QR and EC261 - experiences

Old Jan 22, 16, 3:50 am
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QR and EC261 - experiences

As I don't think it is prudent to start a new thread on every personal experience or inquiry I have, I have searched the forum to some extent but failed to find any info.

I will stick to the facts:
AMS-DOH-BKK on one I class ticket. Long overnight stay (my fault for not checking properly) in the airport hotel to wake up to a message that the QR832 was delayed. Not much information except the departure time changing every hour. Finally left just shy of 5 hrs late and arrived 4:33 late.

Now I already know that they delay was technical and that no spare aircraft was available. That means I also know that they are supposed to offer / provide compensation.

So the general question is: best to approach the local sales office or do they have a centralized department for that ?

More individual : I did get upgraded to F and everything in the air was lovely. No complaints. The ground staff are a bit clueless. I had a connecting flight (which I missed) on a separate PNR and as the flight arrived close to midnight I needed hotel accommodation. Even though QR is not responsible for the cost of rebooking my onward travel (for that I have travel insurance) they are required to provide hotel accommodation for a midnight arrival caused by their delay. Most airlines do so upon request. I was sort of shocked by the response to my question about this at the lounge desk. 'That is not our problem at all' and I am not paraphrasing.

Anyway: I was considering asking them for an upgrade on the way back (including First Class lounge access which wasn't part of this upgrade!), a day room (yes, I failed to check the way back too...) and a 500 credit voucher towards future travel in lieu of me signing away my EC261 rights and compensation for hotels etc. I did actually miss my 50th bday party in Ko Samui because of the delay but if so important I should have left earlier etc.

How willing is QR to be creative or am I wasting my thumbs ?

Thanks and maybe this thread could be used for other queries regarding compensation as well.
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Old Jan 22, 16, 5:33 am
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Well it's one phone call / email either way... EC261 would apply in your case so what's the worst that can happen?
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Old Jan 22, 16, 6:11 am
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Sorry to hear of your troubles Henky - hopefully the IRROPS didn't detract from your overall experience with QR.

In terms of what QR will do for you, creativity is not their strong point. They will likely offer you what you are entitled to through EC261, opposed to any of your suggestion.

While I can see the logic in your preferred request, I have tried similar options with QR (when I too have been delayed/cancelled/suffered IRROPS), and they stick to their grounds in terms of compensation.

By all means give QR a ring or send them an email, and keep us updated!

Safe travels,

M
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Old Jan 22, 16, 6:11 am
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Originally Posted by mpkz View Post
Well it's one phone call / email either way... EC261 would apply in your case so what's the worst that can happen?
I know. Just wondering who best to contact. The Dutch contact center is very nice and friendly but I have no idea how much leeway they have for out of the box solutions.


Also would like to avoid problematic interactions* with QR CS and I heard rumors about a QR rep wondering the great halls of FT...

* I read here that it's not easy, so not speaking from personal experience.
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Old Jan 22, 16, 6:16 am
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Originally Posted by msm2000uk View Post
Sorry to hear of your troubles Henky - hopefully the IRROPS didn't detract from your overall experience with QR.
Seems we posted at the same time. No, it didn't. I was pleasantly surprised and I think I really like their F class product. I'm afraid it might be addictive.

Thanks for the other part of your reply and managing my expectations. I guess I will have to make due with compensation and maybe a lucky second opup. ^
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Old Jan 22, 16, 7:58 am
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I'm interested in QR's response. QR832 is outwith the scope of EC261 and they may deny compensation based on that. I know the case is that it is part of an overall itinerary that does qualify, but other airlines use this argument with some success.

I agree with their position that no hotel is due after the late arrival.
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Old Jan 22, 16, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
I'm interested in QR's response. QR832 is outwith the scope of EC261 and they may deny compensation based on that. I know the case is that it is part of an overall itinerary that does qualify, but other airlines use this argument with some success.

I agree with their position that no hotel is due after the late arrival.
+1

There have been multiple discussions over on the AA board about delayed arrival on ex-EU itineraries that were not caused by a delay on an ex-EU flight. The consensus (and the position of non-EU airlines, it seems) is that EC261 does not apply here. If your delay had been on the AMS-DOH leg which caused you to misconnect in DOH and arrive >4 hours late, then you might have a case. But given DOH-BKK was the only leg with a delay, I think you'll have a hard time convincing QR (or any airline, for that matter) to pay up.
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Old Jan 22, 16, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by ismann View Post
+1

There have been multiple discussions over on the AA board about delayed arrival on ex-EU itineraries that were not caused by a delay on an ex-EU flight. The consensus (and the position of non-EU airlines, it seems) is that EC261 does not apply here. If your delay had been on the AMS-DOH leg which caused you to misconnect in DOH and arrive >4 hours late, then you might have a case. But given DOH-BKK was the only leg with a delay, I think you'll have a hard time convincing QR (or any airline, for that matter) to pay up.
This is a horrible reason to not try, seeing as the case law is still not clear on this and the OP would be going to a Dutch court which doesn't have a stupid precedent case like English and Welsh courts do...
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Old Jan 22, 16, 3:40 pm
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Quoting for the OP from a separate site (the AA thread talks about a case in England going against this, but so far there is nothing else from anywhere else in the EU that would contradict):
See Air France SA v Heinz-Gerke Folkerts and Luz-Tereza Folkerts, where the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that just because the original flight was not delayed beyond the limits laid down by EU law does not affect the right to compensation. In the case, Mrs Folkerts held a single ticket from Bremen, Germany to Asuncion in Paraguay via Paris and Sao Paulo. There was an initial 2.5 hour delay out of Bremen, that caused her to miss her flight from Paris to Sao Paulo, and her later rebooked flight to Sao Paulo also caused her to miss her original flight from Sao Paulo to Asuncion, resulting in a total 11 hour delay.

Air France argued that since the initial 2.5 hour delay was less than the 3 hour delay required for EU 261/2004 to apply, it wasn't liable for the 600 EUR it had been ordered to pay. The Court of Justice disagreed with Air France, and ruled, bolding mine:

"...a passenger on directly connecting flights must be compensated when he has been delayed at departure for a period below the limits specified in the regulation, but has arrived at his final destination at least three hours later than the scheduled arrival time. That compensation is not conditional upon there having been a delay at departure."

Just note that the entire journey must be on a single ticket; naturally, if Elliot and his family had held a separate ticket from Washington to Orlando there would be no compensation due. And if there was a stopover such that it was no longer part of a single journey, the delay out of Washington wouldn't count either for purposes of EU 261 compensation.
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Old Jan 22, 16, 9:30 pm
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In NL it is about arrival in the last city on your through ticket. Most airlines pay up without problems, as they know that no Dutch court would rule in their favor. Consequently we also do not generate jurisprudence.... By the way: this is not always a good thing. If you have planned a long (but <24hr) layover with hotels etc and your first flight is delayed but you still arrive on time at your final destination, you get nothing.

The first scenario happened to me a few times before (not on QR but CX, KL and AF) and the process was swift every time. KL even offered the compensation proactively via a call while waiting for my connection. I will report back on QR's behavior in the matter.

Last edited by henkybaby; Jan 22, 16 at 10:19 pm
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Old Jan 23, 16, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by mpkz View Post
Quoting for the OP from a separate site (the AA thread talks about a case in England going against this, but so far there is nothing else from anywhere else in the EU that would contradict):
QR will say thay Folkerts doesn't apply as it was a case where both flights were on an EU carrier. The Schenkel case seems to support this, although it was the return leg that was affected.

QR will say no EU carrier, and no EU origin or destination for the affected flight, so no compensation due.

They might however be unwilling to push things as they won't want to create a precedent that may not be to their advantage.
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Old Jan 23, 16, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
QR will say thay Folkerts doesn't apply as it was a case where both flights were on an EU carrier. The Schenkel case seems to support this, although it was the return leg that was affected.

QR will say no EU carrier, and no EU origin or destination for the affected flight, so no compensation due.

They might however be unwilling to push things as they won't want to create a precedent that may not be to their advantage.
The point of the case was that the entire itinerary counts as one flight, for which the carrier being EU or non-EU is completely irrelevant (imagine you were a judge: why would it matter?) as long as the flight is departing ex-EU...

35 It follows that, in the case of directly connecting flights, it is only the delay beyond the scheduled time of arrival at the final destination, understood as the destination of the last flight taken by the passenger concerned, which is relevant for the purposes of the fixed compensation under Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004.

36 In the third place, Article 6 of Regulation No 261/2004, which refers to the delay to a flight beyond its scheduled time of departure, seeks, according to its own terms, only to establish the conditions giving entitlement to the measures of assistance and care provided for in Articles 8 and 9 of that regulation respectively.

37 If follows that the fixed compensation to which a passenger is entitled under Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004, when his flight reaches the final destination three hours or more after the scheduled arrival time, is not dependent on the conditions laid down in Article 6 of that regulation being met.

38 Accordingly, the fact that a flight such as that at issue in the main proceedings has not been delayed, as regards the scheduled departure time, beyond the limits set out in Article 6 of Regulation No 261/2004, cannot affect the obligation on air carriers to compensate the passengers of such a flight, provided that the arrival of that flight at the final destination has been delayed by three hours or more.

39 The opposite approach would constitute an unjustified difference in treatment, inasmuch as it would effectively treat passengers of flights arriving at their final destination three hours or more after the scheduled arrival time differently depending on whether their flights were delayed beyond the scheduled departure time by more than the limits set out in Article 6 of Regulation No 261/2004, even though their inconvenience linked to an irreversible loss of time is identical.
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Old Jan 23, 16, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by mpkz View Post
The point of the case was that the entire itinerary counts as one flight, for which the carrier being EU or non-EU is completely irrelevant (imagine you were a judge: why would it matter?) as long as the flight is departing ex-EU...
I was relating what has actually happened, not what us armchair lawyers on flyertalk might deem relevant, or what we think a judge might decide.

You have said above that the case law isn't clear and that is significant here.
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Old Jan 23, 16, 8:26 am
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First, as to the alternate compensation, it cannot hurt to call and ask. You will, of course, need to deal with this on a phone call and it is unclear that QR agents are sufficiently empowered to settle claims. Needless to say, your proposed settlement costs QR very little and certainly close to nothing to the bottom line if it has F available and not likely to be sold. On the other hand, it is not unreasonable for a carrier not to want its line people engaging in negotiations and it is unclear that QR has the mechanism to elevate these things to RM/IM people who can look at this realistically. Nonetheless, a cost-free question for you.

Second, equally cost-free EC 261/2004 demand by you.

Third, my analysis remains that there is not a leg to stand on here and sooner or later all will result in a clear precedent being established. EC 261/2004 applies to this ticket only to the extent that QR departed from the EU. The ex-EU QR flight clearly landed in time to deliver OP to an onwards flight to two points outside the EU on a non-EU carrier. That flight was itself delayed. Had the first segment been delayed so as to cause a misconnect by so much as 1 minute, then the ultimate delay would be calculated by the arrival time at BKK and EUR 600 would be due.

I say this not only by a reading of EC 261/2004, but as a fairly clear limitation on the authority and reach of the EU and its courts.

I would expect QR to be more than willing to litigate the point, not because it particularly cares about EUR 600, but because there are all manner of concerns about subjecting its non-EU operations to EU supervision which are much broader than this. It will also have the legal and diplomatic support of both Qatar and Thai governments, neither of which particularly want to see their sovereignty encroached.

But, none of this ought to prevent the claim. You never know that some line clerical person won't hit the "OK" key and pay the claim.
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Old Jan 23, 16, 10:04 am
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To summarize my reading of this thread (and my personal view): you can claim 600 because you arrived 4 hours late at your final destination. You cannot claim any other expenses (like hotel in BKK).
Whether QR will accept is questionable. They already provided you with an upgrade to F and might feel that you are unreasonable. Then you would have to go to court.
I feel that you should claim in the Netherlands if you purchase the ticket there. Undoubtedly, they will ask HQ.
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