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Trip cancellation/booked through a partner airline/EU 261

A question for anyone with a similar situation and a vent :)

I just returned from a 2 week vacation in Ireland with a side trip to Amsterdam. Every travel portion of my trip was a nightmare!

The issue: I booked my flight (with miles) through Alaska on Aer Lingus. I flew Alaska for my US-side connecting flights. My to/from Dublin flights were on Aer Lingus. My flight to Dublin was cancelled (after sitting on the plane for 4 hours!), I was rebooked for the same flight 24 hour later, I was put up at a hotel. (side note: I left Seattle at 1pm, got into my hotel room in LAX at 2:30am!)

I did have trip insurance and I'm working through that for both ends of my trip and a letter provided to me from Aer Lingus states I am entitled to compensation through my travel agent. I just filled out the EU261 form on Aer Lingus's site and am crossing my fingers.

The whole travel part was a nightmare as EI kept saying AS needed to handle things since I booked w/them and AS was saying EI was responsible since it was their cancellation/delay.

Has anyone had any luck w/Aer Lingus & a EU 261 complaint? Have anyone booked through another airline and still been successful with EI? I am SO disappointed with EI I spent SO MANY HOURS on hold with them.

TANGENT: On my way home, DUB to SFO, the flight was delayed so I missed my SFO to SEA flight and while it was only 6pm and there were many flights still available, when we landed and an agent showed up AN HOUR LATER, she needed her supervisor's approval to a) book our hotel and b) rebook our flight, but none were available b/c it was nighttime in DUB, what kind of nonsense is this????? Our flight was schedule to leave DUB at 12pm so they had plenty of time to have the proper approval before we arrived. We were told everything would be sorted when we arrived at SFO and an agent would be waiting. Of course no one was waiting for us and she didn't even have our names! We had to write it all down!

4 hours later (10pm) we were all told to book our own hotels and we were free to book our connecting flights and we'd be fully reimbursed but she wouldn't provide this in writing! Since the flight was delayed only 2.5 hours and people have no proof of what she said I doubt anyone will get any reimbursement. Luckily I have family in SF so I was able to stay w/them and EI did rebook me so I only have transportation costs (which I am filing w/my trip insurance). Ironically, I woke up and read my email to find that AL booked me on a 6AM flight. How ridiculous is that? I went to bed at 12am after being on hold and dropped by EI 3x, figuring I'd just buy a ticket in the morning if I was in the same predicament. I was able to get AS to rebook me, since I was on hold w/EI for a total of 6 hrs to no

While I am certain that Alaska won't process this EU 261, I will call them on Monday. I have to talk to customer care, and they aren't open again until Monday. I will still call them to say that I did.

The lesson I learned is that for international flights: book direct. Or maybe, just stay home :)

Posted by
15724 posts

I was confused because you used AA for Alaska airlines when AA is the shortened name for American Airlines. And then you used AL for some references to Aer Lingus when some could see that as Alaska. (The two letter code for Alaska is AS and the two letter code for Aer Lingus is EI.)

You filled out the form for Aer Lingus as told to. You have to be patient. It could take months to see any reimbursement.

Was this all on one booking or did you book two separate tickets--one for the domestic and another for the international?

That will make a difference. If two separate, you have no claim with Alaska. If one, then the rules apply.

Since your flight was with miles, you need to be dealing with the Alaska's Mileage Plan department rather than be on hold and frustrated with general customer service. From what I read, you should receive the miles you paid for your flight TO Dublin returned to your account. You will not receive any cash reimbursement for the ticket since you didn't pay cash.

Regarding the return flight. It was late into SFO by 2.5 hours but your return to Seattle was delayed by more than 4 hours. So, if one ticket you may be able to get reimbursement for this as well. If two tickets, you will get nothing. Connecting flights on one ticket originating in the EU are covered by EU 261.

Did they mention why the delay occurred? That will also have a bearing on compensation. If it is out of the airline's control you may get nothing.

My suggestion--you already filled out Aer Lingus' form. Now find the one for Alaska Airlines and do the same. The people on the phone can't process an EU 261 claim nor can they reimburse you for out of pocket expenses. Just be patient. It's not done overnight.

From what I see you should get 600 Euros each way.

I had to claim EU 261 once. I filled out the online form and received a credit to my credit card in two weeks. This was with the former Air Iceland Connect (now part of Icelandair.)

Posted by
8657 posts

As a point of reference, I’ve used Alaska Air miles to book several international flights without incident.

I do understand why you feel frustrated. It must have been exhausting to deal with this all. I hope the rest of your trip went well.

I encourage you to do a little research on European compensation. There is a lot of information on the web. My first impression is that you file the claim with the service provider (Aer Lingus), not who sold you the ticket, Alaska Airlines.

You aren’t eligible to have miles returned to your account since you did take the flight, even if it was a day later.

Posted by
3905 posts

Frank II--

Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering how American played a role in this. I thought maybe the OP was using AL for Alaskan.

Posted by
5 posts

Airlines references fixed.

The EU 261 compensation is not based on money spent. So it wouldn’t be miles (although I’d be happy with miles).

Also Frank II excellent point regarding my trip home. The EI letter states it was a 123 minute delay. But they weren’t able to rebook me until the next day. It was an issue about not "liking" the 6am flight, I simply wasn't awake at 3am to know I needed to be at the airport and on a 6am flight (not that it matters but the EI agent said we'd get in an email in a few hrs with our rebooking info and none of us would be on early morning flights, I woke up at 6am at which time I saw EI's email ). Even with the 6am flight SFO to SEA, the delay started at 6pm the night before.

The flight was booked as one ticket through AS.

Both delays were mechanical and I have letters from EI stating that.

I don’t expect an immediate resolution/response it’s just been frustrating process- just venting. The actual trip part was fantastic. Curious if others booked through one airline and flew another with issues or had similar issues with EI.

Posted by
138 posts

Aer Lingus should not push you away. The operating carrier is liable and responsible for responding to claims. You can remind them so.

If Aer Lingus is not responsive, the European Consumer Centre and European Commission suggests that you can make a complaint on the following website.

https://www.flightrights.ie/cancellations-delays/

From Aer Lingus website, it states that it has not signed up for ADR nor ODR.

https://www.aerlingus.com/support/legal/complaints/

An Online Dispute Resolution platform has been set up by the European
Commission (http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/) which provides easy
access to alternative dispute resolution. Please note, Aer Lingus is
not currently subscribed to an approved ADR scheme therefore neither
the ODR platform nor any approved ADR providers will be able to accept
your complaint.