A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about unfortunate situation with TAP where delay ex-London City resulted in missed connection in Lisbon and very little help from the airline.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I recently read the article by Sebastian on your site about a claim against TAP, for a delay in the initial flight which caused a missed connection in Lisbon. I went through the same situation a couple of days before the article was published and I would appreciate it very much if you (or Sebastian) could advise me on how to proceed to claim for compensation, as I have never gone though this situation before.
My flight itinerary was:
21/06 – Friday
TP 374, LCY – LIS19:50 – 22:25
TP 75, LIS – GIG 23:25 – 05:20
Booking reference: REMOVED
Ticket number: REMOVED
The flight LCY – LIS was delayed over an hour and we landed in Lisbon at 23:29, and the flight to Brazil had already taken off. As I left the airplane, a representative from TAP told me I had been placed in the next flight that would leave the next day (TP 73, LIS – GIG 13:05- 19:00). She also impolitely told me that all their hotel rooms were already taken and that I should find my own accommodation, transport and refreshments and later file a claim for reimbursement. It was almost midnight by the time I exited the arrivals area, all the information desks at the airport were already closed and the TAP desk had a very long queue of unhappy people. I started calling hotel around the airport area and it took me almost an hour to find one with a room available for the night. I have enclosed hotel and transportation receipts.
I read up on the EU aviation regulations and my understanding is that under EC regulation 261/2004 I qualify for compensation for over 4+ hours arrival delay to the final destination and 3,500km+ flight length, correct? I also read on Sebastian’s post that dealing with TAP is a nightmare and that I should seek support from a regulator. I would be grateful if you could advise me regarding the right regulator to seek support from in my case.
I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.
TAP would have been required to provide Duty to Care due to missed connection in Lisbon per EC 261/2004 that they failed claiming that all the hotels were booked that was a lie as the reader found out.
The 600 euro compensation is dependent of the reason for the delay. As long as the reason is not considered extraordinary (very few reasons qualify as extraordinary), the airline is required to pay and TAP doesn’t voluntarily as we have pointed out previously. Sebastian wrote about one case recently (read more here).
The reader has two options:
Use one of the claim agencies that deal with the process but will take 30% to 40% cut.
Deal with the complaint by herself.
The reader is based in UK and thus she has more options to resolve this issue such as using dispute resolution service or small claims court.
First, however, she needs to request the payment for the expenses incurred and the delay from the TAP.
If TAP doesn’t respond within 8 weeks, the reader can contact Aviation ADR (access here) that handles these disputes for number of airlines including TAP or go the small claims route.
There is reason why some refer TAP standing for Take Another Plane. There is practically no support when things go wrong and they try to wiggle out of paying these valid EC 261/2004 claims and other expenses by simply not replying.
Seems that things go smoother when these claims are lodged with authorities outside of Portugal, however.
The number of emails that we receive for TAP related issues is starting to remind the never ending flow of Airberlin baggage messages that were starting come in couple of years before they went under. I hope that this is not indicative of the health and destiny of TAP. But surely they don’t care about passengers at all.