Compensation denied for cancelled flight

Old Dec 4, 08, 8:20 am
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Compensation denied for cancelled flight

A question about compensation.

My AF segment PSA-CDG a couple months ago was cancelled due to mechanical problems, and I was rerouted on a flight 6 hours later. As a result, I missed my CDG-ORD connection, and AF put me on the CDG-CVG flight the next day (with connection CVG-ORD). AF did take care of my hotel at CDG. I wrote requesting the Euro 600 compensation.

In their reply, they stated that "flight delays or cancellation such as damage to the aircraft or technical failure that can affect the passengers' safety are classified as extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline's control. According to the European Regulation 261/2004, no compensation is due in this case."

If that is true, doesn't that pretty much negate the compensation rules and mean they never have to give compensation except in extremely rare situations, such as the crew forgetting to show up for work?

Side question- I was ticketed on DL stock, flying AF metal. I haven't contacted DL, only AF... any point in pursuing this, either with AF or DL?

The EU rules are outlined on wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europea...ation_261/2004 where it does say they don't have to provide compensation if "the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure." I never received an explaination of the specific mechanical problem with my flight, but it sounds like any problem which appears outside the normal maintenance schedule could be classified as "extraordinary".
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Old Dec 4, 08, 8:37 am
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It's up to the airline to prove that there were "extraordinary circumstances" which "could not have been reasonably forseeable." However, in reality that means you need to sue them.

There was a test case against SAS which suggests that mechanical failure from an airline's hub is not a satisfactory excuse.

You may want to try EUClaim.com Not sure how much they charge but it will take the head-ache out of the claim for you.

Otto
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Old Dec 4, 08, 8:42 am
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Looks like EU-Claim take a 27% cut!! Ouch! But then again.. that might be worth the lack of head-ache and risks of a private action.
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Old Dec 4, 08, 9:28 am
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There are cases currently pending before the European Court of Justice against SAS, Alitalia and Air France on whether and, if so, in what conditions technical defects can be regarded as extraordinary circumstances for the purposes of the Reg.
We will have to wait until these cases are decided to have a clearer view on the issue.
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Old Dec 4, 08, 10:25 am
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BA tried this on with me; I asked to see the actual technical report and manifest; of course they refused and so in effect could not prove it; they coughed up .
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Old Dec 4, 08, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by simonsmith View Post
BA tried this on with me; I asked to see the actual technical report and manifest; of course they refused and so in effect could not prove it; they coughed up .
Good suggestion, thank you. I'll try that and will report back.

If not, I may try the EUClaim.com option. I see they take 27%, leaving me 73%, but 73% of something is more than 100% of nothing.
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Old Dec 4, 08, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
Good suggestion, thank you. I'll try that and will report back.

If not, I may try the EUClaim.com option. I see they take 27%, leaving me 73%, but 73% of something is more than 100% of nothing.
If there is any sollicitor reading this, i think it's high time EU claim had some competition! I'm sure it takes them hardly more than 1 standard letter to get you your money!
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Old Dec 5, 08, 7:18 am
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I've had some very positive results with EUClaim.
Initially I thought that I would be able to handle a claim just as well myself, throw in some legal jargon, but I did not manage to get through. Usual excuses, etc...
I then turned to EUClaim. They do take a large cut, but they did manage to get results.
Since then I always immediately turn to EUClaim - no worries myself, a lot easier than launching a law suite and a pretty good ratio of success.
I agree Gargoyle... it's always better to get a piece of something than all of nothing.
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Old Dec 5, 08, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by simonsmith View Post
BA tried this on with me; I asked to see the actual technical report and manifest; of course they refused and so in effect could not prove it; they coughed up .
The replied, and refused to share that info. Here are some relevant quotes from that response:

I must advise you that flight delays or cancellations due to mechanical failures are classified as incidents that can affect the passengers safety.
Britt Air could not operate your scheduled flight from Pisa to Paris due to a unforeseen mechanical failure. In order to guarantee your safety, we offered you later flight which you accepted. Under these circumstances, I am unable to offer you any type of compensation. Please understand that technical logs are confidential and not available for public inspection.
(It was an AF flight operated by Brit Air, on DL ticket stock)
So, basically they claim can declare any mechanical to be unforseen, deny compensation, without having to reveal any proof or documentation. As I posited in my OP, that basically negates any EU requirement to pay compensation.

EUclaim.com, here I come.
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