Question about "odd" compensation from AF

Old Dec 23, 18, 4:44 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 272
Question about "odd" compensation from AF

My better half was scheduled to fly in coach from CDG to JFK on January 2nd, on AF6, arriving in JFK at 3:55pm. No status at all on FB, and purchased an exit row seat on the upper deck of the A380.
A couple of days ago, on December 21st, we received an email saying that they can "no longer accommodate" him, and they put him on the next flight (AF10 on the 777), arriving at 6:55pm - exactly 3 hours later. They also downgraded his seat to a "regular" seat, but no mention of a refund on that...

However, we just received an email from Air France that is quite hard to understand honestly and makes no sense, but it's a 400 euros voucher. It just says "IRG-DBC involuntary non refundable". I'm quite puzzled as it sounds like a huge compensation for this issue. This can't be EU261, right? Because per the conditions, compensation does not apply if :

In the event that your flight is canceled, you are entitled to compensation except in the following circumstances: [...]
  • If you were informed of the cancelation between 2 weeks and 7 days before your planned departure time and you were offered an alternative flight that would have enabled you to depart up to a maximum of 2 hours before your original planned departure time and to arrive at your final destination less than 4 hours after your original planned arrival time
And unless I'm missing something we are in this case.

Also the only place in EU261 where I see 400 euros is this:

Transportation credit voucher amounts (non-refundable):
- A – Flights up to 1,500 km: *€350
- B – Flights within the EU of more than 1,500 km, and all other flights
between 1,500 and 3,500 km: *€500
- C – Non-EU flights of more than 3,500 km: *€800

Compensation amounts (cash):
- A – Flights up to 1,500 km: *€250
- B – Flights within the EU of more than 1,500 km, and all other flights
between 1,500 and 3,500 km: *€400
- C – Non-EU flights of more than 3,500 km: *€600
* This transportation credit voucher amount / compensation may be reduced by 50% if the arrival time of the alternative flight does not exceed the initial scheduled arrival time by 2 hours (for flights under category A), 3 hours (for flights under category B) or 4 hours (for flights under category C).
Anyone with better insights could clarify if I'm missing something? Also, I should still probably request a refund for the seat option they are no longer honoring right?
Klems is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 1:59 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: FB AF Silver, BA Gold
Posts: 11,387
That amount seems right to me. This is Denied Boarding Compensation (DBC) and is dealt in Article 4 of EC261, which then refers to Article 7. Your first quote is about .Article 5 Cancellation, but this is irrelevant as the flight is not cancelled but you are denied boarding.
You can choose to be compensated in cash (300) or in voucher (400).

Denied boarding would entitle you to a 800 voucher (flights over 3500km). But because your arrival to destination is less than 4 hours after the original flight, the compensation is reduced by 50%, hence 400 (or 300 in cash).

Before claiming the refund for the "regular" seat, I would wait to see whether AF10 arrives on time. If it is delayed by more than an hour, then the voucher should be 800 not 400.

Last edited by brunos; Dec 24, 18 at 2:07 am
brunos is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 3:25 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 272
Originally Posted by brunos View Post
the flight is not cancelled but you are denied boarding.
Ah, good catch @brunos , thanks! I actually wasn't sure what DBC meant. I also simply assumed that the flight had been cancelled, since we are still nearly 10 days prior to the flight and I had not imagined that it could already be overbooked (but I just checked ExpertFlyer and it shows 0 in every single fare): That's kinda crazy but I guess loads are high on that day.

Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Before claiming the refund for the "regular" seat, I would wait to see whether AF10 arrives on time. If it is delayed by more than an hour, then the voucher should be 800 not 400.
Right, that's what I am going to do, thanks a lot for the advice.
Despite the inconvenience, I have to give Air France credit for being proactive about compensation, when usually one has to harrass airlines to get anything...
Klems is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 3:40 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum; Marriott Bonvoy Titanium; Hilton Gold
Posts: 586
Regardless of the voucher you get, I'd also ask about the exit row seat refund once the flight is taken.
Klems and Icydubloon like this.
Sjondorn is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 4:19 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life/Club2000 Ultimate, UA Mileage plus, Le Club Accorhotels platinum
Posts: 13,965
Indeed, AF is now very good at issuing compensation vouchers proactively and right away. And also to handle rebookings in case of irrops, overbooking, etc.
The load factors and level of overbooking on that day should be really high for them to do that kind of actions so many days in advance.
Klems likes this.
Goldorak is online now  
Old Dec 24, 18, 5:42 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: FB AF Silver, BA Gold
Posts: 11,387
I think the reason they needed to move pax is because they substituted a 77W to the A388. AF6 is operated by A380 till 1 January then changed to a 77W.
brunos is offline  
Old Dec 24, 18, 6:04 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 272
Originally Posted by Sjondorn View Post
Regardless of the voucher you get, I'd also ask about the exit row seat refund once the flight is taken.
Agreed. They are also very sneaky about it, because they did provide an exit row seat on the 777-300 at row 39. However, it is a window seat and those are considered standard, unlike the aisle and middle seats for which you have to pay extra (I once traveled in that window seat and it is incredibly claustrophobic with the curvature of the aircraft in that area).
Unfortunately for AF I'm knowledgeable enough to have noticed that, but I can only imagine the number of people who have no idea and AF is gambling on people's ignorance to make a few extra bucks.

Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
Indeed, AF is now very good at issuing compensation vouchers proactively and right away. And also to handle rebookings in case of irrops, overbooking, etc.
That's really good to know. Although in retrospect I'm a bit annoyed that they would not give the option to select cash instead of a voucher - I assume I can call and request that they switch it.

Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I think the reason they needed to move pax is because they substituted a 77W to the A388. AF6 is operated by A380 till 1 January then changed to a 77W.
Indeed, and in retrospect maybe because the loads are lower at that time of the year? Because the other flights of the day still have availability, despite AF probably having reaccommodated everyone at this point.
Klems is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread