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Does the USA need an EU 261 rule after flights like this one from Delta?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Can you imagine the frustration? You go on a REAL Delta mileage run right back where you started (I bet they did not get Delta points for this run either)? I am clearly poking fun at the situation but I doubt the folks who lost a full day of vacation and had to “enjoy” flying around all day on a “Delta” jet would think it was much fun. I say “Delta” in quotes as it was not really a Delta jet but a Delta painted jet a.k.a. one of the many companies that looks like Delta but is not Delta.

Anyway, Delta the company did the right thing by putting folks up in hotels and EVEN going so far as to give them meal vouchers (something you must CLAW out of them nowadays). But was this enough after this issue was clearly 100% Delta’s fault and NOT the result of anything beyond the control of Delta?

If this issue had happened with the flight originating in a country bound by the EU 261 rules the passengers would have been looking at refunds of the ticket and possibly much more. The airline would have been responsible for much more than:

“Ooooopsseee”, we are so sorry; let’s try that again!

I mean the airlines will ding you for any little change or adjustment not to mention bag fees, seat fees and on and on. So is just an apology and a tiny meal voucher and a hotel for the night enough to make up for a full day of vacation lost? What about the hotels or events the travelers had booked the first day that they now missed. Will Delta pay them for those? Yeah, I don’t think so either.

But at least, if the USA had a rule like EU 261 they could get some compensation for the delay and still get to where they are going and then back home later with some money back.

What do you think? Did Delta do enough in this case? Are cases like this a reason there should be more rules protecting Delta flyers? – René

Did Delta do enough to make this right?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

8 Comments

  1. I would like to know if SkyWest or Delta messed up the paperwork or if Mexico messed it up. If ‘Delta’ messed up they did not do enough. If Mexico messed up I think ‘Delta’ did the right thing.

    • @James – It sounds like there was an equipment swap and SkyWest did not have the right paperwork for the new jet. I do not know all the facts but clearly paperwork issues are not beyond the airlines control.

  2. Steve Case Reply

    Rene, you do an excellent job of reporting the good, the bad and the ugly and I am a regular reader of your column. This story is a cakewalk compared to what happened to YVR pax, Miriam Thomas this past weekend. She was trying to get from YVR to ONT for a business meeting Monday morning. I can’t believe how poorly this woman was treated. After hours of frustration that was going to turn into days of frustration, an Alaska Airlines bought Ms. Thomas a ticket on an Alaska flight. Apparently, this was nothing protecting this DL customer. Here is the complete story. . .
    http://www.news1130.com/2015/03/22/alaska-airlines-employee-pays-for-vancouver-womans-airfare-after-runaround-by-delta-airlines/

    Rene, this woman clearly deserved better treatment from DL.

  3. I’m curious if any passengers had pre-paid hotel stays that were cancelled because the passenger was a no-show for the first night. Did delta call every hotel to tell the hotel their guest would be arriving the next day? I’m frankly surprised how well the interviewed passenger was handling it or is it that we expect bad behavior from the travel industry o we’ll accept any little crumb they send our way? Sorry, cynicism is the best I have to offer when it comes to travel these days . . .

  4. I believe the rule also applies to flights to a member state, if the flight is on an EU airline. Another reason to avoid flying internationally on US airlines.

  5. It’s highly likely that Delta will issue additional compensation to any passengers who file complaints. They might even proactively issue bonus miles to Medallion members, as I’ve experienced during past flight cancellations.

    • @Mark S – I agree but that does not make it right. IMO they should have offered FULL refunds for the passengers!

  6. Michael Pevny Reply

    Delta is ultimately responsible since Skywest is the contract carrier. It would be prudent for DL to provide 100% ticket compensation for all revenue pax and go after Skywest for compensation. This should all be transparent to the passenger.

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