A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question by email about Finnair flight delay to Singapore that exceeded more than 20 hours and the airlines’ refusal to provide the required 600 euro compensation per EC 261/2004.
Here’s the email from the reader:
As a BA Gold member I recently booked a business class light to Singapore via Helsinki with Finnair.
The flight to Helsinki was fine but 30 minutes from boarding they announced, owing to crew sickness, that the flight would be delayed until AM the following day. We were put up in the Hilton and duly arrived the following morning for an anticipated departure of 1130. We final departed at 1800 hours, about 20 hours later than scheduled. I lodged an EU claim with Finnair who responded by saying the crew illness was “exceptional circumstances” and offered us 100 EUR instead of the 600 each we were claiming.
Is the fact that Helsinki is their base airport make their claim invalid and would we have a claim under EU regulations?
Finnair knowingly denies majority valid EC 261/2004 claims on dubious grounds because most of the passengers don’t follow up (majority of the affected passengers on these flights that would be eligible for the compensation don’t even know about it).
Finnair should have handed you a leaflet explaining the air passenger rights in case of irregular operations. Did the give you one? Obviously not.
Crew member sickness is not a valid reason for denying a claim. Finnair pilots are currently going through A350 certification that had lead to situation where the airline doesn’t have enough crew members to operate the scheduled operations (read more here).
The reader should open a case against Finnair at the UK EC 261/2004 national enforcement body:
Other option is to open a case against Finnair with Money Claim Online (access here). The reader is UK based.
It is shameful how Finnair handles and denies these EC 261/2004 claims on various non valid reasons. More fliers should know their rights and go after the cash that Finnair owns them.
UK has very convenient way to get cash from companies (as long as you claim is valid). Just use Money Claim Online-service.