I just got bumped from a flight between Manchester and Stuttgart because an 'attendant was taken ill' and only 94 passengers were allowed to board for security reasons. About 30 passengers were given vouchers for food and hotel and booked on to a flight tomorrow evening going via Frankfurt.
I am due to be working on a customer site and have to cancel that at my cost. I decided to spend the night with my family here in Manchester rather than spend 28 hours in a hotel.
What can I claim for here? Germanwings have provided emergency care but can I claim for my taxi to the airport tomorrow and for some compensation for lost earnings tomorrow?
Planned flight Sun 12 May at 14.25 arriving c 17.00.
Re-booked flight Mon 13 May at 18.00 arriving c 22.30
Any comments and suggestions appreciated!
UPDATE After receiving no reply to the mail I sent on May 13, I wrote a letter an received an immediate email reply...
Thank you very much for your letter and the associated request. First of all we would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused.
Due to a sudden illness of one of our flight crew members we were not able to carry all passengers booked due to safety-related aspects. In such cases the legislature commits us to reduce the number of passengers accordingly. For this reason we had to rebook some of our guests to an alternate flight and, if needed, to organize a hotel room for an additional overnight. Own capacities were completely utilized.
We can totally understand your anger and regret that this event led to a significant change in your travel planning but due to the reason mentioned above we cannot offer the compensation payment claimed. As a matter of fact we will refund additional incurred costs for phone calls as well as meals and drinks after checking. Hence we would like to offer you to send us respective bills of incurred costs for proving. We kindly ask you to forward your detailed bank and account information (incl. IBAN and BIC-Code) as well.
In addition to this and in order to find a quick solution for both sides we would like to offer you two flight vouchers in the amount of 50,00 € each, without recognition of a legal obligation. You can use these voucher codes for your next flight reservation on our website in the booking step "payment". Each voucher is valid on the whole Germanwings network until 30/04/2014 (that means time of booking - travel date can be later). We kindly ask you to respond until 26/06/2013 if you will accept this solution to close the case.
Is this a valid reason not to be liable for compensation? Should I take the vouchers?
We can totally understand your point of view but as mentioned before this situation was a very special case. Our crew member fell ill on the flight to Manchester and not prior departure. Therefore, Germanwings had no chance to change this crew member or to find an alternate solution than to reduce the number of passengers. There are no crew members based in Great Britain.
The reply then goes on to repeat the 2x50EUR tickets offer...