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-   -   What is reasonable compensation for canceled flight that requires overnight stay? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-airlines-aadvantage-pre-consolidation-usair/543023-what-reasonable-compensation-canceled-flight-requires-overnight-stay.html)

hhonorman Mar 31, 06 1:49 pm

What is reasonable compensation for canceled flight that requires overnight stay?
 
I have (had) a trip to Strasbourg on an award ticket. Was connecting through Brussels. Just got a call from American stating that the flight I was booked on to Strasbourg has been canceled and they are protecting me by putting me on the next flight, which doesn't leave until the next day (only one flight a day, at 8:50 pm.) so I have to get a hotel in Brussels now. Because it is on a partner carrier, AA says they can't provide compensation for the hotel, but offered my wife and I each a voucher for $100.

Is that a reasonable offer? It doesn't seem unreasonable to me, but I wanted to get your take on it. I asked if I could get miles in lieu of a voucher, but the rep said no. There is no other way for them to get me to Strasbourg via Brussels. I need to be in Brussels for an appointment, so I don't think that rerouting through another partner city is an option for me. Should I take the vouchers, or is that a lame offer? What do you think? This schedule change puts a major dent in my travel plans, I've got to cancel the hotel in Strasbourg for a night, find a new hotel in Brussels, and cancel appointments in Strasbourg because I'm arriving a day later than scheduled. What's reasonable to expect in this situation? Should I be grateful they even offered the vouchers? I have little knowledge about what my rights are in this situation. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

edited to add:

Since starting this thread, I have gather more info. See post #10 below, where the problem and the info is better stated. I'm not looking to be greedy, I just want to know where I legally stand with the airline (and which airline, AA and/or SN) and whether I'm entitled to be compensated for my reasonable out of pocket expenses such as hotel and transport to/from hotel, and/or anything else? Is a schedule change after tickets have been issued, a situation of denied boarding? If no, are they completely off the hook for screwing up my trip and causing me to incur expenses that I wouldn't have otherwise had to but for their change?

azmmza Mar 31, 06 1:55 pm

can you take a double connection via lhr or fra or .....?

IceTrojan Mar 31, 06 2:05 pm

Perhaps a EuroAAer can help, but since it's a partner carrier that could be assumed to be a EU carrier, aren't they required to give something like 600 Euro in cash for delays over 4 hours for delays of their own doing?

I think you need to contact the operating carrier for both the compensation and hotel. I'm sure someone who knows more about this will correct me.

hhonorman Mar 31, 06 2:18 pm

Thanks for your quick replies. I'm prepared to stay in Brussels for the night. It seems like that is the least inconvenient way to resolve my appointment schedules. The airline I'm traveling on is on SN Brussels (a partner of AA) on an award ticket. $600 in compensation would be fantastic (seems very high to me) but is that really possible? Because they are a partner airline AND I'm flying on AA miles, do they really owe me anything? I just don't know what my rights are in this situation (or if I even have any rights). I'd like to know where I stand before calling them back. As always, your thoughts and suggestions are truly appreciated.

IceTrojan Mar 31, 06 2:21 pm

Not that I'm a fan of crossposting, but perhaps you should ask our friends over in the SN forum? They'll know more (include any nuances with SN). Or at least refer them to this thread.

LoganFlyer Mar 31, 06 2:24 pm

I don't know all your rights, but one key here is that further compensation should probably come from the partner carrier, not AA, since it's their flight that's cancelled. I have to give AA a ^ for offering you anything since this is not their doing at all!

SJUflyer Mar 31, 06 2:24 pm

You do have rights per the EU law that was enacted. May I suggest going to the EU website europa.eu.int -- what you are looking for is Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

"Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 "

Hope this helps.

JonNYC Mar 31, 06 3:06 pm


Originally Posted by SJUflyer
You do have rights per the EU law that was enacted. May I suggest going to the EU website europa.eu.int -- what you are looking for is Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

"Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 "

Hope this helps.

Is the thinking here that that rule is intended to apply in cases like this?? I certainly wouldn't think so.

dayone Mar 31, 06 3:13 pm

Your travel dates would be helpful. If you were given at least 24 hrs. notice of a cancellation, I don't think any compensation is due. The much-referenced EU rules may say different but it seems like an airline should be able to change its schedule in advance (and, in your case, with notice).

hhonorman Mar 31, 06 3:25 pm

I appreciate your replies. I did post the question in the SN forum, per the suggestion of IceTrojan. Here's that post, which is more detailed than the one here:
------------------------------------------------------------------
What are my rights if award flight on SN Brussels is canceled?
I don't like to cross-post, (this question was originally posted in the American Airlines forum because I'm using an AA award ticket) but other Flyertalkers who responded to that post suggested I post the question here as well.

I had booked and ticketed an award travel trip using AA miles. I'm flying to Strasbourg via Brussels. That portion of the trip is on SN Brussels airline, a partner of American. Just got a call from AA stating that my flight to at 8:50 pm to Strasbourg was canceled. The rep said that they protected me by putting me on the next available flight, at 8:50pm the next day (only one flight a day between Brussels and Strasbourg on SN.) Although it messes up my schedule tremendously, I am prepared to take the flight to Strasbourg the next day rather that rerouting (which would cause even more headaches to my scheduling situation).

That said, do I have any rights because they canceled my flight and caused a huge inconvenience, not to mention the fact that I have to pay for a hotel now in Brussels, cancel appointments, reschedule appointments, etc.? American said that because my flight is on a partner airline, they can't compensate me for the hotel, but what they could offer me was $100 voucher (one for me and my wife). I asked if miles were possible in lieu of the vouchers, but they said no.

Someone in the other forum mentioned that I should review "Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 "

A copy of that can be found at this web page (and clicking on the link which gives the regulation in PDF format). I read that and Article 7 states that a passenger denied boarding should be able to receive 250 euro compensation (I am assuming that Brussels to Strasbourg is less than 1500 km, but I am not sure).
http://www.transport.gov.uk/stellen..._030483-01.hcsp

However, I also came across SN Brussles General Contract of Carriage, which can be seen here:
http://www.flysn.be/en_be/informati...f-carriage.aspx

That states (see section 16.3) that a passenger denied boarding should be able to receive 150 euros.

Do you know whether cancelation of a flight, qualifies as a "passenger denied boarding", if they put me on the next available flight which happens to be 24 hours later than my original flight?

If it does count, which rule should apply, SN Brussels contract, or the EU regulation?

Does the fact that this is an award ticket have any impact on the outcome?

If I am able to receive compensation, how do you suggest I go about asking for it? Do I ask the rep from American Airlines, or do I need to call SN? Are there any tricks they can try to pull (such as offering a voucher instead of cash) that I should be aware of and watch out for?

What about paying for the hotel and trasportation to/from the hotel? Do they have to do that, or is the cash compensation supposed to cover that?

If I accept the vouchers from AA, do I give up my right to compensation from SN (assuming I'm entitled to anything from SN)? Is it possible I could get both the vouchers from AA and the cash from SN?

Any insight or suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


That said, does a schedule change count as denied boarding? They did agree to book me on the next available flight, it just happens to be 24 hours later. Should the airline be able to change their schedule and royally screw up my plans without having to at least cover the cost of my hotel and transportation to/from the hotel? I'm not looking to be greedy, I just want to not have to incur costs that I wouldn't have had to incur BUT FOR the airline deciding to cancel my flight. Yes they did give me plenty of notice, far more than 24 hours notice, (my trip isn't until the end of April) BUT, didn't we have a contract? Shouldn't they have to honor that contract or reimburse me for reasonable expenses I must now incur because of their failure to honor the contract as a result of a condition that is entirely within their control?

fs2k2isfun Mar 31, 06 3:32 pm

You might also want to consider going by rail from FRA or simply going to STR, it's not very far from Strasbourg. From STR you could either take a train or rent a car, the drive is under 100 miles, and you would get the joy of driving on the Autobahn!!

hhonorman Mar 31, 06 3:58 pm

Thanks for the alternative routing suggestions. I have decided to take the flight to Strasbourg the next day as that causes the least amount of headaches to my trip. That said, I'm still going to be out the cost of a hotel and transportation to/from the hotel. Do I have any right to be compensated for that?

JDiver Mar 31, 06 4:14 pm

I think we are discussing two things: what is equitable, which probably varies by individual, and what are your rights, which is not so variable...

If it were me, I'd say $200 voucher is sufficient to offset taking the train 15 minutes into Brussels and a moderate hotel expense, given AA is doing this and not the "offending" airline. Kudos to AA. But...

that doesn't take into consideration some hotel and meal expenses, trouble you've been put to, satisfying your own personal values system, and what may legally be conpensable - if the law says 600 is your minimum legal entitlement for having a flight cancelled (make sure it is true and it includes award flights, but the airlines hate this law, so it must have teeth,) and decide what (or if) you want to ask SN Brussels for.

Let us know what you decide, and what you get. And have a good trip for the remainder...

hhonorman Mar 31, 06 4:21 pm

JDiver, thanks for the reply. I agree that AA's offer of $100 vouchers does seem reasonable and I am not ungrateful to them especially since they didn't cause the problem and have done a very good job of trying to help me. That said, ...IF... I am entitled to cash for being denied boarding, per the rules listed in post #10 above, I would prefer that. I am just trying to figure out whether or not those rules are applicable to my situation. If so, what's the recommended way of enforcing the rule(s)? Should I go through AA, who did the reservation and awarded the tickets, or through SN?

IceTrojan Mar 31, 06 4:44 pm


Originally Posted by hhonorman
JDiver, thanks for the reply. I agree that AA's offer of $100 vouchers does seem reasonable and I am not ungrateful to them especially since they didn't cause the problem and have done a very good job of trying to help me. That said, ...IF... I am entitled to cash for being denied boarding, per the rules listed in post #10 above, I would prefer that. I am just trying to figure out whether or not those rules are applicable to my situation. If so, what's the recommended way of enforcing the rule(s)? Should I go through AA, who did the reservation and awarded the tickets, or through SN?

Personally, I would take the $100 voucher and 1000 miles from AA... then go to SN and stick it to them as per the above-cited EU rules. AA isn't really involved in SN's canceling of the flight. You should go through THEM to get what is rightly yours.

Prospero Mar 31, 06 4:50 pm

I appreciate you are happy with the offer you have received from AA. Its a fine gesture of good will and very generous.

To expand on JonNYC's comment, the EU rule will not apply in your situation as the airline has given you reasonable notice of the change. Its usual practice for EU based airlines in the case of schedule changes, cancellations or service withdrawal to offer those passengers affected an option to re-book onto a different flight/date or an opportunity to cancel and take a full refund.

JonNYC Mar 31, 06 5:03 pm


Originally Posted by Prospero
I appreciate you are happy with the offer you have received from AA. Its a fine gesture of good will and very generous.

To expand on JonNYC's comment, the EU rule will not apply in your situation as the airline has given you reasonable notice of the change. Its usual practice for EU based airlines in the case of schedule changes, cancellations or service withdrawal to offer those passengers affected an option to re-book onto a different flight/date or an opportunity to cancel and take a full refund.

Thanks for adding some clarity here-- I just couldn't wrap my mind around the idea of this even remotely comporting with what we think of as "being denied boarding"-- it just doesn't make any sense.

hhonorman Mar 31, 06 5:27 pm

I agree that the schedule change doesn't seem like it would be a denied boarding situation, but I haven't seen anything definitive yet. Also, AA's offer of $100 voucher each, considering they didn't cause the problem (just the messenger), was a very generous offer of goodwill. If this isn't a denied boarding situation as JonNYC suggests (probably rightfully so, but after reading rule 9.2.4 listed below, I'm not so sure anymore if it isn't a denied boarding scenario), then how would you classify it? Schedule change? Canceled flight? I'm just trying to figure out the appropriate language so I can determine the correct rule. That way I can determine what, if any, my rights are vis-a-vis possible compensation for out of pocket expenses.

Should SN be completely off the hook as far as my new-to-be incurred out of pocket expenses, such as hotel, transportation to/from and such, for their unilateral change to the deal we had? Seems unfair to me, the customer, that they can willy-nilly significantly change the terms of a deal causing me arguably significant costs (more than $100 for hotel plus train/cab fare for two each way) without any responsibility? Do I have any recourse to recoup those reasonable and necessary expenses? If so, do you think throwing in a meal should be part of the deal too? This isn't a minor schedule change, it's 24 hours difference. Is there someplace where it states what the rules are when there's a "schedule change?" Obviously I'm going to be bound by whatever the rules say, I'm just trying to determine what the rules are. Seems unfair if they can unilaterally change the deal and then say, take it or leave it, (i.e, be stuck with the new lousy schedule, or get only my miles back and cancel the whole trip). If taking it or leaving it (canceling the trip and getting my miles refunded) are the only options, what happens to the money I already paid in taxes on the tickets? I'm assuming that the airline is not going to be on the hook for the cancellation fees to my hotels, but just stating that to make the point that there are more costs to me associated with canceling the trip such that just giving me back my miles doesn't make me whole.

Edited to add:

I re-read SN's contract of carriage. Here's the part I think is relative:
-------------------------------------------------------
9.2. CANCELLATION, REROUTING, DELAYS, ETC.

9.2.1. We will take all necessary measures to avoid delay in carrying you and your baggage. In the exercise of these measures and in order to prevent a flight cancellation, in exceptional circumstances we may arrange for a flight to be operated on our behalf by an alternative carrier and/or aircraft.

9.2.2. Except as otherwise provided by the Convention, if we cancel a flight, fail to operate a flight reasonably according to the schedule, fail to stop at your destination or Stopover destination, or cause you to miss a connecting flight on which you hold a confirmed reservation, we shall, at your option, either
9.2.2.1 carry you at the earliest opportunity on another of our scheduled services on which space is available without additional charge and, where necessary, extend the validity of your Ticket; or
9.2.2.2 within a reasonable period of time re-route you to the destination shown on your Ticket by our own services or those of another carrier, or by other mutually agreed means and class of transportation without additional charge. If the fare and charges for the revised routing are lower than what you have paid, we shall refund the difference; or
9.2.2.3 make a refund in accordance with the provisions of Article 10.2;

9.2.3. Upon the occurrence of any of the events set out in Article 9.2.1, except as otherwise provided by the Convention, the options outlined in Article 9.2.2.1 through 9.2.2.3 are the sole and exclusive remedies available to you and we shall have no further liability to you.
In case of Damage caused by delay, our liability for each Passenger is limited, according to the Montreal Convention, to 4,150 SDR and for the Baggage to 1,000 SDR, except in case of act or omission done with intent to cause Damage or recklessly and with knowledge that Damage would probably result. Nevertheless, the carrier will not be liable for Damage occasioned by delay if it proves that it and its servants and agents took all necessary measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the Damage or that it was impossible for it or them to take such measures.

9.2.4. If we are unable to provide previously confirmed space, we shall provide compensation to those passengers denied boarding in accordance with applicable law and our denied boarding compensation policy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's their rule regarding denied boarding compensation:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
16.3. COMPENSATION FOR DEPARTURES OUTSIDE THE USA AND CANADA

a) If you are denied boarding on departures outside the USA and Canada you choose between :

(i) reimbursement of the fare paid for the unused part of the ticket or
(ii) rebooking on an alternative flight to your place of destination as stated in your ticket on either the first available flight or at a later date, whichever you prefer.

b) In addition to the above, if you were denied boarding you shall be entitled to compensation as follows :
Distance to place of destination Delay in arrival at place of destination Compensation amount
Up to 3500 kilometres Up to two hours EUR 75.00
Up to 3500 kilometres Over two hours EUR 150.00
Over 3500 kilometres Up to four hours EUR 150.00
Over 3500 kilometres Over four hours EUR 300.00



c) We will compensate you if you were denied boarding in the national currency of the point at which boarding was denied.

d) In cases in which the fare for a one-way flight on the sector for which boarding is denied is lower than the compensation stated under (b) above, the compensation paid by us shall amount to this one-way fare.

e) You may choose whether you wish to receive your denied-boarding compensation in the form of a cash payment or a travel voucher.

f) In addition to the above, we shall reimburse you in case of denied boarding for :
(i) one phone call and one telex or fax message to your place of destination;
(ii) reasonable costs for meals and accommodation incurred by you while waiting for carriage;
(iii) the costs of all transfers within the airport area;
(iv) the costs of all transport between the new and the original destination airport, in cases where a city or region is served by more than one airport.

g) The payment of denied boarding compensation should have no limiting impact on your further statutory rights.
------------------------------------------------------------------
I couldn't cut and paste the EU rules here, but the link to them is in post #10 of this thread. Please see Articles 7, 8, & 9, they are not long. Do you think they apply to a schedule change like this? If both SN's rules apply and the EU's rules apply, which one controls? The EU's rules are much more generous than SN's rules.

JonNYC Mar 31, 06 6:52 pm

Just my opinion-- nothing more:

This isn't even REMOTELY being "denied boarding."

Your situation has nothing whatsoever to do with "being denied boarding"

I can't see it possibly being interpreted as "denied boarding."

Again, just my opinion. Could be wrong.

IceTrojan Mar 31, 06 6:54 pm


Originally Posted by JonNYC
Just my opinion-- nothing more:

This isn't even REMOTELY being "denied boarding."

Your situation has nothing whatsoever to do with "being denied boarding"

I can't see it possibly being interpreted as "denied boarding."

Again, just my opinion. Could be wrong.

I would go with JonNYC's valuation on this matter, even over mine... I'm just an egotistical hot-head...

magic111 Mar 31, 06 7:03 pm

I thought this was a schedule change and usually what happens to me is that I am offered a reroute or a refund. I have never gotten a reroute and compensation. If I am insistent that the reroute will not work the next offer is invariably a refund.

SanDiego1K Mar 31, 06 7:25 pm

I'm baffled as to why you don't just take the train from Brussels to Strasbourg. Have AA cancel that portion of the award and keep all your arrangements the same - no change in hotel, no change in appointments, the only expenditure is the train ticket.

Wexflyer Mar 31, 06 7:49 pm


Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
I'm baffled as to why you don't just take the train from Brussels to Strasbourg. Have AA cancel that portion of the award and keep all your arrangements the same - no change in hotel, no change in appointments, the only expenditure is the train ticket.

Precisely. It is crazy to kick your heels for a whole extra day just to wait for the single Brussels-Strasbourg flight.

chrissxb Apr 1, 06 12:13 am


Originally Posted by fs2k2isfun
You might also want to consider going by rail from FRA or simply going to STR, it's not very far from Strasbourg. From STR you could either take a train or rent a car, the drive is under 100 miles, and you would get the joy of driving on the Autobahn!!

I live at SXB. the Stuttgart - Strasbourg autobahn isn't really a joy. :mad:

I'd take the train from brussels to strasbourg, there are several direct trains a day. takes you about 4h which is really ok.

if you're at Strasbourg and need assistance or want to have dinner with local FTer, just pm me

dayone Apr 1, 06 12:32 am

You're still quoting compensation chapter and verse and this is an award flight on another airline, right?

dayone Apr 1, 06 12:34 am


Originally Posted by Wexflyer
Precisely. It is crazy to kick your heels...

Or "cool your heels."

honu Apr 1, 06 12:36 am

Or, as somebody already suggested, fly to an alternative airport. I had to do just that when IB moved our LHR-SVQ flight by 5 hours. Now we're flying BA to AGP, on the same day (and we'll actually get in a bit earlier).

chrissxb Apr 1, 06 12:44 am

for alternative airport, I'd go to BSL/MLH airport which is just one hour by train from Strasbourg. and its a lovely ride

yosithezet Apr 1, 06 12:51 am

I would agree that it seems like taking the train is a great option to avoid the extra expenses. Take the $200 from AA and have them cancel that part of the trip.

I checked the Belgian railways (NMBS ) website and I couldn't price out the itinerary but it looks like there are plenty of trains that will get you to Strasbourg from Brussels Nat Aero with 1 or 2 stops via Brussels Nord.

chrissxb Apr 1, 06 12:56 am


Originally Posted by yosithezet
I checked the Belgian railways (NMBS ) website and I couldn't price out the itinerary but it looks like there are plenty of trains that will get you to Strasbourg from Brussels Nat Aero with 1 or 2 stops via Brussels Nord.

and if you check from Brussels Midi (which is the central station) you'll see that there are some thru-going-trains, too.

skylady Apr 1, 06 2:23 am

Most hotels offer a 24-48 hour cancellation, with no penalty. Especially if you can prove that it was out of your control. I sure hope it all works out for you!

Prospero Apr 1, 06 4:28 am

I hit the sack shortly after posting so apologies for not exploring the alternatives more closely last night. Looks like you've been offered some wonderful advice on alternative ways to get to SXB without wasting a complete day of your trip.

Can I throw one further question into the mix? Was your cancelled SN operated sector on an AA code? If so, and you still feel inclined that you're due some further compensation for out of pocket expenses and time, then this looks to me like a good old fashioned customer relations matter. If this is the case, then i'd get in touch with AA again. Don't be put off by the fact that you have a redemption ticket. You earned your miles fair and square, its a legitimate form of payment and you should treat it with no less regard than had you paid cash.

tt7 Apr 1, 06 5:16 am


Originally Posted by Prospero
Looks like you've been offered some wonderful advice on alternative ways to get to SXB without wasting a complete day of your trip..

Yes, (and as JDiver would no doubt agree) being forced to spend a day in Brussels is a real waste ... :)

I may have missed it in all the detail in this thread but WHEN are you going and WHEN did AA notify you of the non-flight? Asuming this was ahead of time (before you've even left?), as JonNYC has patiently tried to point out, this has nothing to do with 'denied boarding' or 'cancellation' compensation. Schedules change all the time. AA has offered $200 for the one-day delay, which is pretty reasonable, all things considered. As others have suggested, why not just catch the train, if you don't want a day in Brussels? If $200 doesn't cover the train, tell AA and ask for more. Although at the end of the day, this is an 'SN' issue and not an 'AA' issue, AA 'sold' you the ticket and should take responsibility for what they sold - which it appears they have.

hhonorman Apr 1, 06 12:10 pm

Thank you all so much for your replies, insight, and advice. It is all much appreciated. The concensus seems that this is NOT a denied boarding situation (agreed), but rather a schedule change and that AA's offer of 2 $100 vouchers is a great offer because they didn't cause the problem. Most agrees, as do I, that this is a problem caused by SN and thus I should contact them. It seems as though most people here are of the opinion that if an airline changes my schedule by canceling my flight and booking me on the next available flight, that my only recourse (provided they gave me reasonable notice) is to take the new flight, or cancel the tickets and receive a refund. Thanks again for your help.

nologic Apr 1, 06 3:44 pm

What about $200 plus a hotel room. Airlines put travlers up in hotels all the time. All you need is a sympathetic agent to write you a voucher.


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