26

I have been offered vouchers by Blue Panorama Airline for a flight that was delayed by over 10 hours. They have offered vouchers to the value of the required compensation of 400€, but these can only be used on Blue Panorama flights. I fly many, many times per year, but this is the first (and only) time on Blue Panorama - it was an emergency, had to return from Kos suddenly because my daughter was ill in Italy. I am a U.K. Resident, and Blue Panorama is a budget Italian airline that flies exclusively to the Greek islands. The voucher is absolutely no use to me. In issuing it, they have accepted liability for this amount. Can someone please confirm that I am within my rights to demand cash compensation? Hope the wider community can help!

  • 10
    Do not take any vouchers! It will be easier to remove your own tooth than use them! – ThisIsMyName Aug 18 '17 at 9:48
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    What was the reason for the delay? – dunni Aug 18 '17 at 10:26
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    There's Blue Panorama T&C. It's section 21 for complaints procedure (the last point). According to it, you have to send a formal written request by mail if you want to have your compensation as per Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament. – Andrew T. Aug 18 '17 at 15:19
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    Have they offered you vouchers, or have they given you vouchers? Your title suggests the former; your mention of them issuing the vouchers suggests the latter. Have you accepted them? And more importantly, as indicated by chx' answer below, have you signed off for them? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 18 '17 at 16:46
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    The company's t&c don't matter. The law is explicit, payment in cold hard cash – Stevetech Aug 19 '17 at 18:23
41

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament has this laid out crystal clear:

  1. The compensation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services.
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    So, @JennyS the question is: "what did you agree to" – Strawberry Aug 18 '17 at 15:03
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    Rather, the question is, "What did you sign". Verbal agreement doesn't count. – chx Aug 18 '17 at 15:06
18

I've had this happen several times. It appears standard practice, and in fact several websites about flight compensations talk about it.

Essentially, they are offering you a deal and you are free to accept or reject it.

Most websites advise against it. Unlike cash, this voucher is not only tied to one airline, it can also have a expiration date. If you know for certain that you will be flying with this airline again in the near future, the voucher can be beneficial as it is usually in an amount higher than the compensation set in the law. However, in general you should take the cash instead and yes, you absolutely can demand cash instead.

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