Austrian Airlines gave me an empty gift card for my trouble

Gift card trouble — specifically, Austrian Airlines gift card trouble — seems to be a little problem these days. Brian Marita is the second passenger to contact us recently about the airline’s nonworking plastic.

After bumping passengers and delaying flights, Austrian Airlines is issuing EU 261 compensation in the form of gift cards. And the airline is proving to be just as unresponsive as retailers Amazon and Target when those gift cards don’t work as intended.

Austrian Airlines bumped me and then gave me empty gift cards as compensation

Austrian Airlines overbooked Robert Raffanti’s flight from Venice to Vienna and asked for volunteers to take a later flight, promising compensation of 125 euros. Raffanti and his wife agreed, but the airline never loaded their gift cards. Can we help Raffanti, or will Austrian Airlines continue its infamous silent treatment of both its customers and with us?

Here’s how to get an airline to pay your EU 261 claim

When British Airways canceled Lawrence Karp’s recent flight from London to Philadelphia, the airline rebooked him and the other three people in his party on a flight to Newark, N.J. But it denied his EU 261 claim, the European air travel protection law.

Why? According to British Airways, a cabin crew strike caused the flight cancellation. And it contends this strike relieves the airline of paying the EU 261 claim.

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