Condor - Downgrade EU261/2004

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Old Jul 26, 17, 12:19 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
What fuel surcharge? Condor's website doesn't show any.
It seems he/she is also replying to Zorro's post from a year ago.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 2:00 pm
  #17  
 
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Condor changed aircraft to Air Tanker without Business Class

In September 2018, I purchased Business class tickets on Condor Airlines for round-trip flights from Baltimore to Frankfurt (BWI-FRA) in July 2019, and paid $2,089.98 with Chase Ink Preferred. In December 2018, I received an email from Condor that they have changed the aircraft to Air Tanker A330 that does not have Business class.

I called Condor and the representative told me that I will receive $1,200 compensation for the downgrade. When I asked if I could cancel the tickets he responded that if I did, I would get a refund only for the fees but not for the tickets.

I have received $1,200 in early January. My preference is to cancel the tickets for a full refund and book on another airline.
1. According to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, I should have received a refund of $2,089.98 * 75% = ~$1,500, i.e., $300 more than Condor had paid me. Is there a straightforward way to dispute the amount of the refund?
2. I paid for the flights with Chase Ink Preferred. What kind of protection do business cards provide?
3. Is it better to contact Condor by phone or by a certified letter?
4. In what order should I contact Condor and Chase?
5. Most importantly, is there a way to get back the remaining $889.98? If yes, what is the best way to go about it?

Thank you!
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Old Jan 30, 19, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
1. According to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, I should have received a refund of $2,089.98 * 75% = ~$1,500, i.e., $300 more than Condor had paid me. Is there a straightforward way to dispute the amount of the refund?
You are entitled to a refund of 75% of the "price of the ticket." Per ECJ case C‑255/15, the "price of the ticket" apparently doesn't include mandatory taxes and fees. There is potentially some room to dispute if some taxes and fees are mandatory or not. More info here.
Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
5. Most importantly, is there a way to get back the remaining $889.98? If yes, what is the best way to go about it?
You can maybe get some help from article 5 on cancellations in the EU regulation, if you could argue that your original business class flight was cancelled and that you were rebooked. If the schedule and flight number didn't change, then it could maybe be disputed if this was a cancellation or not. If it does count as a cancellation, you should have been offered a choice between three things under article 8: a full refund of the "price of ticket" (the airline can maybe keep the taxes and fees) or "re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity" or re-routing at a later point. I don't think that economy class is "under comparable transport conditions", so you might be able to demand that you still travel in business class.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 5:57 pm
  #19  
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This is a downgrade, not a cancellation and EC 261/2004 is explicit on this. There is no compensation, but rather a refund due.

You are due a refund of 75% of the base segment fare. To calculate that, take a look at your e-ticket receipt. You will see a long list of symbols, most of which do not mean anything. But, there will be a grouping which includes BWI-FRA/xxxxx/yyyy.yy. The "yyyy.yy" is the base segment fare. If you multiply that by 0.75, you will have the number you are due.

While nobody here can calculate that without reference to those numbers, the $1,200 sounds close to correct and it seems unlikely that a carrier would quibble over a few dollars. Doubtful on a departure from the US, but if any of the fees & taxes are affected by the downgrade, you would have that change due to you as a refund as well and having nothing to do with the Regulation.

You are not entitled to cancel your ticket for a refund. That option is only open in the case of a cancellation (or a significant change in schedule). Most carriers would do that as a matter of customer service, but not Condor apparently. You should also carefully read the documents for your travel insurance policy. It is possible that a downgrade is covered as an "interruption." But, that will depend on the exact language of your specific policy.

While J is nicer than Y, you just got yourself a fairly cheap single across the Atlantic.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is a downgrade, not a cancellation and EC 261/2004 is explicit on this.
How can you tell? It sounds as if Condor cancelled a mixed class flight and instead chose to operate a single class flight. That could maybe be argued to be a cancellation in which case the OP is entitled to transportation in the originally booked class.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 6:33 pm
  #21  
 
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My original ticket purchased in September had a booking confirmation for:
$1,925.35 - Ticket
$ 164.63 - Taxes, fees and other surcharges
$2,089.98 - Total amount

In December, Condor sent me a new booking confirmation for:
$725.35 - Ticket
$164.63 - Taxes, fees and other surcharges
$889.98 - Total amount
They credited $1,200.00 to the credit card I used for the purchase.

They had to refund me $1,925.35 * 75% = $1,444.01
They refunded me only $1,200.00

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, Article 10, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1476179175834&uri=CELEX:32004R0261 , states
"2. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, it shall within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), reimburse ... 75%"

Condor has not fully reimbursed me within seven days. Can I use this shortfall as a reason to cancel my tickets all together?

Last edited by Hemera; Jan 30, 19 at 6:42 pm
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Old Jan 30, 19, 6:53 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
You are not entitled to cancel your ticket for a refund. That option is only open in the case of a cancellation (or a significant change in schedule). Most carriers would do that as a matter of customer service, but not Condor apparently.
Do you know if I could request a charge back from Chase? If yes, what is the best way to request it?

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
While J is nicer than Y, you just got yourself a fairly cheap single across the Atlantic.
As of now, I can find better tickets across Atlantic, e.g., a round trip on Air France IAD-CDG in Economy for $908. I am indifferent between CDG and FRA, and IAD is much better for me than BWI. What's more, I expect more problems from Condor that may considerably affect my trip.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 11:43 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
Condor has not fully reimbursed me within seven days. Can I use this shortfall as a reason to cancel my tickets all together?
No, I would suggest you write to them and request the rest of the amount due by EC261
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Old Jan 31, 19, 2:41 am
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Another anecdote, I flew from FRA-LAS last summer in J and, due to an aircraft change, there were far fewer J seats available than passengers. On the bus to the aircraft from the terminal, somebody mentioned that they were downgraded and that Condor only offered the difference in fare between J and Y. He was obviously fuming...

So it seems to me that Condor tries to get away with simply refunding the fare difference, which might explain why the OP didn't get the amount expected.

I would push this as far as possible. They'd have to pay me to fly in Y TATL so I would want a full refund for sure. I definitely wouldn't rule out a charge back, as Condor isn't offering the product purchased.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 5:27 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
Condor has not fully reimbursed me within seven days. Can I use this shortfall as a reason to cancel my tickets all together?
National law stipulates what happens if you don't pay your bills on time. In most countries, you would have to pay interest at some statutory punitive interest rate (so don't forget to claim this from Condor), but I doubt that this in itself would be a reason for cancellation.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 8:12 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
National law stipulates what happens if you don't pay your bills on time. In most countries, you would have to pay interest at some statutory punitive interest rate (so don't forget to claim this from Condor), but I doubt that this in itself would be a reason for cancellation.
Excellent point. I am not concerned about a few dollars but hope to make it painful enough for Condor so that they would cancel my ticket for a full refund.

I will call Condor later today or tomorrow. What is the best strategy:
1. Claim that sitting over-night in economy would adversely affect my health?
2. Tell them that if they don't reimburse me, I will initiate charge-back with Chase?
3. Request additional compensation for the downgrade, including interest?

I don't think Condor has many English speaking CSRs, and HUCA may not work.
Also, if they don't cancel and I decide to request additional compensation, is it better to do via email or certified letter?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 9:19 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
Excellent point. I am not concerned about a few dollars but hope to make it painful enough for Condor so that they would cancel my ticket for a full refund.

I will call Condor later today or tomorrow. What is the best strategy:
1. Claim that sitting over-night in economy would adversely affect my health?
2. Tell them that if they don't reimburse me, I will initiate charge-back with Chase?
3. Request additional compensation for the downgrade, including interest?

I don't think Condor has many English speaking CSRs, and HUCA may not work.
Also, if they don't cancel and I decide to request additional compensation, is it better to do via email or certified letter?

Thanks.
Good luck with getting them to cancel your ticket, please report back.
As for the way to request additional compensation, e-mail should be sufficient, keep in mind that they only really owe you what's left of EC261 (another 240$ or so), I would just drop the interest part all together, it will "cost" you more to talk about it than what you might get.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 6:03 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Good luck with getting them to cancel your ticket, please report back.
As for the way to request additional compensation, e-mail should be sufficient, keep in mind that they only really owe you what's left of EC261 (another 240$ or so), I would just drop the interest part all together, it will "cost" you more to talk about it than what you might get.
I have emailed to Condor asking for the additional $244 compensation. I will report when I hear from them.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 6:17 am
  #29  
 
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Resolution with Condor

Final report.
On 31 January, I sent email to Condor requesting the additional $244 compensation.
On 03 February, I received a response that they were reviewing my request.
On 07 February, I sent email stating that not only they have not met the EC261 requirement to fully compensate me within 7 days of a downgrade, but they also have not provided me with the additional reimbursement within 7 days from my pointing out their error. Thus I was requesting to cancel my flights for a full refund.
On 09 February, I received email asking to confirm that I am requesting a full refund. I immediately responded with the confirmation of the request for a full refund.
On 10 February, I received an email that my flights had been cancelled and a refund issued to my credit card, to be received withing 14 days.

I am happy with the outcome.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 7:06 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Some person View Post
How can you tell? It sounds as if Condor cancelled a mixed class flight and instead chose to operate a single class flight. That could maybe be argued to be a cancellation in which case the OP is entitled to transportation in the originally booked class.
Anything can be argued. Including that the moon is made of blue cheese. But, it is not. The entire question of whether OP's flight is cancelled is a red herring.

All that matters is that he booked a ticket in J and was rebooked in less than J. If so, then he is due a refund of 75% of the base fare. No further analysis is necessary under the Regulation.
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