Bonn A couple from Bonn had their patience tested on their return journey from Las Vegas: their Eurowings flight was around 15 hours late. Three explanations have been given for the delay.
A four-week holiday in Las Vegas did not end according to plan for the Bonn couple. Instead of landing at 12:05am on 21 October, Sabine and Dieter Nölke’s Eurowings flight EW 175 touched down one day later at 3.13 a.m. at Cologne/Bonn airport - a delay of around 15 hours. The incident is reminiscent of another Eurowings flight from New York to Düsseldorf, which was 16 hours late and ended up landing in Cologne/Bonn instead of the NRW capital.
In the night from 19 to 20 October the Nölkes had been informed by SMS about the delay of their flight to the morning of 21 October. According to Dieter Nölkes, the long delay was caused by a technical defect on the aircraft; a team of mechanics from Germany had to be flown in for the repairs. "We learned this from the pilot during the return flight," Nölke told GA. But during check-in in Las Vegas, which according to the announcement should still take place on 20 October, but was then postponed to 21st, a staff member claimed that the scheduled departure was not possible due to bad weather.
Different explanation from Eurowings
When questioned, Eurowings gave a different explanation for the delay: it was due to the delayed arrival of the return flight crew, which meant that the statutory rest period could not be observed. In addition, Las Vegas airport had a ban on night flights, which meant the departure would only be possible the next morning at 6.30 a.m. "Colleagues applied for the earliest possible departure," says a company spokeswoman from Eurowings.
Like the other passengers, the couple from Bonn were therefore forced to spend another night in the US metropolis. Here they were particularly annoyed by the treatment they received from a staff member at the airport: "He told us that an overnight stay was our problem," says Dieter Nölke. He and his wife were lucky enough to find a hotel room but had to pay around 250 dollars for one night because it was the weekend. With the additional taxi rides and meals, the extra expenses for the couple amounted to the equivalent of around 480 euros. According to Nölke, other passengers had spent the night at the airport.
Couple claim compensation
Eurowings explained: "If a flight is delayed, Eurowings staff or our handling agents' staff at the counters take care of hotels, catering and transport on site. They were instructed to do so in the case of flight EW 175. The passengers were verifiably brought to the hotel by bus." Passengers were entitled to arrange a hotel room themselves, if they wanted to. However, it would then have to be ensured that "the prices were reasonable".
In a letter dated 26 October, Nölke asked Eurowings to reimburse this sum and a lump-sum of EUR 600 per person in compensation. "We haven't had an answer yet," says Nölke, who together with his wife also arrived in Las Vegas about three hours late on the outbound flight. Eurowings assured that customer letters would be processed as quickly as possible and that each case would be examined individually.
So even though the Nölkes made it home a while ago, their holiday will continue to keep them occupied for some time. Original text: Matthias Kirch, Translation: Caroline Payne)