Request for Compensation for Aer Lingus For Two Canceled Flights

Aer Lingus

 

After Aer Lingus canceled our flight two days in a row, last minute, and after we were at the airport, we tried to request additional compensation we were told we were eligable for by the agent at the airport, beyond a refund of the ticket price. He had a printout of the Aer Lingus Flight cancellation notice policy which he gave us, telling us that we were entitled to compensation for our issue.

Back at home, I went to https://www.aerlingus.com/support/forms/post-travel-enquiry/ and submitted my request.


We were supposed to fly out Thursday the 30th, from Gatwick to Dublin, for a good friend’s wedding on Saturday the 2nd. After arriving at the airport, we were told the flight was canceled and they couldn’t get us on a flight that day, changing it to the next day. The next day, the flight was canceled again and moved to Sunday. The day after the wedding and also the day we were returning.

You moved us to a flight leaving London Sunday the 3rd at 9:05, to Manchester, then arriving in Dublin at 13:10. To then fly back that same day at 17:55. How ridiculous is that!

Since the notifications were sent so late, we tried booking a flight with another airline, but couldn’t find anything within a reasonable time and price. We had to cancel our B&B, a car rental, a hair appointment, pay for multiple trips to the airport, and cancelation fees, and most importantly, we were NOT ABLE TO ATTEND A FRIENDS WEDDING!

 As per your T&Cs. We are entitled to compensation of, “EUR 400 for all intra-community flights of more than 1 500 kilometers, and for all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometers.”


A month went past, and I heard nothing. Even though the automated reply said I would receive a reply by then. However, I received a refund for the two purchased tickets. So, I went to the website again and submitted a request for an update, restating the issue. 


September 8th, I received a reply from Aer Lingus. 

We were sorry to learn you were affected by the disruption to Aer Lingus flight EI243 on June 30, 2022. Please accept my apologies on behalf of Aer Lingus. We are very conscious of the importance of providing guests a reliable service. However, despite our best efforts, there are occasions when our customers’ travel plans are affected by unavoidable disruptions or cancellations to our flights.

Flight EI243 was cancelled due to significant operational issues at airports to which we operate causing severe disruption to our network combined with the impact of very high levels of Covid 19 sickness amongst our operating crew. As such, this cancellation was due to “extraordinary circumstances” within the meaning of Regulation EC 261/2004, and consequently, no compensation is due in respect of this cancellation.

Sincerely,

Matthew

Customer Service Agent


I replied to that with:


Due to extraordinary circumstances? It is due to poor planning by your airline as other airlines were traveling from London to Dublin. Your airline did not properly staff so that not one but two of our flights were canceled on two different days. If we had been told in advance, the second flight was to be canceled, we could have arranged a flight with a different airline, but we were notified until it was too late. And I should add, we were told by the agent at the desk we were eligible for compensation.


His reply


Thank you for contacting Aer Lingus.

We were sorry to learn you were affected by the disruption to Aer Lingus flight EI243 on June 30, 2022. Please accept my apologies on behalf of Aer Lingus. We are very conscious of the importance of providing guests a reliable service. However, despite our best efforts, there are occasions when our customers’ travel plans are affected by unavoidable disruptions or cancellations to our flights. I am sorry that you remain unsatisfied with my response on this matter. It is our understanding with regard to this disruption that we are compliant with EC 261/2004.

While I cannot provide further details, I would like to direct you to contact the designated enforcement body for Regulation EC 261/2004. For flights departing Ireland, this would be the Commission for Aviation Regulation at Alexandra House, Earlsfort Terrace Dublin 2. For flights departing other European countries, a list can be found at https://transport.ec.europa.eu/transport-themes/passenger-rights/air_en.

For flights departing the US, Canada, or Barbados, please contact the designated enforcement body for the country the flight was set to arrive into.


Matthew is simply a customer service agent who has been told by his management team to avoid paying money out to poor flyers such as ourselves. So of course he is going to hide behind policies and procedures, and recommend if we have a problem with it to file a complaint to a government agency that will do nothing. That is what he has been told to do in this situation. 

I also submitted a complaint through the link he sent, to see what happens, if anything at all.


We had booked our flight through Aer Lingus to leave at 5:20pm on Thursday the 30th of July from Gatwick airport to Dublin, Ireland.

We arrived at the Aer Lingus check-in counter to see a massive line of people and only two people working. The line was not moving. Unfortunately, we had to wait in line to check our bags. Since we were going to a wedding, my wife had a dress, and I had a nice suit packed. After waiting for a while, we found out the flight was canceled. Needing to get on a new flight, I called Aer Lingus customer service from the line and eventually we were re-booked on the same flight the following day at 5:20pm. From there, we left the airport with our luggage and reverse the trip we just took to get home.

The next day, the same thing happened. We arrived at the airport on a Friday evening to find out the flight was canceled. Not only that, they automatically rescheduled us to a new flight. This is the new schedule they put us on all happening on Sunday the 3rd, the day after the wedding.

- Leave London at 09:05am

- Layover in Manchester, leaving there at 11:55am

- Arriving in Dublin at 1:10pm

- Leave Dublin at 5:55pm

- Arriving back in London at 7:30pm

Leave on a Sunday, stay for a couple hours, then fly right back. The Day after the wedding?!?!

At the airport, one attendant walked around apologizing to us and offering everyone a copy of their terms and conditions, stating that we are eligible for a full refund, as well as £250.00 for additional compensation.

Giving up on Aer Lingus, we looked at changing to another airline to fly to the wedding but since everything was so last minute and would involve getting to other airports in the London area, plus the extra cost of the last minute tickets we had to call our friends and tell them we were not going to be able to attend their wedding.

After contacting Aer Lingus and waiting nearly two months for a response, I received this:

Flight EI243 was cancelled due to significant operational issues at airports to which we operate causing severe disruption to our network combined with the impact of very high levels of Covid 19 sickness amongst our operating crew. As such, this cancellation was due to “extraordinary circumstances” within the meaning of Regulation EC 261/2004, and consequently, no compensation is due in respect of this cancellation.

They only acknowledged one flight not the second. Ignoring the fact that if they had told us a day in advance of the second flight being canceled we might have been able to make alternative travel arrangements. Also, the circumstances of the canceling had to do with them not planning and staffing for the summer travel rush. That was not out of their control as other airlines were able to fly from London to Dublin. The canceled flights were due to bad planning, scheduling, and customer service.


Comments