Reader Question: Finnair 10-Hour Helsinki – Bangkok Flight Delay?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email about rather long flight delay from Norway to Bangkok that he had to endure when flying on Finnair via Helsinki.

Finnair

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Here’s the email from the reader:

I fly at least 3 -4 time a month have have gold status on BA, Thai,

While I fly relatively a lot I don’t get delays, last one was a few years ago with United and I was compensated.

Today I flew back to Bangkok with Finnair after 3 day trip to Norway, when I reached Oslo I was informed that the flight from Helsinki to Bangkok will be delayed for 10 hours and that I will be put up in a hotel and received dinner.

I am flying business class,

I have read your post and know that under Europe law I can get more compensation then a hotel overnight( holiday inn with dinner which I have yet to check out, but no high hopes.

The reader could have:

1. Request Finnair to rebook the trip from Oslo to Bangkok on other airlines due to the long delay in Helsinki. Airlines are required to do this but hesitant. You sometimes need to push. Oslo probably just tried to move the passenger to Helsinki so that they they wouldn’t need to deal with the issue.

2. The reader should have been given the leaflet explaining the rights under the EC 261/2004 legislation that Finnair has continuously breached to the extend that the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman is taking the airline to court over non-payment of valid claims.

The reader should:

1. Contact the airline and request 600 euro compensation per EC 261/2004. Finnair may reply back that this is not due to this and that (they may blame pilot training or whatever). None of these are valid reasons. Period.

2. Finnair may offer their funny money valid only on for future Finnair flights. Don’t accept. They need to offer cash.

3. There are agencies that can do all these for you but they usually take one third of the compensation. If Finnair doesn’t pay up, you can contact the National Enforcement Body of the country where your return trip started (don’t choose Finland).

Download (PDF, 220KB)

Let us know how the claim process went!

Conclusion

Let’s say that there are 300 passengers on the plane and Finnair needs to pay 600 euro compensation to each. That is 180,000 euros (and double that for the return flight).

I doubt that the airline had made any profit if they had paid all the compensation owed considering the number of long-haul delays and cancellations due to too ambitious schedule for the number of planes and pilots they have.

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