Broken kiosk causes back-up
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Q. In May, I bought a one-way fare from Brussels to Frankfurt. On the day of departure I arrive at the airport in plenty of time to stand in one long line (I counted 90 passengers) waiting to do a preliminary check in at a kiosk (this was the only check in option) before reaching a secondary check in line. Only one of four kiosks was operating. I was assured by the lone employee that I would make the flight, but when I finally reached the “actual” check in desk I was told the flight was closed and I would have to buy a new fare for 500 Euros. The airline refuses to refund my new fare and of course I lost the value of my original fare. Is there any thing I can do?
A. Sounds like you were mistreated for sure. The only thing I can suggest is that you file a complaint with the European Commission’s Transport office. You can file a preliminary query on their Web site. The EC has better consumer protection for airline passengers than we do in the US. For example, if a long-haul flight from the EU to the US is 5 or more hours late in arriving, you're entitled to cash compensation of 600 Euros, unless the airline can prove that the delay was beyond its control. You’ll find the complaint form online here: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passengers/contact/index_en.htm.