Help navigating AF EU261 claim

Old Mar 22, 2022, 12:47 pm
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Help navigating AF EU261 claim

Apologies if there's a thread this should be merged with (mods please feel free to do so if I've overlooked it). I would sincerely appreciate any and all help with the following issue I experienced with AF.

Early Dec 2021 (3.5 months ago) I was to fly XXX-CDG-CPT. Approximately 24-hours before departure I received notification that my AF CDG-CPT flight was cancelled and I was re-booked onto KL XXX-AMS-CPT. Not a big deal since both flights arrived within roughly 1-hour of each other.

The return was a mess. I was only in CPT for 4-days total and approximately 24-hours after arriving into CPT I received an email from AF stating that my upcoming return CPT-CDG flight, which was scheduled to depart at 12:20am was delayed until 10:20pm that evening (22-hours later) and instead of flying CPT-CDG-XXX and arriving on the same day, I would now arrive at XXX the following day which wasn't an option. I spent several hours of playing HUACA with multiple agents who basically didn't want to help and said I was stuck. Finally, I got through on my 4th attempt to a competent agent who basically said "The only option I have is you packing your bags right now, getting to CPT airport ASAP and I can book you on UA's CPT-EWR-XXX flight." So I had to cut my trip short 2 days to fly home.

I filed a claim immediately upon arriving back in the US and it's now been over 3.5 months and I've received no update on my claim. It just lists it as "still in process." Given I'm SkyTeam Elite and was flying Business class I would have thought it would have helped expedite things. But that's not the case.

Any help on how to escalate or get this reviewed would be appreciated. I'm working under the assumption I indeed qualify for EU261 compensation since the delay was only indicated with 48-hours notice *and* I had to cut my vacation short 2-days to get home in a timely manner. If I'm mistaken and not eligible it would be helpful to know that as well so I stop chasing this. Thanks in advance for any and all help!
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Old Mar 22, 2022, 1:10 pm
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For complex cases , with essentially nothing to loose , i would recommend to reach a 3rd party company specialized in such matter , It might be more efficient than you waiting for 3 months

They will analyse your case and quickly help to determine if you are entitled to eu ec261 or not , if yes they will handle everything on your behalf and take a percentage of the compensation in the end
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Last edited by fifty_two; Mar 22, 2022 at 6:43 pm
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Old Mar 22, 2022, 5:29 pm
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What is the basis of your claim and what do you want to accomplish?

Not an expert here. However, it looks like AirFrance delivered you to your destination without any delay. I think you'd be eligible for compensation of 600 if and only if you wre delayed by 3 hours on a flight this long.
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Old Mar 22, 2022, 10:54 pm
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Would be useful if you did not kep XXX a secret. Where is XXX,, is that in US?
Was XXX-CDG on AF and ticket issued by AF.?

You accepted the rerouting and arrived earlier than your initial itinerary, I am not sure that it qualifies for EC261.
If you had flown the proposed itin with a delay of a day, you would have been eligible for 600 and cost of care, but in your situation?
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Last edited by brunos; Mar 22, 2022 at 11:10 pm
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Old Mar 24, 2022, 7:01 am
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Originally Posted by brunos
Would be useful if you did not kep XXX a secret. Where is XXX,, is that in US?
Was XXX-CDG on AF and ticket issued by AF.?

You accepted the rerouting and arrived earlier than your initial itinerary, I am not sure that it qualifies for EC261.
If you had flown the proposed itin with a delay of a day, you would have been eligible for 600 and cost of care, but in your situation?
Certainly didn't mean to be so secretive, but yes XXX is the US. Ticket was issued by KLM (074) but all flights were on AF and they operate as one company essentially.

In terms of your second point - I completely see your rationale and it's why I made this post to begin with. Yes, I accepted a routing that got me me home earlier, but not because I all of a sudden wanted to leave or go home earlier. That's why I'm confused. I lost 2 nights of prepaid hotel at the 12 Apostles in Cape Town, 2 days of prepaid car rentals, lost money from a non-refundable private great white shark diving tour in Gansbaai. Those costs alone would be well over €600. I would think AF would jump at the chance to repay the €600 and call it a day. The only other option would have been to accept the delay (which was AF fault - no weather, no ATC) which would have required them to pay the €600. So I don't really understand the logic "you accepted the routing and got home earlier" when that was never what we wanted, but the only option that didn't get us home severely delayed (24-hours).

Our original flights:
AF CPT-CDG 12:20am - 10:30am (same day)
AF CPT-US 1pm-3:30pm (same day)

Delayed flights:
AF CPT-CDG 10:20PM - 8am (following day)
AF CDG-US 1pm-3:30 (following day and a full 24-hours later)

Last edited by LikeaGVI; Mar 24, 2022 at 7:24 am
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Old Mar 24, 2022, 9:21 am
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Have you considered making a claim on your travel insurance?

Just for the record, I finally got a reply from AF yesterday, 3 months and 1 day after submitting nothing more complicated than a simple cancellation and a corresponding request for a voucher. I've never had to wait this long with KLM, but AF appears to be processing even the simplest of requests with a much larger delay.
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Old Mar 24, 2022, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
Have you considered making a claim on your travel insurance?

Just for the record, I finally got a reply from AF yesterday, 3 months and 1 day after submitting nothing more complicated than a simple cancellation and a corresponding request for a voucher. I've never had to wait this long with KLM, but AF appears to be processing even the simplest of requests with a much larger delay.
I haven't because I wanted to start with AF and see where that got me. I actually just spoke with an AF customer service rep on their US line and she gave me an email address to reach out to using my claim # as the subject line and explain what happened. She encouraged me to do it because she felt as though it fell under the EU261 compensation guidelines. If this is helpful for anyone else experiencing a long wait for refund or compensation the email address is - [email protected]
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Old Mar 24, 2022, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by LikeaGVI
I haven't because I wanted to start with AF and see where that got me.
Air France will not compensate you for unused tours, accommodations, car rentals or any other out of pocket expenses or incurred losses. Their liability to you is solely for the cancellation, and is capped at a maximum of €600 per person.

If your actual losses are insured, then you would be well advised to immediately claim for them on your travel insurance. EC261/2004 is not a form of travel insurance, and you should definitely now fall back on your travel insurance to make good whatever losses you can. This is an issue that is separate from the €600 that you may or may not be able to extract from Air France.
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Old Mar 24, 2022, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
Air France will not compensate you for unused tours, accommodations, car rentals or any other out of pocket expenses or incurred losses. Their liability to you is solely for the cancellation, and is capped at a maximum of €600 per person.

If your actual losses are insured, then you would be well advised to immediately claim for them on your travel insurance. EC261/2004 is not a form of travel insurance, and you should definitely now fall back on your travel insurance to make good whatever losses you can. This is an issue that is separate from the €600 that you may or may not be able to extract from Air France.
Perhaps I've misunderstood, but my understanding of EC261 is that in addition to the €600 compensation for delays to your final destination of more than 4-hours an EU carrier (in this case AF) is also responsible for accommodations and food, so well beyond just the €600. Now I fully am aware of the nuance of my case and I would agree that for car rentals, unused tours, etc won't be covered and your advice to take that up with travel insurance is appreciated.
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Old Mar 24, 2022, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by LikeaGVI
Perhaps I've misunderstood, but my understanding of EC261 is that in addition to the €600 compensation for delays to your final destination of more than 4-hours an EU carrier (in this case AF) is also responsible for accommodations and food, so well beyond just the €600.
No; the regulation only imposes a requirement of duty of care on the airlines for customers impacted by a cancellation (such as providing accommodation for pax whose replacement flight does not leave until the next day). In your specific case, this means that - had you taken the flight offered on the day after your booked return - AF would have been responsible for putting you up for the extra night required at CPT. It does not require the airline to compensate passengers for any missed tours, missed events, missed job interviews, unused hotel bookings, or any other disruption due to the cancellation/delay.

The amounts of compensation are fixed in the regulation (the longer the flight and the longer the delay, the greater the compensation); airlines may offer you a higher amount if taken in the form of a nonrefundable travel voucher to be spent with that airline, but no airline will offer you a cash amount greater than what is required under the law, regardless of the extent of additional losses you may have sustained.

This means that the regulation is clearly not a replacement for good travel insurance. The regulation is intended as a means of giving the airlines pause before deciding at short notice to cause disruption to their passengers, thereby making it less likely that they would cancel flights without good reason; it is not intended as a measure by which the airlines are further required to "make good" the losses of each individual affected customer.

Your only recourse for those losses is your travel insurance; airlines have no further financial obligation to you beyond the fixed amounts mentioned in the regulation (which in your case is €600).
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Old Mar 25, 2022, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by LikeaGVI
Perhaps I've misunderstood, but my understanding of EC261 is that in addition to the 600 compensation for delays to your final destination of more than 4-hours an EU carrier (in this case AF) is also responsible for accommodations and food, so well beyond just the 600.
As explained by irishguy28, the operating carrier is responsible under Reg 261/2004 for additional accommodation and meals necessitated as a consequence of a rescheduling entailing additional nights at destination (or en route). Lost prepaid accommodation, excursion or car rental costs as a consequence of having to cut short a stay are not covered by the Reg.
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Old Mar 25, 2022, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by irishguy28
No; the regulation only imposes a requirement of duty of care on the airlines for customers impacted by a cancellation (such as providing accommodation for pax whose replacement flight does not leave until the next day). In your specific case, this means that - had you taken the flight offered on the day after your booked return - AF would have been responsible for putting you up for the extra night required at CPT. It does not require the airline to compensate passengers for any missed tours, missed events, missed job interviews, unused hotel bookings, or any other disruption due to the cancellation/delay.

The amounts of compensation are fixed in the regulation (the longer the flight and the longer the delay, the greater the compensation); airlines may offer you a higher amount if taken in the form of a nonrefundable travel voucher to be spent with that airline, but no airline will offer you a cash amount greater than what is required under the law, regardless of the extent of additional losses you may have sustained.

This means that the regulation is clearly not a replacement for good travel insurance. The regulation is intended as a means of giving the airlines pause before deciding at short notice to cause disruption to their passengers, thereby making it less likely that they would cancel flights without good reason; it is not intended as a measure by which the airlines are further required to "make good" the losses of each individual affected customer.

Your only recourse for those losses is your travel insurance; airlines have no further financial obligation to you beyond the fixed amounts mentioned in the regulation (which in your case is 600).
I very much appreciate any and all feedback. But what would be most helpful to me and anyone else that finds this thread and is in a similar situation is if you could please not continue to harp on something I've already acknowledged. For example you said - It does not require the airline to compensate passengers for any missed tours, missed events, missed job interviews, unused hotel bookings, or any other disruption due to the cancellation/delay.

However, I acknowledged I was clear on that point and in my earlier post you replied to I said - "Now I fully am aware of the nuance of my case and I would agree that for car rentals, unused tours, etc won't be covered and your advice to take that up with travel insurance is appreciated"

I don't see the value you bring beating a drum that was already beat and that I acknowledged? What am I missing?
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Old Mar 25, 2022, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB
As explained by irishguy28, the operating carrier is responsible under Reg 261/2004 for additional accommodation and meals necessitated as a consequence of a rescheduling entailing additional nights at destination (or en route). Lost prepaid accommodation, excursion or car rental costs as a consequence of having to cut short a stay are not covered by the Reg.
Just as I asked of irishguy28 I would ask the same of you. If you're already acknowledging irishguy28 has explained what the carrier is responsible for, and again restate lost prepaid accommodations, excursions, etc are not covered when I've already acknowledged that is wasting everyone's time. Why do you need to come behind and explain something that you've already acknowledged has been explained? That isn't helpful to anyone. Are you just trying to get your number of posts up?
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Old Mar 25, 2022, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by LikeaGVI
Just as I asked of irishguy28 I would ask the same of you. If you're already acknowledging irishguy28 has explained what the carrier is responsible for, and again restate lost prepaid accommodations, excursions, etc are not covered when I've already acknowledged that is wasting everyone's time. Why do you need to come behind and explain something that you've already acknowledged has been explained? That isn't helpful to anyone. Are you just trying to get your number of posts up?
Your post #9 doesn't explicitly mention unused accommodation in the list of things that you understand won't be covered, so it's not unreasonable that people may believe you consider that this should be covered and so they go on to explain that it's not. Combined with your statement "is also responsible for accommodations and food," makes it even more sound like you're expecting to get some sort of accommodation costs covered, so this previous assumption is strengthened.

I fully agree the situation you ended up in was far from ideal, but getting annoyed with people simply providing correct information (that you may feel is pointless) isn't good.
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Old Mar 26, 2022, 12:26 am
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I understand that you feel cheated by the airline because you had expenses for services you finally could not use. It is understandable that you are not happy with the responses you are getting. But no need to shoot the messengers.
EC261/2004 would cover any extra expenses you had to endure because of flight delays due to cancellation (duty of care), But we have never heard that the airline would reimburse you for services you could not use. Sorry..
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