A power cut that has affected US airline Delta has left thousands of passengers around the world stranded.
Although Delta is a US Airline and the recent power outage primarily affects passengers in the US, many of the people affected may be unaware of their passenger rights or that they may be entitled to monetary compensation.
Bott and Co data shows that there were eight flights departing from the UK on Monday that were delayed due to the Delta power outage, resulting in around 2,500 potential passengers who would qualify for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004.
EU Regulation was put in place to protect passengers who have been delayed for three hours or more on a flight coming into or out of Europe and if the delay is not due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
Delta are offering passengers affected by these delays $200 in compensation, however under EU Regulation 261/2004 passengers are entitled to more.
The incident which happened on Monday 8th August 2016 and is still ongoing due to a backlog, affected Delta’s airport check-in systems, the airline’s website and smartphone apps, leaving passengers waiting hours in airports across the US and Europe.
Delta are offering passengers affected by these delays $200 (£153) in compensation, however under EU Regulation 261/2004 passengers are entitled to more. The EU Regulation entitles passengers to monetary compensation for delays over three hours, or cancellations as long as it is not caused by what the regulation calls an ‘extraordinary circumstance’.
CEO of Delta, Ed Bastian appeared in a video from the Delta operations and customer centre apologising for the inconvenience saying “I apologise for the challenges this has created for you and your travel experience, the Delta team is working very hard to restore and get the systems back as quickly as possible. Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to you, our customers.”
What many people still don’t realise is that airlines also have a responsibility to provide passengers with care and assistance when a flight has been delayed for over two hours. Delayed passengers are entitled to free food & drink, hotel accommodation and transfers along with two free telephone calls if needed.
Bott and Co would advise that passengers keep all receipts for any purchases made while delayed at the airport, as they may be able to claim expenses back from the airline.
Passengers that experience a delayed or cancelled flight may find themselves out of pocket due to paying for hotel accommodation or food and drink while at the airport which the airline failed to do so. Bott and Co provide passengers with a downloadable expenses template.
The circumstances of this incident are akin to a technical defect in a plane – yes it may be unpredictable and beyond the control of the airline but the law is clear on this point; if it stems from an event which is inherent in the normal activity of an air carrier then compensation must be paid.
We’ve heard stories of passengers being given vouchers worth $250 but this is insufficient. If a passenger was delayed between 3 and 4 hours they are entitled to €300 compensation and if it is over 4 hours then they are entitled to €600 compensation. A voucher is only appropriate if a passenger explicitly says so. If you want financial compensation the airline is obliged to provide it.
If you’ve been affected by the Delta power outage and wish to see if you can claim compensation then use our flight delay compensation calculator to input your flight details.