Air France EC 261/2004 Compensation- AF "flight" by train

Old Mar 17, 19, 2:08 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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Air France EC 261/2004 Compensation- AF "flight" by train

I have been denied compensation by AF.

These are the circumstances:

-Ticket North America-Brussels via Paris / CDG-BRU by
train with AF flight number;
-the day before the flight, e-mail informing that the segment CDG-BRU is delayed
"due to operational constraints.";
-Arrival in CDG from North-America with 1 hour delay;
- train segment is cancelled;
-Arrival in BRU with next train and more than 3 hours delay.

AF is refusing the EC 261/2004 compensation. Their position is that for a potential compensation, can only be taken into account the North America-Paris segment (which had <3 hours delay) and not the Paris-Brussels segment because it was done by train.

I challenged the AF position with the following points:

-CDG-BRU is by train but with AF flight number (thus different than the Rail&Fly TKT for train connections to German airports);
-the train segment is subject to all rules applying to air TKT, and especially the one largely discussed on this forum...("
passenger not boarding the train will be deemed to be in breach of the conditions and cannot be checked in on his/her continuation flight: his/her ticket will no longer be valid")
-it cannot reasonably be disputed by Air France that all the segments initially covered by the transport contract must be taken into account, ie from North America to Brussels. The jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union obliges air carriers to take into account the arrival at the final destination for the compensation of the delay. Air France has already been condemned by the Court of Justice on this specific point. The departure destination being North America, and the final destination being Brussels, it is indeed an end-to-end transport contract, which covers a total distance of more than 3500km.
-the delay is due to the decision of Air France to keep the initial routing, while they could have checked me on a KLM flight leaving at roughly the same time and, thru AMS, I would have been in Brussels on time;
-with Air France's position, it would be easy for an airline to put its customers on a train or a coach for all the last segments and thus systematically escape the obligation to compensate. I did not contract with a railway company, but only with Air France. The segment is on an AF carriage with an AF flight number. My ticket issued also indicated that CDG-BRU was operated by Air France. It is therefore up to Air France, as an airline, to assume contractual responsibility towards the customer and to assume the obligations of indemnification of the European regulation.
-imagine the transatlantic segment was to be more than 3 hours late, but - due to a long stop over in CDG- I would have arrived in BRU on time, I doubt very much that AF would have granted the compensation.

Various polite mail exchanges with AF, and they stand their ground...

I know the R. 261 refers to airplanes, and the Interpretative Communication of the Commission excludes the trains in general (but here we are not talking about "any train" such as with the Rail&Fly system, but an AF carriage with an AF flight number - and Flying Blue miles credit) .

Any experience on this matter? In particular, I could not find decision of a National Enforcement Body (France or Belgium) or the Court of Justice of the EU.

Thank for your input on this mater.
krztravel is offline  
Old Mar 17, 19, 3:13 pm
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AF is entirely correct. The clear terms of EC 261/2004 make it a certainty that your ticket was on a train, not a flight (the fact that it may have had an AF flight number is irrelevant and a red herring.

Your argument also does not hold water because the example you give is irrelevant. Had you been scheduled to fly from CDG-BRU and that aircraft been cancelled and had you been otherwise transported, the Regulation would then have applied because it involved a flight cancellation and had your arrival at BRU been similarly delayed, you would have been due EUR 300 by the operating carrier of the cancelled flight.
Often1 is offline  
Old Mar 17, 19, 5:29 pm
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I agree with Often1's post. FWIW, there is a rail passenger rights regulation. For a summary of its provision, see here. And for the full legal text, see here.
Disclaimer; I have not checked whether, and if so how, the rail passenger rights regulation applies in case of an intermodal transport ticket.
NickB is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 3:38 am
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Read section 6 of the interpretative Guidelines on Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 (

6. COMPENSATION, REIMBURSEMENT, RE-ROUTING AND CARE IN THE CASE OF MULTIMODAL JOURNEYSMultimodal journeys involving more than one mode of transport under a single transport contract (e.g. a journey by rail and air sold as a single journey) are not covered as such under the Regulation, nor are they covered by any Union legislation on passenger rights in other modes of transport. If a passenger misses a flight because of a delayed train, he or she would only benefit from the rights to compensation and assistance granted by Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council (54) in relation to the rail journey, and then only if the passenger was delayed by more than 60 minutes at the destination (55). By the same token, other provisions would apply in the case of a flight missed following a delayed ship or coach journey in the context of a single contract of carriage (56). However, organisers of packages may be liable under Directive 90/314/EEC or Directive (EU) 2015/2302 also for the missed flights and the impact on the package as a whole if the multimodal journey forms part of a combination with other travel services, e.g. accommodation.
You are not protected as a single multimodal journey by the Regulation but for each leg, the adequat legislation applies. As your flight to CDG was only delayed by an hour, you are not entitled to any compensation under the airline regulation but compensation may apply under for your train leg under (EC) 1371/2007.

Regarding your comments:
- the AF flight number is irrelevant, in such situations the operating carrier is what matters (if your flight from NA to CDG would have been operated by DL under an AF flight code and would have been seriously delayed, you wouldn't have been entitled to any compensation under the EU regation),
- you need to make a clear distinction between the regulatory provisions and the airline provisions (under the general conditions of your ticket). The "no-show rule" is not a regulatory thing.

And last but not least, yes, air passenger rights are way better than rail passenger ones!
Porcepic is offline  
Old Mar 22, 19, 5:19 am
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Thx for your input.

For the record, my TKT mentionned not only the flight number but also that the segment was "operated by AF".

Anyway, the main argument in this case lies probably in art. 3, 4: "This Regulation shall only apply to passengers transported by motorised fixed wing aircraft "
krztravel is offline  
Old Mar 22, 19, 6:00 am
Join Date: May 2017
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If your train was cancelled and the next train arrived three hours late, then you should apply for a 50% refund of the train ticket cost, per Article 17 of Regulation 1371/2007. The price of the train ticket is probably supposed to be a portion of what you paid in total for the train and the flight. The tricky thing is to determine this amount.
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