My flight from Oslo to Rome was delayed by 4 hours and 40 minutes. I submitted a request to Norwegian Air Shuttle requesting a compensation of 400 Euros under EU 261/2004.
Their reasoning for why they can not grant compensation is that while they had to inspect the aircraft for technical faults, there actually were no faults. So, they argue that this situation where they had to inspect the aircraft but actually there was nothing wrong with it constitutes exceptional circumstances.
In my complaints to the The Norwegian Travel Complaint Handling Body, and the EU Online Disputes Resolution, how should I most effectively argue against this logic? Are they correct that this "inspection that found nothing" constitutes exceptional circumstances?
Full text of refusal e-mail
The full text (emphasis mine) of the response of the airline (automatically translated from the original Danish):
Flight disruption information
Norwegian flight: DY1874 (OSL-FCO) 23.06.2019
Delay time: 4 hours and 40 minutes
Reason for disruption: This flight was delayed due to an inspection of the aircraft following a possible technical fault. During inspection, no technical defect was found. The aircraft was then released for operation without the need to replace any components.
Unfortunately, we are unable to meet your claim for compensation as this departure was delayed due to exceptional circumstances. In some cases, the passenger will be entitled to compensation when the irregularity is due to a technical error. This is in accordance with the judgment in C-257/14 van der Lans, where a technical error which results in the replacement of a component can be considered to be within the airline's control and thus give the right to compensation. In this case, there was no technical fault and no components were replaced. The Van der Lans decision is therefore not applicable and unfortunately we cannot meet your claim for compensation. In this case, we will reimburse the following expenses applied for:
- food: NOK 418,
Unfortunately, we are unable to meet the request for reimbursement of all costs as we are not responsible for these. For further information, please see below *.
In order to process your claim, we need the following information to make a bank transfer:
• Name of the bank • Name and address of the account holder • Account number
This information can be sent by replying to this email. If you do not have this information, please contact your bank.
The case will be finalized as soon as we have received all the necessary information.
With best regards, Karina The Customer Relations Team
- Basis for decision
In the event of a cancellation or delay, we will always provide assistance (eg accommodation, meals, telephone calls and transport) according to EU Regulation 261/2004. In the event that a passenger incurs such costs, in the event of a delay or cancellation, we will reimburse within reasonable limits if such costs were deemed necessary and specified receipt can be presented. We cannot reimburse these costs if the passenger does not allow us to offer this kind of assistance or if the costs arose as a result of lost connection with Norweigan, in a separate booking number, or if the alternative departures offered to the passenger , was not appropriate. The Norwegian ticket will only be refunded if the flight is canceled or the delay is over 5 hours and the passenger chooses not to travel. If the passenger is entitled to reimbursement of the new ticket (with Norwegian or with another company), we will only reimburse the cost of the new ticket or the price difference between the new ticket and the ticket with Norwegian if the Norwegian ticket is refunded.
Additional costs not directly linked to the service regulated by EU Regulation 261/2004 will only be reimbursed if the reason for the delay or cancellation is within our control. If we believe that the passenger has not done enough to ensure that the pre-booked arrangements can be completed (eg relocations, accommodation, events, etc.), we will not be able to cover these costs even if the delay or cancellation is within our control . Likewise, we cannot cover consequential non-documented damages, expenses that would have arisen independently of the irregularity, or unnecessary legal assistance to determine such claims. Under the Montreal Convention and the decision of the Norwegian Aviation Complaints Board in case number 1222 / 14F, the same conditions apply to reimbursement of consequential damages, provided that the airline has made every effort to avoid the technical problems that caused the delay or cancellation of the flight. Under Article 12 of the EU Regulation 261/2004, additional costs that are not directly related to the service regulated by the regulation may be deducted from standard compensation. For more information about your rights, visit www.norwegian.com/rights.Disruption type: Delayed
Update: After I complained to the The Norwegian Travel Complaint Handling Body, and they threatened to look at the case and asked Norwegian for a statement, Norwegian agreed to give me EUR 400 plus NOK 418 for food, and one of the taxi rides. This cost me no legal fees at all. Thanks for the help!