25min flight change to SN flight - how to negotiate a change/refund?

Old Dec 26, 19, 11:49 am
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25min flight change to SN flight - how to negotiate a change/refund?

I have two separate bookings with SN next June (one reward and one paid, connecting in BRU) and a just-announced 25 minute earlier departure on the paid ticket (non-refundable/non-changeable) has made it impossible for me to catch it upon arrival from my reward flight.

Speaking with a 'supervisor' yielded nothing.

I was planning on making a further booking later in the summer with SN and would happily accept a fee-waiver to change to this flight but I was told this was impossible.

What are my options?
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Old Dec 26, 19, 12:24 pm
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Call again, Explain that the new depart. time does suit you and you want to cancel/full refund. There should be no issues achieving this - it is just a matter of getting connected to the right call center agent. A clear HUCA case.

Most likely you will be firmly denied to change the flights but a cancel/full refund should be easier to obtain.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Call again, Explain that the new depart. time does suit you and you want to cancel/full refund. There should be no issues achieving this - it is just a matter of getting connected to the right call center agent. A clear HUCA case.
at 25 minutes not really... general rule is that anything below an hour does not usually result in free cancellation.

also itís not the airlines issue as those are separate tickets. If the inbound is delayed, the OP would not be protected.
seems like this whole trip was cutting it pretty close to begin with?
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Old Dec 26, 19, 12:43 pm
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These are separate tickets. The short transfer time on this non-connection will not motivate anyone.

Your only hope here is to cancel for a refund and then book at whatever today's prices are (perhaps lower?)
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Old Dec 27, 19, 12:00 am
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Originally Posted by daumueller View Post
at 25 minutes not really... general rule is that anything below an hour does not usually result in free cancellation.

also itís not the airlines issue as those are separate tickets. If the inbound is delayed, the OP would not be protected.
seems like this whole trip was cutting it pretty close to begin with?
There are and have been several instances I can or could not do 25 minutes earlier. This has never been a problem in particular on short flights. Donít tell anybody any long stories about connections on two tickets. Tell them you canít make it and be strict on this and want to be rebooked or need to cancel. This should work.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 4:15 am
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Personally I've never had a problem with cancelling flights at LH/LX after changes, even if the change was only about 5 minutes. Never had to argue about it. But of course SN is not LH/LX.

From my point of view there is no difference between an official change of the departure time and a cancelation. And for cancelations EU261 apply (EU261, Art. 8 (1) a)), which means the airline has to refund the ticket.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Call again, Explain that the new depart. time does suit you and you want to cancel/full refund. There should be no issues achieving this - it is just a matter of getting connected to the right call center agent. A clear HUCA case.

Most likely you will be firmly denied to change the flights but a cancel/full refund should be easier to obtain.
That's very helpful, thanks!


Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
There are and have been several instances I can or could not do 25 minutes earlier. This has never been a problem in particular on short flights. Donít tell anybody any long stories about connections on two tickets. Tell them you canít make it and be strict on this and want to be rebooked or need to cancel. This should work.
Ok will do! Thank you!

Originally Posted by thbe View Post
Personally I've never had a problem with cancelling flights at LH/LX after changes, even if the change was only about 5 minutes. Never had to argue about it. But of course SN is not LH/LX.

From my point of view there is no difference between an official change of the departure time and a cancelation. And for cancelations EU261 apply (EU261, Art. 8 (1) a)), which means the airline has to refund the ticket.
Hopefully SN will share your point of view. It goes without saying that I do

Thanks!
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Old Dec 27, 19, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by thbe View Post
Personally I've never had a problem with cancelling flights at LH/LX after changes, even if the change was only about 5 minutes. Never had to argue about it. But of course SN is not LH/LX.

From my point of view there is no difference between an official change of the departure time and a cancelation. And for cancelations EU261 apply (EU261, Art. 8 (1) a)), which means the airline has to refund the ticket.
OP - I would suggest that you not turn this into an EC 261/2004 argument. While this one post contains a belief that a 25-minute schedule change is a "cancellation" as defined in the Regulation, many would not. There is also no precedential authority for that proposition.

If you hang your hat on the language of the Regulation, you invite a polite, "that will not be possible." If, on the other hand, you focus on the schedule no longer being convenient, you may well find either a refund (allowing you to purchase what you want) or a waiver of the change fee with a ticket reissue to the new flight you now want.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 4:10 am
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Originally Posted by thbe View Post
From my point of view there is no difference between an official change of the departure time and a cancelation. And for cancelations EU261 apply (EU261, Art. 8 (1) a)), which means the airline has to refund the ticket.
That is incorrect. I fthat was the case they would need to rebook you for free, which is most certainly not the case.
However, with a departure change it is always easy to argue a refund due to some time criteria (either too late arrival or earlier departure) and get the flight refunded.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by Nick Art View Post
That is incorrect. I fthat was the case they would need to rebook you for free, which is most certainly not the case.
However, with a departure change it is always easy to argue a refund due to some time criteria (either too late arrival or earlier departure) and get the flight refunded.
Well, it's definitely my point of view. Of course my point of view could be wrong.

EU261 is about cancellations and delays (and idb). Delays are based on the scheduled departure time. If airlines have the right to change the scheduled departure time as they wish, the whole regulations about delays wouldn't make any sense. A 3 hours delay could be changed to a 1,5 hours change of the scheduled departure time plus 1,5 hours delay, which meant, that no compensation has to be paid. That can't be right.

A schedule change is not a delay by the definition of EU261. But it could be a cancelation, as a cancelation means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved. The is the word "planned" in it. So it's all about if a planned flight is still the same, if you change the scheduled departure time.

A flight is defined by day, flight number plus scheduled departure time or route. There are different flights with the same flight number at the same day. In addition you need the scheduled departure time or the route to identify a flight. So it's reasonable to argue, that a change of the scheduled flight time is a different flight.

And of course they have to rebook you for free, if you want that. They already did that with the new flight at the new scheduled departure time.

I'm pretty sure, that every airline will avoid to get sued for that. Of course, only for flights where EU261 applies.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by thbe View Post
Well, it's definitely my point of view. Of course my point of view could be wrong.

EU261 is about cancellations and delays (and idb). Delays are based on the scheduled departure time. If airlines have the right to change the scheduled departure time as they wish, the whole regulations about delays wouldn't make any sense. A 3 hours delay could be changed to a 1,5 hours change of the scheduled departure time plus 1,5 hours delay, which meant, that no compensation has to be paid. That can't be right.

A schedule change is not a delay by the definition of EU261. But it could be a cancelation, as a cancelation means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved. The is the word "planned" in it. So it's all about if a planned flight is still the same, if you change the scheduled departure time.

A flight is defined by day, flight number plus scheduled departure time or route. There are different flights with the same flight number at the same day. In addition you need the scheduled departure time or the route to identify a flight. So it's reasonable to argue, that a change of the scheduled flight time is a different flight.

And of course they have to rebook you for free, if you want that. They already did that with the new flight at the new scheduled departure time.

I'm pretty sure, that every airline will avoid to get sued for that. Of course, only for flights where EU261 applies.
I see your arguments and having reread the EU261 I think you might be onto something here.
I'm certain there have been rulings on this matter by some courts.

I think it could be seen as a cancelaltion that has already been rebooked to another flight. Obviously with only a difference of several minutes this would be the most reasonable thing to do.
So this results in the options of the pax if the time change poses a problem to ask for another rebooking option (depending on if it's reasonable) or the option to ask for a full refund.

I'll have to read a little mroe into this.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 9:27 am
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OP is due a refund or rebooking of OPís choice, 25 minutes earlier departure is a significant change to the contract
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Old Dec 30, 19, 1:14 pm
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I appreciate that the consensus appears to be that I should be entitled to a refund.

However from what I gather from their limited English, the twelve (!) SN agents I have spoken to over the past week do not agree. I have tried other numbers (like the UK line) but I seem to be rerouted to the same unhelpful call center everytime.

Speaking to a 'supervisor' yielded no different result.

I can speak French so I will try that line when they open.

Aside from that, any other alternatives I should pursue? This seems patently unfair. Is SN typically this difficult to deal with?
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Old Dec 30, 19, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by gonebabygone View Post
I appreciate that the consensus appears to be that I should be entitled to a refund.

However from what I gather from their limited English, the twelve (!) SN agents I have spoken to over the past week do not agree. I have tried other numbers (like the UK line) but I seem to be rerouted to the same unhelpful call center everytime.

Speaking to a 'supervisor' yielded no different result.

I can speak French so I will try that line when they open.

Aside from that, any other alternatives I should pursue? This seems patently unfair. Is SN typically this difficult to deal with?
Change your 1st flight either time wise, carrier wise or 1 day earlier, thats assuming you can and the fee to do so isnt alot. Otherwise buy a new tkt that will work with your 1st flight time

Im not surprised that they have refused to allow anything, I would expect a min of an hour that would be needed in order for them to work with me
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Old Dec 30, 19, 3:22 pm
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Also if you have called twelve times by now an agent will have added notes to your reservation by now. Agent 12+n will not budge. All call center numbers of SN are routed to the same company too...
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