No open hotel rooms = passengers stranded at PDX

Condor Airlines delayed a flight, stranding passengers

A Condor flight was delayed at PDX, forcing hundreds of passengers to sleep at the airport, July 22, 2015 (KOIN)
A Condor flight was delayed at PDX, forcing hundreds of passengers to sleep at the airport, July 22, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hundreds of passengers flying on Condor Airlines were stranded at Portland International Airport on Wednesday morning.

Toiletry kit handed out by PDX. (Todd Eakes)
Toiletry kit handed out by PDX. (Todd Eakes)

Condor Airlines delayed a flight that was set to take off on Tuesday at 5:25 p.m heading to Frankfurt, Germany. Condor told KOIN 6 News there was an aircraft issue and then the flight crew needed to get its mandatory rest.

Passengers were supposed to be re-booked, but instead, many were stuck waiting at the airport and without a hotel room to go to.

In a statement to KOIN 6 News, a Condor spokesperson said, “Unfortunately, Condor could not provide hotel rooms for the guests of flights DE2029, since there was no sufficient hotel capacity given in a radius of 200 miles. We are very sorry about that. The guests were provided with pillows and blankets as well.”

Airport officials at PDX said they helped hand out food vouchers for dinner and breakfast. They also handed out toiletry bags.

“The fact that we lost a whole day of our family vacation time is – there’s no amount of money in the world that can get that back,” Condor passenger Jessica Dvorak said.

Dvorak said she feels she was left to fend for herself. “I’ve never had an experience where you cant even get a hold of somebody.”

The new flight was scheduled to take off from PDX at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday but passengers said they didn’t board until 3:45 p.m.

What are your rights during an extreme flight delay?

The president of Fly Rights, Paul Hudson, spoke to KOIN 6 News about compensation rights for passengers stuck at PDX for over 20 hours. He said passengers on domestic flights can only get their money back if they’re bumped off due to over-booking.

But the rules change on international flights due to a treaty law that has been in effect since 2003.

“They should definitely be able to file a claim with the airline under the Montreal Convention,” Hudson said. “It’s your out-of-pocket expenses and value of your time that’s lost.”

Under the Montreal Convention, airline passengers can sue for compensation on issues involving international flights.

“People should be able to get compensation for their delay,” Hudson said. “Just under the general policies, and to some extent the content of care, they should certainly be getting meal vouchers and hotel accommodations. But many airlines today don’t do that.”

Consumer groups said you can also file a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Consumer Protection Division at any time.

Passengers stranded at PDX after Condor Airlines delay, July 22 2015. (Todd Eakes)
Passengers stranded at PDX after Condor Airlines delay, July 22 2015. (Todd Eakes)

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