We had a couple of significant hold-ups when travelling, the worst of which was a four hour delay leaving for Finland on ‘BlueOne‘, an SAS airline. A pilot friend indicated to me that when they reschedule or delay flights, they often do it for the minimum possibly window they can to avoid a fine under EU law – which is three hours. Sure enough, the flight was rescheduled by 2h55m and they should have been in the clear… However the flight was delayed a further hour and so I thought I’d write in, checking for compensation.
It turns out, that as the flight wasn’t postponed for commercial reasons – i.e. the airline hadn’t put us onto another, more full-up and therefore more commercially viable flight – but had rather been delayed because of a shortage of cabin crew. The check-in girl told us they were “tired.” This amounts, as far as I can see, to bad planning on the airline’s behalf and if anything you’d think they would have to compensate us… but no, not required to at all, apparently.
It was reasonably astonishing shoddiness, but at least SAS’ customer support desk had the good graces to feel bad about it – to the tune of a token 100 euro gift voucher.
If anyone needs to know the low-down on your entitlements, MoneySavingExpert has a good article on it. The airlines won’t volunteer it, that’s for certain, though, so you have to be proactive in following up an issue yourself!