Many people are concerned about whether or not they will be paid for their additional costs as a result of the recent cancellation of flights home for thousands of vacationers from the United Kingdom.
Families have reported having to spend their own money on things like food, lodging, and even other modes of transportation as a result of the pandemonium.
Although there are rules governing how costs can be claimed, there appears to be some wiggle room.
According to estimates, a data issue that affected the air traffic control system in the UK resulted in the cancellation of approximately 2,000 planes both into and leaving the country.
National Air Traffic Services (Nats), the organization that is responsible for controlling the majority of planes in UK airspace, reported that a “rare” system breakdown on Monday caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
The Baker family is only one of the thousands of vacationers who were impacted by this situation.
After the EasyJet aircraft that was supposed to take them back to Brighton from Palma, Majorca was canceled on Monday, leaving Mark and Holly, together with their two children, stuck in Palma.
They reported to the BBC that they had been offered lodging and a new flight within a week’s time, but they were unable to wait that long due to the fact that they both had to continue working and one of their children was beginning secondary school.
Instead, the family boarded a ferry that would take them overnight from the Spanish island to Toulon in France. Once they are in Toulon, they plan to travel three trains and another ferry before arriving in Brighton on Thursday evening.
Mr. Baker indicated that he was uncertain as to whether or not they would be able to make a claim for the alternative route. The four-member family has used their credit cards to make purchases totaling slightly under one thousand dollars (excluding the cost of food).
“I didn’t see that I had any other choice,” Mr. Baker stated. “When you’re standing there at the airport at 11 o’clock at night, with kids, and you don’t know what you’re supposed to do,” he said.
“I have no idea whether or not I will be able to get this money back. That is my primary concern,” Mr. Baker continued.
He stated that the family was keeping a close eye on the amount of money they were spending on things like food and lodging in light of the fact that the standards for claiming expenditures state that the costs must be “reasonable.”
A couple claims that an error in the traffic control cost them 2,200 dollars.
Mr. Baker stated that he had tried to get in touch with EasyJet over the phone but was unable to connect to any member of the staff. As a result, he was keeping all of his receipts in the hope that he could get his money back from EasyJet.
“I’m trying to cut my expenses as much as possible just in case. Mr. Baker was quoted as saying, “I’m not going to take the Mickey.”
Another London family, this time from Greenwich, has reported to the BBC that they are currently stuck in Turkey as a result of the cancellation of their EasyJet flight from Antalya to Gatwick on Monday.
As a result of the delays, school administrator Samina Ahmed is unable to attend work as well as a professional development class.
The earliest trip back to the United Kingdom that EasyJet was able to book for the family was on September 8th, which was two days after her sons were scheduled to go back to school.
They were in Turkey for a family holiday but Samina, who is 17 weeks pregnant, feels “overwhelmed”. In addition to that, she claims that she is out of the medication that she needs to take in order to control her blood pressure.
She claims that she is aware of another family that has rebooked a flight with a different operator, but she is concerned that she will not be compensated for the change: She remarked, “I just don’t have that kind of money lying around,” and she was absolutely correct.
Since then, EasyJet has proposed that Samina’s family take a journey on September 4, but she feels that this is still insufficient notice.
In the event that my flight is either cancelled or delayed, what rights do I have?
In a statement, EasyJet expressed its regret for the delay and assured its clients that it would provide “assistance and hotel accommodation.”
The statement continued by saying that it will “advise anyone who has needed to make their own hotel or alternative travel arrangements that they will be reimbursed.”
It stated that because it was normally a busy week for travel, its options for returning people to the UK were “more limited on some routes.” As a result, it was putting on five repatriation flights and employing larger aircraft with additional seats to accommodate the increased demand.
Rob Ward thinks that he will be out of pocket by more than 2,000 pounds as a result of the fact that the British Airways flight that he and his girlfriend were scheduled to take from Ibiza to London Heathrow on Monday was cancelled.
“After waiting three hours on live chat with British Airways, [the man] proposed a trip on Saturday evening with a layover in Barcelona, and then on to Doha! We were finally successful in finding a flight to Manchester on Thursday at 3 am, but we had to foot the bill for it ourselves.
“We’ve had no choice but to book back into a hotel and [try to] claim it back through BA expenses, as well as miss work for the rest of the week,” he said.
Rob, who manages two gyms, claims that he spent approximately $1,000 on hotels, $250 on new flights, and that he will lose two days’ worth of income from his profession as a personal trainer as a result of his recent travel plans.
He claims that British Airways assured him that he would not have any trouble getting reimbursed, but since he cannot claim it back until the conclusion of the stay, he is still required to pay for it out of his own pocket at this time.
“You budget for a vacation, and this just can’t be reasonably accepted with no help from the airline other than ‘keep your receipts,'” said Rob. “This just can’t be reasonably accepted.”
According to BA, passengers are eligible to receive between £200 and £250 per night for accommodation expenses and between £25 and £35 per person, per meal.
The company Nats received data that it was unable to process, which resulted in a portion of its system malfunctioning, which caused the turmoil that was experienced by thousands of travelers in the United Kingdom.
The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) is responsible for the control of the majority of aircraft in UK airspace and processes millions of flight plans annually. The failure forced National Aeronautics and Space Administration to switch to a manual system, which reduced the number of flights that could be processed, resulting in a significant backlog.
People traveling on many flights to, from, or within the United Kingdom have legal rights, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which serves as the industry’s regulatory body and watchdog.
In the event that a passenger’s flight is cancelled, the airline is obligated to provide them with the option of either receiving a refund or taking another aircraft to their final destination.
People have the right to be rebooked into an alternate method of transportation if there is another airline that flies to their destination much sooner, or if there are other suitable modes of transportation that are available.
According to Rory Boland, the travel editor at consumer organization Which?, who spoke with the BBC, those who had booked other forms of transportation as a result of there being no available flights are eligible to submit claims for reimbursement of their fees.
“The airlines cannot claim an extraordinary circumstance forever,” he remarked. “It would be impossible.”
Mr. Boland noted that “nobody should be waiting a week for a replacement flight” in reference to the experiences of the Bakers and other families. According to the legislation, airlines are obligated to offer alternatives “at the earliest possibility.”
“Waiting a week is never going to be the earliest opportunity,” Mr. Boland said.
Rob Bishton, the joint acting chief executive of the CAA, stated on Wednesday that customers should make sure that their claims are not “excessive” and that they should maintain every receipt if they had to pay for their own food costs and accommodation.
He stated that the organization was collaborating with airlines to ensure that clients were not provided with inaccurate information of any kind.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recommends that individuals do not spend more money than is “reasonable” for costs that were incurred as a direct result of canceled flights. In addition to this, it states that it anticipates airlines to reply to claims for reimbursement within a “reasonable” amount of time.
Although passengers should be able to file claims for their expenses, it is unclear that they will be eligible for additional compensation because the delay was not the result of any action taken by the airlines.