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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25470
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I bought a trip and my family (x4 members)

Customer Question

Hello,
I bought a trip for me and my family (x4 members) to Cotonou (Benin), leaving by Eurostar from London to Paris on 9th April and connecting from Paris to Benin with air France on 10th April. The return trip initially scheduled on 24th April to land in Paris on 25th April, with a return Eurostar ticket from Paris to London on 26th April. Unfortunately the return flight was delayed by 3 days, meaning we missed our connections. My questions are as followed:
1. My HSBC Worldwide travel policy states: "We will pay you £50 for every full 12 hour that you are delayed at your point of international departure from or to the UK"
HSBC is refusing to pay as they claim that the final destination was Paris as opposed to London. My argument is that the trip itself started in the UK and was due to end in the UK, with paris being the connection point (I have the relevant documentation to prove this point). There is no point in their T&C's where it clearly states that connections are not accounted for in their policy.
2. Missed international departure: As a result of the flight delays we missed our connections to
3. If HSBC does not have the obligation to pay for this, does Air France have any obligations towards in the way of compensation?
It would be very useful to have legal advice on the matter to help clarify whether as a customer I have any rights.
Many thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

For the avoidance of any doubt please the flight that was delayed was the Benin to Paris flight which was delayed by 3 days. Is that correct please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes that is correct. it was the flight from Cotonou (benin) to Paris

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Finally could you advise the reason(s) you were told the flight was delayed for so long?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There was a hole in the tarmac. we were1st told that the airport will resolve the matter and we should be travelling the following day and then after various misinformation were officially informed by air France our flight would leave on the 27th at 9am. followed by another announcement that due to air france operational issues the flight would only depart at 11am. we eventually took off around 2pm that day. I've given you more info than you asked but that's in case it helps.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Under EU rule 261/2004 you should be eligible to claim compensation for the above delay if the delay was the fault of the airline which appears to be the case from what you say - I note you refer to operational issues being in part to blame. If the flight was delayed by more than 4 hours and the distance was more than 3500km (which according to a quick check it appears to be) then you will be due compensation of £430 per ticket that was delayed. You ar also entitled to claim reasonable costs for food drink and accomodation if this was not provided for you.You are entitled to make a claim even thought the flight did not originate in Europe because the flight destination was in the EU.To commence your claim you start by complaining to the Airline directly claiming compensation under the above regulation. You will need to include proof of purchase of the tickets and the flight numbers and times.If the airline rejects your claim (evidence suggests this is common practice in the hope of reducing successful slaims) you can refer your complaint to the French airline regulatore which is:Direction générale de l'aviation civile(DGAC)Direction du transport aérienMission du Droit des passagersBureau des passagers aériens50 rue Henry FarmanFR- 75720 PARIS cedex 15The regulations provide that you can submit your complaint in English.If the regulator rejects your which should not be likely based on what you say you can issue a claim using the European Small Claims Procedure against the airline to receover the compensation due.You do not ned a solicitor to assist you with the above, but if you would like any help preparing letters of complaint I would be very happy to draft some for you for a modest fee.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

I've just sent you a reply but I am not certain it was sent. can you confirm you have received it please?

thanks

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hi there - I am so sorry but it does not appear to have come through. Would it be a great deal of trouble to ask that you send it again? So sorry for any inconvenience...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for letting me know and thanks for your initial reply.

The only thing is that I'm still not clear on the 1st and main point of my query, as follows - I'd like to understand whether I have grounds in pushing back on their refusal to compensate me:

. My HSBC Worldwide travel policy states: "We will pay you £50 for every full 12 hour that you are delayed at your point of international departure from or to the UK"
HSBC is refusing to pay as they claim that the final destination was Paris as opposed to London. My argument is that the trip itself started in the UK and was due to end in the UK, with paris being the connection point (I have the relevant documentation to prove this point). There is no point in their T&C's where it clearly states that connections are not accounted for in their policy.

The fact is that the airline doesn't accept responsibility for the 3 days delay as it was a result of the hole in the tarmac. From their point of view it's the airport's fault. I am aware I can claim on the basis of the later operational issues which is directly related to their organisation. However my insurance should be covering for that based on their delayed departure policy.

Are you able to shed any light on this?

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Obviosly it goes without saying that the two claims (the airline and the insurer) are entirely separate to each other. With regards ***** ***** flight claim, the airline may ahve a defence in respect of the hole in the tarmac but once this was fixed that defence falls away. Since you only need to show 4 hours of delay to claim the above compensation I cannot see that the hole in the tarmac amounts to a defence.With regards ***** ***** insurer, the wording of the policy as you quote it is open to interpretation. One narrow interpretation is that the wording clearly states that cover is available for trip that departs from an international point to the UK but not for trips that involve multi point connections. However this would be a very narrow interpretation and would constitute a significant exclusion to your policy because it effectively removes cover where you choose not to travel directly to and from the UK without intervening connections. Since many flights involve connecting flights in themselves this would be a significant exclusion.There is a common law provision that provides that were there is doubt in interpretation, the benefit of the doubt will favour the person that did not draft the wording.The combination of the above would point to the possibility for a claim against the policy and you may as a separate claim to that you may have against the airline, look to make a complaint against the insurer and then look to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if they do not honour your claim. However do check the policy or with your insurer as there may be a provision that any claim you have against the insurer may be reduced by any compensation you obtain from your airline. If there is such a provision in your policy you may find that the airline compensation largely if not completely cancels out your claim against the insurer and you would not wish to waste your time pursuing two claims if you later find you have to repay some fot he claim to the insurer because of a provision such as the above. If there is no such a provision then you may be able to claim against each party as you suggest though.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks for the reply. This is very helpful!

One last query is on impact on loss of income - `My husband who is a professional musician lost significant income as a result of missing 2 concerts he was due to play at whilst we were stranded. Should the airline have any obligations towards that? [I have a plus membership, so I'm assuming I can ask you this additional].

Thanks

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
No problem at all. If you would kindly consider clicking a rating for my service to date I will be very happy to deal with your followup question without further charge. I look forward to hearing from you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have done that earlier. Strange. I will rerate you again now.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks. In terms of lost income your claim is limited to the terms of cover against the insurer which is unlikely to cover loss of business income but you will no doubt have checked the policy in this respect. In respect of lost earnings as against the airline, there is no right to the same under the above European regulation. However that does not mean you may not have a claim under ordinary contract. The difficulty with this is that the contract is likely to be governed by French law which can be difficult and in addition the contract is likely to be drawn in favour of the airline which is likely to restrict its potential liabilities for loss in the event of delay. In order to pursue the claim therefore you would likely need to take advice from a French lawyer and consider pursuing the matter in the French Courts if this is what the airline contract provides for which I suspect may be the case. Accordingly the difficulty and potential cost of pursuing this element of claim may outweigh the potential benefits. I do not suggest that you should not pursue it but you would need to consider the above before actually issuing any proceedings in France on this head of claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Very well. Many thanks

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
A pleasure. Good luck with your claim(s). Best wishes