2010, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Ultimately what counts is that I made it back to my doorstep. If I could get reimbursed for my coach ticket and 3 meals per day that would be ideal.

May 5, 2010, 12:48 PM
under the circumstances they won't refund your coach ticket, since there literally was nothing any airline could do. It was completely out of their control. Think of how many people would need to be refunded and how much money the airlines were loosing in those days that they couldn't fly those routes.

If they had to refund one person then they would need to refund most, and that would be a hefty amount and in return ticket prices would increase to cover those costs or raise fees.

I heard that the airlines are asking for reimbersment from countries/eu but not sure whats going on there

May 5, 2010, 3:59 PM
I don't think I am wrong. Airlines operating into and out of the EU are required to obey law 261/2004, even US airlines. Here is an extract of the regulation:

Rerouting or refunding
Rerouting or refunding is, at the passenger's choice, one of the following three compensations:

Repayment of the cost of unused flight tickets, and for used tickets where the flight(s) taken no longer serve(s) any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, and where applicable, a flight back to the original point of departure at the earliest opportunity
Rerouting under similar conditions to the intended final destination at the earliest opportunity
Rerouting under similar conditions to the intended final destination at the passenger's leisure, subject to the availability of seats.If a passenger's destination is an airport at a city with multiple airports and rerouting results in the passenger being taken to another of those airports, the airline must also pay for transport for the passenger to the original intended airport or an agreed nearby destination.

I have bolded the relevant section.


There have been hundreds of thousands of passengers who's journey's have been disrupted by the volcanic ash. BA's costs in paying their passengers costs came to £64m ($90m). US airlines are NOT exempt from this law. Many airlines are asking for changes to this law and for compensation. Whether they get it or not is another matter. Nevertheless, they must obey the law.. even Ryanair have acknowledged their obligations in this regard.

If the passenger's original journey originated in Europe he will be entitled to hotels, meals and the bus fare. If his journey originated in the US he is entitled to the bus fare only.