Adria Flight Canceled Over 250EUR Compensation Claim

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Adria Airways is the national airline of Slovenia, though the airline is in serious debt with no easy way out, and by many accounts is on the brink of collapse. While perhaps only partly related to that, Adria had quite a flight canceled yesterday for an interesting reason.

Last night’s Adria Airways flight from Ljubljana to Vienna was canceled. The reason? Apparently the police was waiting on the ground in Vienna to recover outstanding debts from the airline. With this knowledge, Adria decided to cancel the flight.

The outstanding debts were for just 250EUR, so how could that happen? Well, Adria Airways has a habit of not paying EU261 compensation, which is the compensation airlines owe passengers in the event of a serious delay or cancelation. This is government mandated, though that doesn’t stop many airlines from trying to get out of it.

Slovenian media is reporting that an Austrian had requested EU261 compensation back in 2017 from Adria Airways, but never received it. The passenger took the airline to court, and won the case. However, the airline never paid the 250EUR.

It’s not entirely clear what would have happened if the Adria flight had operated to Vienna. Would they have prevented passengers from getting off the plane, or would they have impounded the plane and not allowed it to leave?

The interesting added wrinkle here is that it wasn’t even an Adria Airways plane that was scheduled to operate the flight. Adria is currently leasing some planes from other companies, and the flight would have been operated by WDL Aviation, a German leasing company.

I’m not enough of an expert on Austrian law to know how that would have actually worked out. Could Austrian officials have stopped a plane leased from a German company due to lack of payment by a Slovenian company?

What’s ironic about all of this is that now they owe EU261 compensation to everyone who was booked on the flight. So their lack of payment of one 250EUR claim now means that 100+ people will potentially be entitled to the same amount of compensation.

Whether or not they end up paying that remains to be seen. 😉

  1. So that was an interesting story.

    I was scheduled to fly Adria from Munich to LJU and on to Skopje on July 1st earlier this year. The flight from Munich to LJU operated despite serious thunderstorms in the area (thunderstorms which caused the cancellation of hundreds of other flights and left not a single hotel room empty within a one hour’s radius of Munich Airport).

    However, my connecting flight that night from LJU to Skopje was cancelled — so Lufthansa (with whom I had travelled nonstop from SFO) offered to put me up in Munich and to continue the next day (also on Adria). I was sent to a thermal spa at least an hour’s drive from Munich Airport (and given a room very far away from the elevators through some long rambling corridors).

    I did file for the compensation for the cancelled flight and received an acknowlegement — but as you indicated — nothing has been paid since then.

    I’m interested to learn how you knew that Adria has a reputation for not paying?

    And yes, if it had been an Adria owned and operated aircraft, it would have been seized. Passengers would definitely have been let off of the plane.

  2. Greg, you don t get the cash in these cases. Can’t really blame Lufthansa for thunderstorms eh?

  3. Interesting.

    For quite some time if I’ve needed to travel to LJU I’ve made sure my ticket is issued on LH or LX ticket stock because there is a lot of belief that Adria could (and maybe should) close down any day soon.

    When they do fly they are at best unreliable so whatever you do, don’t book on their ticket stock.

  4. Good on the Austrian court for coming down hard on Adria. I don’t understand this nonsense of not paying EU261 compensation that’s clearly owed. EU261 is the law and a cost of doing business; if you don’t like it, don’t do business where it applies.

    For what it’s worth, I applied for comp from AF for a canceled LAX-CDG run and received my 600 EUR (in USD) in a timely manner with no fighting.

  5. My JP flight was cancelled in May. I filed a claim immediately and have yet to hear back on EU Compensation. I called recently and they cited being backlogged due to a high number of claims.

    Has anyone else had luck/heartache…

  6. Wow, was about to book an Adria flight (through Thai Airways though) but will look for alternatives now. They sound like TAP Portugal – refusing to take responsibility. As some others with similar stories, I also had a EU261 claim paid out to us by LH (3x €600, thank you). Again no fighting and it came in a timely manner. Guess what? I continue to fly LH but will never step aboard TAP Portugal again.

  7. A few years ago U.K. High Court Sheriffs (not the same as US ones) almost impounded one of the low cost carriers planes at LGW due to an unpaid debt.

    Station Manager eventually used his own credit card to pay the relatively small debt and associated costs.

    There is a BBC documentary series about the Sheriffs. Airlines feature on a fairly regular basis.

  8. @ Greg: you know what? I am disgusted by your attitude!

    Lufthansa offered you to put you up in a hotel in Munich rather than have you transported to Ljubljana that night where it is totally unclear what servcie you would have received. You state yourself that “not a single hotel room empty within a one hour’s radius of Munich Airport”. But still, they brought you to a hotel. You complain about the location of the room “very far away from the elevators through some long rambling corridors”. Well, guess what: you could have stayed at the airport.

    And that’s all because of “serious thunderstorms in the area “.

    You know what: be happy they brought you to a decent hotel and have you continue your flight safely next day. Stop complaining about circumstances that are clearly beyond the airlines responsibility.

    I am getting sick and tired of the entitlement attitude. The airline does it’s best and still you complain!

  9. I don’t think it was police who was waiting on them since collection of private debt is not their job. I guess it must have been a bailiff / court reciever like in the case of Condor back in 2016 when they wanted to impound a jet in Salzburg over an outstanding 600 EUR compensation claim (if you read German just google “Condor Gerichtsvollzieher”). Austrian law doesn’t seem to have the principle of proportionality in their compulsory enforcement law.

  10. I got my flight SJJ-LJU canceled in July and not being informed until one day before. We got rerouted and arrived the destination 6 hours after. I filed a EU261 claim and received only an acknowledge. Nothing else received.

  11. It could be the rum but I can’t stop laughing! This is some batshit crazy stuff.

    I’m at Havana Airport where the lounge has no food but lots of booze. Remember that 90k avios Iberia promo from last year? Yea, I’m using my last of the miles hav-mad.

    Now let me continue drinking and laughing. €250

  12. To the three of you above who felt it important to criticize my story; I am happy to add this clarifying note:

    (1) I was not complaining. I was relating an experience in some detail. There is a difference.

    (2) I reject your insinuations that I am entitled. Anyone who knows me in person knows that accusation wouldn’t stick for a second.

    (3) Two of you read my story too quickly and jumped to false conclusions: I agree — Adria is not responsible for weather — but that was not the issue here. There were no thunderstorms in LJU which is Maria’s home base. I was glad not to go on that small plane (MUC-LJU) in these unsafe weather conditions and of course I was grateful to LH for a room for the night (but I was surprised — as anyone reading this would be — to have gotten into a cab and to have found out only at that moment (and not at the service counter desk earlier) that the address was a full hour’s drive away literally into the woods.

    Lufthansa voluntarily provided me with a room because of my status with them; I did not ask for one and had not expected one since the problem was hundreds of miles away and not in Munich. I only went to the service center to re-book my connecting flights per the information sent to me by email when the flight from LJU to SKP was cancelled.

  13. “Well, Adria Airways has a habit of not paying EU261 compensation, which is the compensation airlines owe passengers in the event of a serious delay or cancelation. This is government mandated, though that doesn’t stop many airlines from trying to get out of it.”

    Yes,Vueling the Spanish Low Cost also has the habit of never paying the EU261 Compensation to passengers but since it belongs to IAG group like Iberia iit manages to get away with the practise because unlike Adria Airways, Vueling has tons of money.

  14. Any advice for those of us who are owed EU261 compensation by Adria? Mine was just a few weeks ago, an involuntary downgrade. All I received was an automated email response, and there wasn’t a real way to file with them, more of a complaints area. Is this a situation where it’s worth using one of those third party services?

  15. @TimmyD, forget about it. By the time your claim would be processed by courts, Adria will be long gone.

    Now, how do I get to Amsterdam on my next journey?

  16. So now the airline has filed for bankruptcy and is ceasing all operations. What are we supposed to do if we have a flight with them within the next two weeks? Haven’t gotten any emails from them, can’t find other flights that aren’t 2x the price, don’t even know if we’ll get reimbursed for our upcoming flight. Absolutely no information online…

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