EC261/2004 - AF's interpretation

Old Apr 1, 19, 9:01 pm
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EC261/2004 - AF's interpretation

Booked a flight from ATH/CDG/YUL in one ticket. The layover at CDG was 1 hour 5 minutes. Delay departure from ATH for 35 minutes due to late inbound aircraft. Was forced to reroute to ATH/CDG/AMS/YUL with one day delay. AF claims that it is below 3 hour delays therefore there is no compensation, plus there are "extraordinary" circumstances. This sounds ridiculous to me.... What should be the next step?
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Old Apr 1, 19, 9:20 pm
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Tell them that what matters is the delay at the final destination and to reconsider, then involve a lawyer or one of the known agencies that help you claim your money.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 12:37 am
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Only question is why the 35 min delay from ATH... unless it is indeed "extraordinary circumstances" you should be due compensation.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Only question is why the 35 min delay from ATH... unless it is indeed "extraordinary circumstances" you should be due compensation.
I was told that there is ATC control. in fact, the flight departed and there was no delay in ATH. Just that the inbound flight from CDG was a delay for 1 hour. I think they refer ATC delay with inbound flight, but I doubt this is a reasonable excuse to consider this as "extraordinary" circumstances.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 7:52 am
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+1 on what others said.
Send them another message asking which extraordinary circumstances they are referring to.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 8:39 am
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ATC issues could have been in CDG or elsewhere along the route, if indeed ATC caused the delay to your incoming flight it is a tricky one and I think it will be hard to convince anyone that your delay could have been avoided.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 9:23 am
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You can ask the airline to produce evidence about what they are stating. See 5.1 of the interpretative guidelines from the EC:
The carriers may provide as proof extracts from log books or incident reports and/or external documents and statements. In cases where reference is made to such proof in the reply to the passenger and/or to the national enforcement body, they should also be transmitted. Where the air carrier seeks to rely on the defence of extraordinary circumstances, such proof should be provided free of charge by the air carrier to the national enforcement body and the passengers in line with national provisions regarding access to documents.
It should be assumed the circumstance is not extraordinary unless the airline can prove it is.

Do note though that if for instance the inbound flight was late due to ATC restrictions at CDG following bad weather, AF is likely right stating it is extraordinary (except if you have evidence the aircraft did spend a very long and unusual time on ground at ATH). It would not have been the same if your return flight CDG-ATH would have been delayed due to a late arrival of the aircraft at CDG, as then in this case AF could have found a spare aircraft at its home base.

In your case, though, I have the feeling the problem is more that an agent has not clearly understood your case (otherwise AF would rather pretend it is due to extraordinary circumstance instead of stating your delay was below 3 hour...). I would rather kindly reply them with factual data, and then wait for their answer before escalating this more aggressively.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 9:39 am
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I would take this step at a time. I would also avoid using words such as "ridiculous" as AF may well be correct and you have no idea what ATC issues there may have been.

As OP was delayed by more than 4 hours at his final ticketed destination, e.g. YUL, EC 261/2004 compensation of EUR 600 is due unless the delay was the result of extraordinary circumstances. I would restate the claim in those terms. If denied again, you may ask AF to voluntarily produce the records demonstrating the ATC delay to you in lieu of a claim which you could make in either Greece or France. The burden would be on AF to prove the existence of the delay, not on you to disprove it. But, to be frank, it is not going to take much for AF to lay this out, so do not go spending those funds.

Whatever the reason for the delay, AF did have a duty of care to you for the hotel and intervening meals. I take it that AF either provided vouchers or has or is willing to reimburse for those.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I would take this step at a time. I would also avoid using words such as "ridiculous" as AF may well be correct and you have no idea what ATC issues there may have been.
I would also look at how the OP was rerouted. The OP ended up a full day late. Was there no faster option? Transit through the US may or may not be possible (requires ESTA or similar).
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Old Apr 2, 19, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
I would also look at how the OP was rerouted. The OP ended up a full day late. Was there no faster option? Transit through the US may or may not be possible (requires ESTA or similar).
There is a flight CDG-YUL that departs at around 6:30 PM. And the latest CDG-JFK will only depart at around 7:30 PM, which will not be possible to catch the last JFK-YUL at around 10:00 PM.

I usually find AF pretty generous in paying compensation like this, they sometimes even do that proactively (maybe due to status?). So I will be surprised if they refuse OP's request.

If OP can provide more details (which flight, what date, how you got rerouted, accommodation, etc.), there can definitely more advice from the forum.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by tbaiyun View Post
There is a flight CDG-YUL that departs at around 6:30 PM. And the latest CDG-JFK will only depart at around 7:30 PM, which will not be possible to catch the last JFK-YUL at around 10:00 PM.

I usually find AF pretty generous in paying compensation like this, they sometimes even do that proactively (maybe due to status?). So I will be surprised if they refuse OP's request.

If OP can provide more details (which flight, what date, how you got rerouted, accommodation, etc.), there can definitely more advice from the forum.
AF is not generous. Rather, it abides by the rules and pays out promptly when compensation is due. This leads me to the conclusion that it does not play silly games and thus if it is not paying here, is not likely fabricating an ATC delay in order to avoid payent.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:29 pm
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Even if there is ATC delay from the CDG/ATH leg, as I am travelling from CDG/ATH, should I still be subject to their so-called "extraordinary circumstances" defence?
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by tbaiyun View Post
There is a flight CDG-YUL that departs at around 6:30 PM. And the latest CDG-JFK will only depart at around 7:30 PM, which will not be possible to catch the last JFK-YUL at around 10:00 PM.

I usually find AF pretty generous in paying compensation like this, they sometimes even do that proactively (maybe due to status?). So I will be surprised if they refuse OP's request.

If OP can provide more details (which flight, what date, how you got rerouted, accommodation, etc.), there can definitely more advice from the forum.
Once arrived in CDG, there is an agent at the gate telling us not to rush to the gate. There was also 40+ students with 2 teachers connecting the YUL flight as well. I was surprised that AF did not bother to delay the CDG/YUL leg since there is 30-40+ people connecting to YUL. Anyway, It has taken quite a bit of time to get to the ticketing desk and we were told that I can travel via USA or through AMS. Since there was 40+ students also stranded at CDG, the agent told me that they will wait at CDG to get on the two flights. She advised us to reroute to AMS to take KLM to YUL instead.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by tobiashenry View Post
Once arrived in CDG, there is an agent at the gate telling us not to rush to the gate. There was also 40+ students with 2 teachers connecting the YUL flight as well. I was surprised that AF did not bother to delay the CDG/YUL leg since there is 30-40+ people connecting to YUL. Anyway, It has taken quite a bit of time to get to the ticketing desk and we were told that I can travel via USA or through AMS. Since there was 40+ students also stranded at CDG, the agent told me that they will wait at CDG to get on the two flights. She advised us to reroute to AMS to take KLM to YUL instead.
AF might have had other PAX take up their place, if there were ATC delays in CDG they probably had to reroute other PAX as well...
If you share the detail of your flights (date + flight numbers) someone might be able to check further and give some more concrete info.
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Old Apr 2, 19, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
AF might have had other PAX take up their place, if there were ATC delays in CDG they probably had to reroute other PAX as well...
If you share the detail of your flights (date + flight numbers) someone might be able to check further and give some more concrete info.
This is AF1533 (ATH/CDG) on 10 March 2019 and we are connecting to AF348. If anyone can assist me, that's greatly appreciated.
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