Short-notice cancellation/re-route - rights?

Old Sep 23, 22, 1:36 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2022
Posts: 1
Short-notice cancellation/re-route - rights?

Morning, all!

I was due to be flying from Norwich to Berlin next Friday (30th September) via Amsterdam with KLM, with the following original itinerary:

0605hrs - Depart NWI
0800hrs - Arrive AMS
0845hrs - Depart AMS
1005hrs - Arrive BER

A couple of months ago, KLM moved me from the 0845hrs from AMS over to the 1015hrs from AMS, arriving into BER at 1130hrs - which was broadly fine.

This morning, I've received an e-mail stating that the 1015hrs AMS-BER has now been canceled, and my itinerary is now as follows:

0930hrs - Depart NWI
1125hrs - Arrive AMS
1400hrs - Depart AMS
1525hrs - Arrive CDG(!)
1800hrs - Depart CDG
1940hrs - Arrive BER

(Hopefully) understandably, I'm utterly livid, as this knocks out an entire day of my holiday at extremely short notice. KLM are offering me a refund for the affected flight but, having booked months in advance, there's not a hope in hell that the sub-100 refund will come anywhere close to the cost of re-booking a more appropriate flight at such short notice.

Do I have any additional options here, up to and including a Small Claims Court claim against KLM for breach of contract and the subsequent loss incurred in attempting to salvage the start of my holiday? Or am I, to use the technical term, jiggered?
Snudge88 is offline  
Old Sep 23, 22, 3:20 pm
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Welcome to FT!

Your flight has been cancelled and you have been rebooked. That is all KLM has to offer you. If unacceptable, ask to cancel and get a full refund and book elsewhere.

You might be due 250 Euro for the cancellation under EU Reg. 261/04 unless caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Moderator, pls move to the KLM forum.
SK AAR is offline  
Old Sep 23, 22, 7:36 pm
Join Date: Oct 2008
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SK AAR You often post factual inaccuracies when it comes to EC261. This is isn't helpful, especially to Newbies. You don't know if that's all KLM has offered them. It might just be the text from the email with the robot rebooking.

Snudge88 Did you call KLM? NWI is a difficult airport to fly from as KLM are the only option. Are you willing to fly from another airport? Could you consider flying on Thursday evening? There are seats on KL1522/KL1835 with you leaving NWI at 17:20 arriving BER at 22:05. Should you be unable to do this, you could fly the same trip on the Friday night without you going around the houses with the [automatic] rebooking.

As your trip was subject to irregularity, you can ask to change the return of your trip, perhaps to make it a day later?

The cancellation is undoubtedly due to mess in AMS at the moment I se KL1823 is cancelled on numerous days. You'd be eligible for 250 EUR compensation because your flights are cancelled. That could perhaps cover the night in Berlin. You could also attempt claim the hotel reimbursement back from KLM because you needed to travel earlier due to the cancellation of KL1823 in addition to the 250 EUR.

You should note there are further options available to you, including rebooking further from AMS, like for example LH to FRA/MUC then to BER, but its best you report back what KL offer you and your situation before going down that line which might involve the need to book your own flights should they illegally refuse to rebook you to another carrier or outside of their alliance.
hugolover is offline  
Old Sep 24, 22, 6:46 am
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Firstly, welcome to FT. As a flight departing from the UK, please note that the relevant legislation is UK 261, not EU 261, unless you intend to start legal proceedings in the EU rather than the UK.

KLM is required to offer you re-routing under satisfactory conditions following the cancellation. There is some vagueness / interpretation in exactly what this means, but generally it seems to be interpreted to mean the shortest itinerary that departs and leaves at times closest to your original itinerary. Airlines are permitted to favour their own flights where they are able to offer routing on the same day but again there is some room for arguing here if the new itinerary is unsuitable, especially if it introduces an extra connection like here.

For a start, I see the 9.30AM flight from NWI connecting to the 5.00pm KL1831 is bookable on KLMs website. At the very least if you call KLM and insist on being booked on this instead, KLM will be required to offer it and it will save you a connection and get you there an hour and a half earlier. Things get muddier when you want to be re-routed to start from a different airport as to whether you can force KLM to do this, particularly when they are able to offer you a routing on the same day. However, if it were me Id first be pushing to be booked on a direct flight on a different carrier from whichever airport is easiest for you to get to on the grounds that the length of delay here is not acceptable. Only if they reject that would I then bring up the one stop KLM itinerary as a potentially acceptable alternative. Make it clear on the call that you dont think the itinerary offered is acceptable under UK261/EU261. If they refuse to book you on the one stop KLM itinerary the same day, you are legally entitled to book it yourself and then send KLM the bill.

Secondly, as noted above you may be entitled to compensation of 220 (or 250 if you bring a claim in the EU) for the cancellation, but this depends on the exact reason for the cancellation. If KLM offer to reroute you on an itinerary that arrives within 2 hours of your original flight, compensation is halved.
lost_in_translation is offline  
Old Sep 24, 22, 1:00 pm
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denmark
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Posts: 8,982
Originally Posted by hugolover View Post
SK AAR You often post factual inaccuracies when it comes to EC261. This is isn't helpful, especially to Newbies. You don't know if that's all KLM has offered them. It might just be the text from the email with the robot rebooking.
Maybe I should have been more clear. I was saying that KLM has to rebook the pax to final destination, however, KLM is not liable for breach of contract or consequential losses etc that the OP seems to consider raising claims for.
SK AAR is offline  
Old Sep 27, 22, 4:08 pm
Moderator: Information Desk, FlyerTalk Evangelist
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Moving this to the KLM forum.

co-mod, Info Desk
chgoeditor is offline  

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