A couple were left stranded during the first wave of the pandemic, but airlines have a responsibility to pay to get you home. Here’s how we were able to help.
Which? Legal member Ray and his wife were stranded in Australia earlier this year after their flight home was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Following the cancellation, they sought assistance from Emirates to find a route home, but the responses offered very little help.
After contacting the British High Commission in Canberra and waiting several days, they were told they could fly home with Qatar Airlines at a cost of £9,223.
Article 19 of the Montreal Convention 1999
Under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention 1999, an airline must reimburse losses suffered as a result of a cancellation, if reasonable steps weren’t taken by the airline to avoid the loss.
Emirates made no attempt to assist Ray and his wife in securing flights to the UK with an alternative airline.
On our advice, they submitted a formal claim to Emirates, for the cost of the replacement flight. It was rejected on the basis that the amount sought was more than the cost of the original flight, but Ray stood firm and was eventually reimbursed for the additional sum.
Article 19 of the Convention can be applied for up to two years from the intended date of travel, provided that all necessary documentation is kept. A claim can be made via the airline’s website.
Emirates told us:
“Following the temporary suspension of passenger flights as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates has worked to ensure all customers receive full applicable refunds and have completed over 1.4 million refund requests to date.
We’re pleased to hear that they have received their refund, and hope to welcome them on board again”
Have you ever been left stranded abroad by an airline before or during the coronavirus pandemic? How did the airline deal with the situation?
Were you aware of the Montreal Convention? Let us know in the comments.
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