A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question affecting thousands of passengers due to the Finnair cabin crew strike (read more here). How to deal with extra expenses incurred when unable to contact Finnair.
You can access the Finnair page for claiming expenses here.
Email from the reader:
I’m stuck in Stockholm for another night due to the Finnair strike. Was due to fly to Helsinki for an overnight stopover on my way to Rome (Oneworld Classic Award RTW ticket), but they have rebooked me on KLM to Rome with a stopover in AMS tomorrow morning.
Luckily I’m Diamond with Hilton and they’re more than happy to accomodate me for another night in Stockholm, but Finnair have been impossible to contact – their CS/online chat is refusing to take any enquires due to the volume of passengers impacted.
I guess I’ll just keep my receipts for everything tonight and then make a claim with them tomorrow for the additional costs of staying in Stockholm – have you ever had any experience with making a claim like this?
Finnair’s Air Passengers Rights PDF:
The Finnair’s PDF is somewhat unclear regarding expenses incurred, likely on purpose. The fewer know their rights, the less money goes out.
The good news is that Finnair appears to have rebooked the passenger on KLM without having to prompt them. So there is a great likelihood that the reader could collect miles on SkyTeam member airline for these two segments even when the original booking was an award (Finnair cannot book KLM awards – so paid fare class).
Finnair is a community carrier, so EC 261/2004 applies to all of its flights, and Sweden is an EU country.
Finnair is responsible for the extra expenses accrued in Stockholm, including lunch, dinner, and breakfast, in addition to the extra night at the Hilton.
The reader should upload the receipts to Finnair and wait for the contact from customer service. I am sure they will accept the payment without pushback because this is a clear-cut case.
Finnair has been very difficult paying other delay and cancellation claims that they often claim to be due to extraordinary circumstances.
It would have been Finnair’s responsibility to offer complimentary accommodation due to flight cancellation, but the reader probably did better by staying at the Hilton.
They will also get to enjoy possible elite benefits and collect elite qualifying nights and points for the stay.
Also, if you end up rebooked on a non-partner/alliance airline, remember to upgrade the frequent flier number for those segments. I am nearly 100% certain that you will earn miles in the process.
If the ticket was paid, the reader could also request OCR (original routing credit) from Finnair.