FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - The BA Compensation Thread: Your guide to Regulation 261/2004 [2013 archive]
Old Jan 5, 2013, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia
Fantastic guide, thank you very much everyone for your effort.

I would like to pose a question that someone may be able to answer.

The scenario:

You have a connecting flight (single ticket) with a long connection time of 6 hours.
You make plans to have a meeting in that connection time.
Your inbound flight is delayed by 4.5 hours and you now become unable to have that meeting while in transit.
You still make your connecting flight despite the delay.

In this case, as the arrival at your final destination was still on time despite being inconvenienced by the delay of your inbound to the connecting point, I assume there would be no compensation payable.

Is that correct?
Interesting question to which there is, imo, no clear-cut answer (there is deliberate ambiguity in the answer to Q3 in post 3 because of that).

If the delay is the result of a denied boarding or cancellation (you arrive later because they put you on a later flight), the wording of the Regulation suggests that you might be entitled to compensation because the article on compensation (Art 7) says that "In determining the distance, the basis shall be the last destination at which the denial of boarding or cancellation will delay the passenger's arrival after the scheduled time." Note that it does not say "final destination".

Now, let us say that you have a CDG-LHR-HKG itinerary with a delay of 8 hours in LHR to allow you to do this or that (meeting, etc...); you are bumped-off the original CDG-LHR flight (or the flight is cancelled) and you are put on a flight arriving 5 hours later. The "last destination at which the denial of boarding or cancellation will delay" you is LHR. You would, therefore, be entitled to €250 compensation. On a literal wording of the Reg, this could be reduced by half since your final destination is HKG and you are delayed by less than four hours to HKG. However, this solution does not really make sense. So, you might be entitled to €250 after all.
OTOH, your initial hunch might be right and it may well be that the Court regards the wording of Art 7 as, in substance, seeking to establish distance by reference to the next stopover point.

In the case of delays, we have to rely on the Sturgeon ruling, in which the Court told us that you are entitled to compensation if you arrive at your final destination more than 3 hours later than originally planned. Here, the time of arrival in HKG does not change, ergo, on the face of it, no compensation.

That said, this was not the Q that the ECJ was asked in Sturgeon and it may well be that it would clarify that point in a way that would result in delays being treated the same as DBs and cancellations, which may result in entitlement to compensation depending on how Art 7 is interpreted.

So, no clear answer, I am afraid. A case can be made either way and I genuinely struggle to find either more convincing than the other.
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