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Air Italy Flight Cancelled. Non-refundable Positioning Flights. Best Options?

Air Italy Flight Cancelled. Non-refundable Positioning Flights. Best Options?

Old Jan 21, 19, 4:51 pm
  #1  
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Air Italy Flight Cancelled. Non-refundable Positioning Flights. Best Options?

I am most grateful for any advice/insight.

In October I booked 5 seats on an Air Italy promotion from MXP-BKK-MXP for April in J class for Ä999 per person for our Easter family holiday. Annoyingly I was informed by email a week ago that our flight was cancelled. I was offered only a refund, not an alternative flight and despite telephoning 4 times and receiving varying level of competence ....all my attempts resulted in the same conclusion. No re-route - only a refund.....which I eventually accepted ( in retrospect, I understand that this may well be an expensive error)

I had also booked flights on BA from LHR-MXP-LHR and Thai from BKK-HKT-BKK as positioning flights. These are now useless so I approached both BA and Thai with an explanation requesting a refund.....Unsurprisingly they declined ( quite appropraitely as they were non-refundable tickets) and suggested that I claim on my travel insurance. Sadly I have since learnt that most travel insurers (including mine) don't cover this type of cancellation........I have since been advised to try and claim off my credit card.....against Section 75? Or to claim flight cancellation compensation with Air Italy against Denied Boarding EU Regulation (261/2004 EC)?

I am out of pocket by £1000 for the positioning flights and £1500 in arranging alternative flights from LHR-HKT-LHR. I accept that the additional costs for my alternative flights is my choice so that we can still travel over my fixed Easter dates, but I do feel aggrieved with Air Italy and am frustrated with the loss of monies with my now useless positioning flights.

So I tell myself that this could have been a lot worse and it may all be a lost cause and a hard lesson learnt but I did wonder whether anyone else (with all the Ex-EU positioning experience in this forum) has ever had the same misfortune and whether they have had any success that they could share.

Thank you
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:03 pm
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How much was your Ba return ticket to mxp?

There may be some taxes refundable for your Ba ticket however they are correct in saying they are two separate tickets so the cancellation of the Air Italy is not taken into consideration. You would be relying on BAís goodwill to see if they can help which you have tried.

I would try speaking to Air Italy to see from a customer service point of view if their is any goodwill gesture they can provide? Again this may be unlikely

my only experience of having positioning flights being cancelled free of charge is when both tickets were 125 and their was a Ba cancellation on the second ticket.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:05 pm
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You have to take each of your three tickets separately as they are three different contracts / transactions.

As to the IG MXP-BKK, EC 261/2004 generally provides, at your option, for a full refund, for rebooking under substantially similar conditions, e.g. relatively immediately, or at a future date. At more than 14 days out, there is no compensation and this is certainly not a denial of boarding.

While many carriers will rebook on other carriers, there is no precedent to require this. As it appears that IG has cancelled the route as of the end of March, there is no rebooking to be had on IG. The Section 65 issue is largely the same as your issue with IG. It will ultimately hinge on whether IG had a duty to rebook you on another carrier as it has no capacity to rebook online. If you overcome that hurdle with either or both, you then face the problem of justifying the additional expense to IG or your bank, e.g., is self-help available to you.

I see the two positioning tickets as losses. They are unrelated to IG and neither carrier has any responsibility other than to make seats available to you. Both will presumably operate their flights as scheduled.

This may well come down to the risk of booking separate tickets. But, do keep us informed as your plight will affect others.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:22 pm
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As you have had more than 14 days of the cancellation you can't claim any sort of compensation from Air Italy.

I'm not sure that your credit card will offer you much sympathy or resolution either as neither the BA or Thai flights have been cancelled or changed and there there is no claim from you of misrepresentation or breach of contract by either airline.

And I can see both airlines pushing back heavily should the credit card try for a dispute and cash back.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:25 pm
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Thanks for your replies

Haroon145 -T he BA tickets were J Avios. I have been refunded the miles and the taxes minus the £175 cancellation fee for 5 persons. I did ask the BA Gold line if this could be waived....but I was declined.
Honestly Air Italy weren't too helpful. They did suggest that I should submit a dispute, which I duly have, and they now have 31 days to respond.

Often 1 - Thank you for clarifying EC 261. I was under the impression that a re-route had to be offered....without that requirements I too share you view that the positioning tickets are losses

UKtravelbear - Your credit card comments are helpful. Amex have started a dispute. I think my disappointment with all this is that most travel insurance do not really provide much cover in this setting

Last edited by London Calling; Jan 21, 19 at 5:31 pm
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:26 pm
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For me, I always book positioning flights, as well as accommodation closer to departure - this is my way of minimizing risks; sure, I may pay more for the same seat/room than if I had booked earlier, but consider the alternative...
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Old Jan 21, 19, 5:51 pm
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Just to be clear, a reroute is clearly required by the Regulation, if selected by the passenger. But, there is no precedent for requiring the carrier to rebook on other carriers. I suppose that the argument one might make in litigation is that if the route has been cancelled and the carrier will not rebook on another, the last two options under EC 261/2004 are meaningless. Not the first time there is a right without a remedy, but it just seems a hard and long road.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by London Calling View Post

So I tell myself that this could have been a lot worse and it may all be a lost cause and a hard lesson learnt but I did wonder whether anyone else (with all the Ex-EU positioning experience in this forum) has ever had the same misfortune and whether they have had any success that they could share.
I canít say Iíve had the same thing happen but Avianca recently did a schedule change which made it impossible to fly the second half
of my originally booked ticket. I had several other flights/tickets dependent on taking that flight so cancellation wasnít an option. I pointed them to IATA Resolution 735d. I canít promise this will work or be fully relevant to your situation, but it does say that the carrier can endorse, and in some circumstances has an obligation to endorse, your ticket to another carrier if they can get you to your final destination closest to your original itinerary.

Hereís the relevant thread in case youíre interested: AV IRROPS in Paid Biz - Rebook on Partner?
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Old Jan 21, 19, 10:29 pm
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I think this is a case where you have effectively self-insured by booking your journey on three separate tickets. Most travel insurance would become much more expensive if it assumed this kind of risk as schedule changes are so common, more so for bookings months in advance. I would be surprised if your dispute through Amex were successful as every airline in this have upheld their part of their contract with you. I just think it didn't work out for you this time, it is quite a downer, but try to accept it and move on. Another way of looking at it - you are in the 'bargaining' phase of processing your losses here.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 12:40 am
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As you identify, Air Italy did have a duty to re-route you under EC261, on other carriers if they could not offer the service themselves. However, given you eventually accepted a refund, that option has now disappeared.

There was also no guarantee that any re-route would have fitted with your positioning flights anyway. The same would have applied if they had continued running the route but with substantially changed departure times.

I think, in the circumstances, I’d probably regard only losing £175 from the BA Avios cancellation as something of a result. I certainly wouldn’t be initiating an Amex chargeback, which - as I understand it - puts a black mark against the merchant even if not upheld. I’ve no idea if BA keeps a record of those sort of things, and what influence it would have in the future on goodwill gestures if they do, but it’s not something I’d personally, on balance, want to take a chance on. You never know when you might genuinely need their discretionary help ...

Every itinerary involves some degree of risk. Leaving from a third country increases it. Every time an extra separate ticket is added in puts it up again. Many of us gamble on substantially cheaper fares that don’t originate in our home country - and we have to accept that if something goes wrong we get a relatively small financial hit compared to the savings we make overall. I know it won’t be much consolation, but you’ve been spectacularly unlucky to get hit so hard because of the expensive TG flights - albeit it no amount of sympathy is going to recover that expenditure.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 1:16 am
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I think this really belongs to the other European airlines forum. Your ba tickets were in fact refundable and refunded with the standard fee, your domestic Thai flights would have likely been changeable for a fee had you decided to reroute your long haul to Bkk as originally planned, itís only the extreme inconvenience of the IG behaviour which is noteworthy here.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 3:12 am
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This is simply not good enough from Air Italy. their conditions of carriage state that they will put you on a different flight regardless of what EU261 say. See here - https://www.airitaly.com/cms/deploy/1/IGGJ_Documenti/IT/cgt/CGT_AIRITALY_en.pdf

Article 10 explains what options are available to remediate a flight cancellation. I would go back to Air Italy and explain that you have not been told about all the available options set out in their own terms and conditions, rendering your previous choice of refund null and void. I would insist to be placed on a different flight in comparable conditions even if this is on a different airline.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
As you have had more than 14 days of the cancellation you can't claim any sort of compensation from Air Italy.
Not true - you are referring to EU261/2004 which sets the minimum statutory compensation available for a passenger. An airline can choose to provide compensation and remediation above and beyond the regulation, which air Italy did, as set out in their conditions of carriage.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by mario View Post
Not true - you are referring to EU261/2004 which sets the minimum statutory compensation available for a passenger. An airline can choose to provide compensation and remediation above and beyond the regulation, which air Italy did, as set out in their conditions of carriage.
I repeat under EU261 no compensation is due for a cancellation more than 14 days before departure. Air Italy gave the OP a refund as required.

But I'm not seeing from the OP that Air Italy have given them any compensation at all.
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Old Jan 22, 19, 3:37 am
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As this now mainly concerns Air Italy, and whether there is any further comeback for the OP given their CoCs appear not to have been fully advised or utilised, we’ll move this to the ‘Other European Airlines’ where there will be greater expertise and experience of dealing with IG.

/mod
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