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Compensations for Cancellations/Delays/Changes - EC 261/2004 MASTER THREAD for AF

Compensations for Cancellations/Delays/Changes - EC 261/2004 MASTER THREAD for AF

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Old Sep 27, 15, 11:32 pm   -   Wikipost
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Compensations for Cancellations/Delays/Changes - EC 261/2004 MASTER THREAD for AF
(Work in Progress)

Useful Links

Info from AF on how to make an EC 261 claim (link needed).

Link to standard EC 261/2004 claim form, to be mailed to the airline.

Link to the various enforcement bodies for the various EU countries

Text of EC 261/2004 (PDF).

Summary:

For airlines, EC 261 applies to:
  • Any flight that departs from an EU airport, regardless of airline's home base.
  • Flights that arrive into an EU airport, operated by an EU-based airline.
    • Does not apply to flights of non-EU carriers arriving into an EU airport.
  • Flight categories:
    • Type 1
      • All flights up to 1500 km
    • Type 2
      • Flights wholly within the EU, more than 1500 km
      • Flights not wholly within the EU, between 1500-3500 km
    • Type 3
      • Flights not wholly within the EU, greater than 3500 km
Some further exceptions apply.

For passengers, EC 261 applies to:
  • Holders of confirmed reservations on an applicable flight, so long as the passenger checks in before the cutoff time, or if no cutoff time is listed, 45 minutes before departure time; or
  • Holders of tickets redeemed as part of a frequent flyer program.
Does not include free or discounted tickets not available to the general public.

Delays
  • A passenger has the right to refreshments and communication for a delay of:
    • 2+ hours, if a Type 1 flight;
    • 3+ hours, if a Type 2 flight; or
    • 4+ hours, if a Type 3 flight.
  • If the delay causes an overnight stay, the passenger is entitled to accommodations.
  • If the delay is more than 5 hours, passengers can abandon their trip, get a refund (full, if trip-in-vain), and (if relevant), a flight back to point of origin at the earliest opportunity.

Upgrades/Downgrades
  • If an airline puts an affect passenger into a higher class, the airline can't ask for additional payment for the upgrade.
  • If an airline downgrades a passenger, the passenger is entitled to a refund of a percentage of the ticket price:
    • 30%, if a Type 1 flight;
    • 50%, if a Type 2 flight; or
    • 75%, if a Type 3 flight.
  • For the purposes if this compensation, overseas French territories are not considered part of the EU and therefore flights are not limited to capped as Type 2 flights.

Denied Boarding
Airlines must first seek volunteers first before involuntarily denying boarding to a passenger. A passenger involuntarily denied boarding can seek accommodation and compensation as described below.

Cancellations
If a flight is canceled, passenger is entitled to the compensation listed below.

When the airline is exempted from providing compensation for a cancellation:
  • The airline notifies the passengers:
    • More than 2 weeks prior to departure
    • Between 1-2 weeks prior, AND reroutes to depart no more than 2 hours earlier, AND arrives no more than 4 hours later;
    • Less than 1 week prior (including at the gate), AND reroutes to depart no more than 1 hour earlier, AND arrives no more than 2 hours later.
  • The cancellation is due to an extraordinary circumstance, out of the airline's control.

Compensation, for cancellation or denied boarding:
  1. Cash
    • Amounts
      • €250, for Type 1 flight;
      • €400, for Type 2 flight; or
      • €600, for Type 3 flight.
    • If passenger is rerouted, the amount is 50% if the passenger arrives to the final destination no more than:
      • 2 hours, for Type 1 flight;
      • 3 hours, for Type 2 flight; or
      • 4 hours, for Type 3 flight.
    • This payment is strictly for the passenger's inconvenience, and is independent of the other forms of compensation below.
    • Passenger can negotiate other compensation with the airline, such as vouchers or credit, and waive the right to cash.
  2. Rerouting
    • If a flight is canceled, the passenger has the option of one the following:
      1. Rerouting to the same destination at the earliest opportunity in comparable conditions;
      2. Rerouting to the same destination at a later time, at the passenger's convenience, subject to seat availability; or
      3. A refund, plus a flight back to origin if applicable.
      • Partial refund if some of the flights have been used.
      • Full refund even if some of the flights have been used, if the flights no
        longer serve your purpose.
      If being rerouted to a different destination airport near the original destination, then the cost of ground transportation must be included.
  3. Refreshments, Communications, Accommodations
    • Passengers affected are entitled, free of charge, to:
    • Meals, reasonable and proportional the delay
    • 2 phone calls, faxes, or emails
    • Hotel accommodation + transportation to/from, if delay causes passenger to spend any unplanned additional nights.

Relevant rulings, decisions, and precedence:

A delay is calculated as the difference between scheduled and actual arrival times. A flight is considered to have actually arrived when one of the aircraft doors has been opened and passengers are allowed to disembark, NOT when the wheels touch down at the airport.
- Germanwings v. Henning

Mechanical delays are under the airlines' control and NOT "extraordinary circumstances"
- Wallentin-Hermann v. Alitalia (C-549/07)
- Jet2 v. Huzar

In the case where delays result in arrival to the final destination more than 3 hours after scheduled, they are effectively to be treated the same as a cancellation, for the purposes of compensation under Article 7.
- Sturgeon v. Condor (C-402/07), Böck v. Air France (C-432/07)
- Nelson v. Lufthansa
- R (TUI Travel, British Airways, easyjet and IATA) v. Civil Aviation Authority
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Old Sep 11, 15, 11:12 am
  #1  
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Arrow Compensations for Cancellations/Delays/Changes - EC 261/2004 MASTER THREAD for AF

I'm flying AF soon and was doing my research on EC 261 issues (I'm US-based) when I noticed that there wasn't a centralized place for this information in this AF forum, so I wanted to help out by starting this thread, sharing some of the info I've found, and adding a wiki for info pertaining to EC 261 and links specific to AF. I hope this will help; please ignore or delete (mods) if don't think it will.

Update: Draft wiki posted.

Last edited by IceTrojan; Sep 11, 15 at 12:59 pm
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Old Sep 14, 15, 6:18 am
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Great idea!

The only objection I have is for your definition of Type 1 flights as it also applies to flights NOT wholly within the EU of less than 1500km (As written in the EC261) for example some flights to Switzerland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man etc.

Also I'm wondering if it applies to companies that are based in territories that belong to France but are not part of the EU. For example, an Air Saint Pierre flight to YUL or an Air Tahiti Flight PPT to LAX. The document only talks about the status of Gibraltar, but you could very well book Air Calin or Air Tahiti flights with Air France.
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Old Sep 17, 15, 12:16 pm
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Just saw this article, quote from http://www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/nieuw...talen-bij-pech

BRUSSEL - Ook als een vlucht wordt geannuleerd vanwege onvoorziene technische problemen moeten luchtvaartmaatschappijen de passagiers schadevergoeding betalen. Dat oordeel sprak het Hof van Justitie van de Europese Unie donderdag uit.

De luchtvaartmaatschappij moet in zo'n geval een vergoeding van 250 tot 600 euro betalen, afhankelijk van de afstand van de vlucht. Dat hoeft echter niet als de maatschappij kan aantonen dat de annulering het gevolg is van "buitengewone" omstandigheden die zelfs niet hadden kunnen worden voorkomen als alle "redelijke maatregelen" waren getroffen. Ook bij verborgen fabricagefouten, sabotage of terrorisme hoeft geen vergoeding te worden uitgekeerd.

De zaak ging over een passagier van een KLM-vlucht vanuit Ecuador die met 29 uur vertraging aankwam in Amsterdam. Volgens KLM kwam de vertraging door "buitengewone omstandigheden": een kapotte brandstofpomp en een defecte hydraulische eenheid die goed waren onderhouden. Het hof ziet dit echter niet als buitengewoon.

EUClaim, dat passagiers bijstaat bij het krijgen van schadevergoedingen na vertraging, vindt het oordeel van de rechters "geheel in de lijn der verwachting". De organisatie stelt vast dat een technisch mankement inherent is aan de bedrijfsvoering van een luchtvaartmaatschappij en daarom dus niet als buitengewone omstandigheid gezien mag worden.
Translation: A new court case against KLM has been decided in favour of the pax claiming compensation. The European court has ruled on Thursday that a delay caused by a technical failure of the aircraft can not be seen as extraordinary circumstances. In this specific case a broken fuel pump is something that should be expected when operating flights and is therefore not extraordinary.

Personally I have had AF skimping on compensation on exactly such issue. Flight computer kept crashing while taxiing to the runway. Air France never accepted that such issues result from operating the aircraft all day long - and only after sending a dozen emails back and forth they offered a 150 euro voucher: Not as compensation, but rather as gesture of goodwill. This verdict proves that I should have received the full 400 euros compensation.
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Old Sep 17, 15, 5:02 pm
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As a data points, I had a YYZ-CDG-LHR flight delayed a few years back for just under 4 hours.

I emailed AF and they sent me 100GBP voucher per passenger.

I didn't know about EC261 and so left it at that. About 9 months later I emailed them again citing EC261 and without any resistance sent me an option of 300EUR cash or 400EUR travel voucher.

I've already used both travel vouchers.
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Old Sep 17, 15, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
The issue is discussed in this thread with a reference to that particular judgment in post #27.
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Old Sep 18, 15, 6:23 am
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It seems that I missed the recent activity in that discussion. Thanks for referencing the other thread, may be of value to this AF topic as well.
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Old Sep 20, 15, 9:43 am
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I was scheduled to fly the following today:
AF CDG-AMS
1h30m layover in AMS
DL AMS-SEA

The AF flight was 20 minutes delayed by late arrival of the inbound aircraft. After boarding they said they had previously flown CDG-AMS and AMS-CDG that morning, and that the engine wasn't performing to spec (too high of oil consumption). They looked at it for a while and then announced that they were going to get a replacement aircraft, which would cause a delay of about 3 hours and told everyone to disembark. This would cause a missed connection in AMS for me so I went into the AF lounge and had them look into rebooking options. There was room on today's DL CDG-SEA nonstop, but they wouldn't let me on it because they wouldn't be able get my luggage switched over in time. Other re-routing options (such as today via LAX,SFO,JFK were sold out) So they rebooked me onto tomorrow's CDG-SEA non stop, which will get me into SEA 22h58m later than originally scheduled.

Is this covered? What are my next steps, and what should I expect?
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Old Sep 20, 15, 3:24 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by SEA-Flyer View Post
I was scheduled to fly the following today:
AF CDG-AMS
1h30m layover in AMS
DL AMS-SEA

The AF flight was 20 minutes delayed by late arrival of the inbound aircraft. After boarding they said they had previously flown CDG-AMS and AMS-CDG that morning, and that the engine wasn't performing to spec (too high of oil consumption). They looked at it for a while and then announced that they were going to get a replacement aircraft, which would cause a delay of about 3 hours and told everyone to disembark. This would cause a missed connection in AMS for me so I went into the AF lounge and had them look into rebooking options. There was room on today's DL CDG-SEA nonstop, but they wouldn't let me on it because they wouldn't be able get my luggage switched over in time. Other re-routing options (such as today via LAX,SFO,JFK were sold out) So they rebooked me onto tomorrow's CDG-SEA non stop, which will get me into SEA 22h58m later than originally scheduled.

Is this covered? What are my next steps, and what should I expect?
Yes, it is covered and you should be entitled to €600 compensation (in addition to overnight accommodation and meals but I assume that AF has provided that).
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Old Sep 20, 15, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Yes, it is covered and you should be entitled to €600 compensation (in addition to overnight accommodation and meals but I assume that AF has provided that).
No meals or accommodation - but those weren't really an issue. For food, I ate in their lounge (DL Diamond Medallion with a business class ticket) while they sorted it out. For accommodation, they gave me two taxi vouchers and I went back to my apartment.
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Old Sep 21, 15, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by SEA-Flyer View Post
No meals or accommodation - but those weren't really an issue. For food, I ate in their lounge (DL Diamond Medallion with a business class ticket) while they sorted it out. For accommodation, they gave me two taxi vouchers and I went back to my apartment.
Although I only used one voucher (the one to get home from the airport). Stepped out of my apartment this morning, took one look at traffic, and just kept walking to Les Halles to catch the RER B.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 11:30 am
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I thought of a nuanced hypothetical I haven't read about yet:

Let's say you have AAA-CDG-BBB booked, all Type 1 flights. You have a 23-hour connection in CDG, an intentional long layover to visit the city overnight.

Your AAA-CDG flight is canceled, and rebooked onto another AAA-CDG flight 24 hours later (small airport, limited connections).

But because of the long layover, you merely have to be rebooked onto the next CDG-BBB flight and be late to your final destination by 4 hours.

What should happen with the cash compensation in his scenario?
  • AAA-CDG and CDG-BBB are treated as two separate flights, so would be €250 for the cancellation, and €250 for the delay of 2+ hours; OR
  • AAA-CDG-BBB is treated as one flight, so only €250 for the 2+ hour delay to the final destination.

Originally Posted by Chuvash View Post
Great idea!

The only objection I have is for your definition of Type 1 flights as it also applies to flights NOT wholly within the EU of less than 1500km (As written in the EC261) for example some flights to Switzerland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man etc.
Thanks for pointing that out, I've updated the wiki to say ALL flights under 1,500 km.

Last edited by IceTrojan; Sep 28, 15 at 7:30 am Reason: Correction
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Old Sep 26, 15, 2:10 pm
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(such as today via LAX,SFO,JFK were sold out)
this is bull****.
AF just didn't want to pay DL for carrying the passenger on US-domestic segments,
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Old Sep 26, 15, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
this is bull****.
AF just didn't want to pay DL for carrying the passenger on US-domestic segments,
I actually checked - all the remaining AF flights for the day were showing J0 with two exceptions:
CDG-JFK had J1, but JFK-SEA had no seats available in either F or Y - would have been forced overnight in JFK (not interested).
CDG-ATL had J1, but ATL-SEA had only seats in Y and got into SEA after midnight (no thanks).

Also, because the itinerary was for Europe-US, I believe that any revenue/expenses would be split by the AF/KL/DL joint venture, so it wouldn't be the case of AF needing to pay DL for the US-domestic segment. As I understand, the JV doesn't apply to just the intercontinental flights, but rather to the fare and routing, so any US domestic or intra-Europe connections are included in the JV.

Last edited by SEA-Flyer; Sep 27, 15 at 9:11 am
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Old Sep 28, 15, 3:34 am
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Originally Posted by IceTrojan View Post
I thought of a nuanced hypothetical I haven't read about yet:

Let's say you have AAA-CDG-BBB booked, all Type 1 flights. You have a 23-hour connection in CDG, an intentional long layover to visit the city overnight.

Your AAA-CDG flight is canceled, and rebooked onto another AAA-CDG flight 24 hours later (small airport, limited connections).

But because of the long layover, you merely have to be rebooked onto the next CDG-BBB flight and be late to your final destination by 4 hours.

What should happen with the cash compensation in his scenario?
  • AAA-CDG and CDG-BBB are treated as two separate flights, so would be €200 for the cancellation, and €200 for the delay of 2+ hours; OR
  • AAA-CDG-BBB is treated as one flight, so only €200 for the 2+ hour delay to the final destination.
For determining the distance for compensation, the reg states:
Originally Posted by Reg 261/2004, Art 7(1)
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.
If the last destination at which you are delayed is BBB, then it would see that AAA-cdg-BBB should be the basis. OTOH, if they get you to CDG on the same day so that your flight to BBB the next day is not delayed, then it could conceivably be argued that you are owed compensation for the delay on AAA-CDG specifically.
This is all rather speculative as we have no precedents and arguments could be made either way on these. One thing I would be pretty sure of, however, is that you could not claim two distinct sets of compensation for one single canx/delay incident. Thus, you would not be able to claim for AAA-CDG and distinctly for CDG-BBB. It would either be claiming for AAA-CDG or AAA-(cdg)-BBB (unless there is a distinct non-consequential additional delay/canx on the CDG-BBB flight itself in addition to the delay/canx on the AAA-CDG).

Incidentally, I do not understand where those €200 figures come from.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 7:29 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Incidentally, I do not understand where those €200 figures come from.
Thanks for that analysis. I'll also update the part and wiki...simple clerical error leading to incorrect values. Type 1 compensation is €250 of course.
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