air travel – Am I entitled to compensation under EU261 if my flight was rescheduled to four days later with only six days notice?

I have been notified a little less than six days before my originally scheduled departure time, about a schedule change resulting in my flight departing four days later. The flight numbers are the same, and the airline is refusing compensation in accordance with EU261 as they state that this situation does not regard a cancellation. The airline has stated that the reschedule was done because of commercial reasons (so, no extraordinary circumstances).

The airline offered me a refund, but that seems ridiculous to me – to me it seems simply unethical and unfair to reschedule a flight with such an extreme difference (96 hours) out of commercial reasons, and not compensate passengers, who booked unrefundable hotel stays and such, accordingly. Am I right that I am in this case entitled to EU261 compensation?

Is anyone aware of any jurisprudence?

air travel – Is Eurowings’s EC261 compensation refusal accurate?

Background: was due to fly PRN-DUS-MAN, but 3 days before departure, the PRN-DUS route was reduced for July, running on Wednesdays and Saturdays rather than daily.

My immediate view is that such a service reduction is invariably a voluntary business decision, i.e. within the airline’s control.

I now got a refusal not providing any clear details (original in German HERE):

We thank you for your message and apologise for the inconvenience.

We regret that we couldn’t operate your flight EW6604 as planned. The
cause of this was extraordinary circumstances which we couldn’t avoid
despite careful planning.

The legal regulations do not prescribe compensation when a so-called
extraordinary circumstance applies. According to the European Court of
Justice (ECJ), this term refers to any and all circumstances
ultimately derived from events which, based on their nature, cause or
impact, are not part of regular operations of the concerned airline
and are outside of their actual sphere of influence (ECJ C-549/07). In
particular, this includes external damages (e.g. bird strikes or
foreign objects on the runway), strikes, severe weather, as well as
all kinds of airspace restrictions due to governmental directives.

Per the view of the (German) Federal Court of Justice (BGH), this
further includes all disruptions not immediately affecting the
concerned flight, but indirectly having an effect on your flight (e.g.
BGH X ZR 104/13 or X ZR 121/13). It is possible, such as in your case,
for various external factors during the day to add up. Such a chain
could cause further inevitable disruptions and eventually also affect
subsequent flights.

This year too, regrettably, the staffing conditions of the different
European air navigation services have been very tense. Therefore,
delays could occur during the coordination of flight movements,
especially through multiple airspaces. Such directives from flight
control authorities, airport authorities or other governmental bodies
must be followed, whereby any caused delays, as per case law, are to
be classified as an external intervention in the planned flight
operations, and therefore outside the scope of influence of the
concerned airline (e.g. BGH X ZR 115/12).

The flight schedule of an airline is comparable to a clockwork, which
only works if all cogwheels clutch together. If an impairment occurs
during such a sensitive process, a delay or even cancellation of a
flight is most often inevitable.

In order to reduce the impact on our guests as much as possible, we
naturally arrange replacement aircraft to reduce delays or prevent
cancellations. Unfortunately, in your case it wasn’t possible for us
to take further reasonable measures and operate your flight as
planned.

We’ll gladly examine the possibility of reimbursement as per the right
of care (e.g. catering during the waiting time at the airport). You
may send us the corresponding receipts as a reply to our message for
review.

We hope to be able to welcome you onboard soon again in spite of the
inconveniences.

My question is: what errors, if any, can I point to? I want to give them one last chance before taking the matter to the Kosovan civil aviation authority.

Note: again, it wasn’t a cancellation on a single date nor a suspension of the route, but a service reduction for all of July.

compensation – How do I check the true cause of a flight cancellation?

(DUS=Düsseldorf, FRA=Frankfurt, MAN=Manchester, NCL=Newcastle, PRN=Prishtina, VIE=Vienna)

Originally had a Eurowings booking PRN-DUS-NCL and a rail ticket Newcastle-Manchester, whereby I would’ve landed at NCL at 10:40, then reached Manchester at 14:20.

15 days before departure, the DUS-NCL flight was cancelled and I was re-booked to PRN-DUS-MAN, whereby I would’ve landed at MAN at 14:40.

3 days before departure, the PRN-DUS flight was cancelled.

1 day before departure, I was re-booked to PRN-VIE-FRA-MAN with Austrian+Lufthansa (I understood Eurowings wouldn’t do this willingly, but made it clear straight away that I would drag them to court if they tried conning me, and they got the hint). Ended up with this and landed at MAN at 22:55.

A week ago I e-mailed claims261@eurowings.com asking for:

  • EUR 400 compensation per EC261
  • Reimbursement for the unusable, nonrefundable rail ticket Newcastle-Manchester (GBP 10.55).

I told them that, should extraordinary circumstances per EC261 apply, they are to provide a detailed explanation with relevant documentation. I added that I may check the accuracy of their information with the relevant authorities, “adivising against” giving incorrect/misleading information.

(airlines will happily claim “since there happens to be an ongoing pandemic, everything counts as an extraordinary circumstance, so you can’t claim for anything ever”. This is emphatically NOT true.)

FWIW, the PRN-DUS route wasn’t cancelled altogether, just reduced. I made screenshots proving it took off two days before and one day after my date.

I got a “read” receipt very quickly, but no response yet.

NOW, my question is: what German authority can check whether an airline is being truthful about the reason for a cancellation? The EU’s list of national enforcement bodies refers to the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, but someone told me they only accept cases where there’s concrete evidence of an airline violating EC261, not examining whether an airline is truthful or not.

Third-party agents such as Claimcompass do deal with such examinations, but would keep 35% for themselves, so I want to avoid going through them if at all possible.

So in summary: what authority in Germany do I turn to? Or is it perhaps the Kosovan civil aviation authority?

Ec261 compensation : European Flight of less than 3000km, delayed by 9 hours. Is compensation limited to €400?

My flight from Tenerife south to Gatwick had to make an emergency landing due to technical issues in Porto Santo. We were delayed getting back to Gatwick by 9 hours (finally landing at 00:30, thereby incurring an £80 taxi fare home) whilst waiting on a replacement plane to collect us. The airline initially tried to deny me compensation erroneously claiming I was “a member of staff”.

Now they are saying as the flight is less than 3500 km I can only receive €400 regardless of the 9 hour time delay. Is this correct or should I receive €600?

Air travel: are we entitled to compensation per flight?

Yes, assuming you have not been informed more than two weeks before the flight. Of the rights of air passengers:

Cancellation or denied boarding

If your flight is canceled, and they informed you less than 2 weeks
before the scheduled date
or you are denied boarding, you have the right
to:

  • Transportation to your final destination using comparable alternative means of transportation; or
    • A refund for your ticket; or
    • Free transportation to your initial departure point if you have connecting flights; and
  • Financial compensation of EUR 250 to EUR 600 depending on the distance of your flight. If the carrier offers you an alternative
    flight, and arrives at its final destination with a delay of 2, 3 or 4
    hours depending on the duration of the flight, compensation may be
    reduced by 50% (see below).

In cases of change of route, you also have the right to receive care (drinks, meals,
communications) and, if necessary, hotel accommodation (included
transfer) depending on the length of the delay.

Please note that compensation is due anyway, even if the airline provides alternative transportation or refunds your ticket. The airline must also provide accommodation (see last sentence). As usual, you will likely have to raise your voice and probably post a written complaint to get something from an airline.

Air travel: which airlines offer compensation forms?

I read about this Anish Sheela response:

Sign an indemnity form stating that you accept personal responsibility for paying the fine imposed on the airline, if denied.

Which airlines offer compensation forms? Do all airlines have it, or just some?


From this Zach Lipton answer, at least Qatar has it:

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(image source)

There is no airline assistance to return home after cancellation (due to COVID19), can I receive compensation under EC 261?

Last month, Morocco locked up while I was there on vacation. He had tickets with BA. At that time some flights were canceled, but then so-called rescue flights were reinstated.

Airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair offered their customers existing ticket seats on these rescue flights (if their flights were canceled). BA did not. BA did not inform me of the flight cancellation. I found out from the news.

When I called BA, they told me they had no flights left. They offered me flights in April (which in fact were also canceled) Later they introduced additional rescue flights and of course they didn't offer them to me, why would they if they can sell them for £ 300 each? After returning to the UK, I asked them to pay for my new ticket with Ryanair (£ 300 individual). I was offered a refund for my original tickets (£ 180 refund)

The wording of the law is given below. It says you should be able to receive a satisfactory refund or route change. Of course, I want them to provide a routing (or a cost to cover this)

Do I have any legal rights if I have to file a lawsuit against them? I was under the impression that airlines were legally obligated to buy you tickets (from your rivals) if they canceled flights of numerous stories I have read before or is it just the case that you were denied boarding?

Please note that delay compensation does not apply here because I believe this is an exceptional circumstance, but airlines should offer a new route or refund in this situation.

https://eur ancla/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32004R0261&from=FR

(12) The problems and inconveniences for passengers caused by flight cancellation should also be reduced. This should be accomplished by inducing carriers to inform passengers of cancellations before the scheduled departure time and, in addition, to offer them a reasonable route change, so that passengers can make other arrangements. Airlines must compensate passengers if they do not, except when cancellation occurs in extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable steps had been taken.

(13) Passengers whose flights are canceled should be able to get their tickets reimbursed or obtain a new route in satisfactory condition, and should receive adequate care while waiting for a subsequent flight.

EDIT: https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/Delays-cancellations/Cancellations/Medium-haul-cancellations/ suggests that the right to change the path exists. It does not mention any preconditions for this.

air travel – Which agency in Serbia enforces passenger compensation rights?

Air Serbia canceled a flight from Belgrade to Vienna, but is now refusing to pay for food / accommodation or compensation, despite promising to pay the costs in writing and by phone. We appealed to the Passenger Rights Agency, Austria's national enforcement agency for passenger compensation claims, but responded that the matter is outside their jurisdiction. (Flights inside The EU on non-EU carriers is generally not covered by EU Regulation 261/2004.)

However, Air Serbia maintains its own declaration of passenger rights.* * He also mentions that these rights are prescribed by Serbian law, so we can still continue the matter in Serbia. Which government agency is responsible for enforcing passenger compensation rights in Serbia, and how can we contact them to file a complaint? If there is no such government agency, is there a private claims processor that we can use? (There are many such processors in the EU, such as ClaimCompass, but all of those we verified deal only with claims covered by EU regulations, not Serbs.)


* * Please note that due to Air Serbia's broken website, you may need to follow that link twice before the correct page appears. It seems that first-time visitors to the website are always redirected to your home page.

Air travel: If an airline wrongly refuses to register a passenger due to incomplete paperwork (eg visa), is the passenger entitled to compensation?

I looked at the transportation contracts of four major airlines, from four different countries: United, British Airways, Japan Airlines and Lufthansa. Three of them allow the airline to deny boarding to any passenger to whom the airline reasonably believe you do not have valid travel documents, whether or not they are correct in this belief.

The fourth (Lufthansa) does not appear to have any of these clauses. The clause only appears to cover cases where the passenger does not have the appropriate documents, not where the airline believes that it does not have such documents.

Whether or not a belief is "reasonable" is one of those things for which lawyers are paid a lot of money to haggle in court. Suffice it to say that it will depend on the particular circumstances of each case, and on the jurisprudence of the jurisdiction where the action is initiated.


The bold in the quotes below is mine.

United:

UA also reserves the right to deny boarding to any Passenger whose necessary travel documents are not in good condition in accordance with UA's reasonable belief, or that otherwise do not comply with the laws of the specific country from which the Passenger departs, transits or travels.

British Airways:

We may decide to refuse to transport you or your luggage if one or more of the following has occurred or we reasonably believe that it can happen.

7a15) If you do not have, or do not appear to have, valid travel documents.

7a16) If you try to enter a country for which your travel documents are not valid.

7a17) If the immigration authority of the country you are traveling to, or of a country in which you have a stopover, has told us (either orally or in writing) that it has decided not to allow you to enter that country, even if it has or appears have valid travel documents.

Japan Airlines:

  1. JAL can reject the Transport or withdraw any Passenger, in which case their Baggage will be handled in the same way, if JAL determines in its reasonable discretion that: …

(3) (a) the Passenger is subject to subparagraph (1) (b) of paragraph (B) of Article 16,

  1. (B) Passports and Visas

(one)

(a) A Passenger must submit to JAL all departure, entry or other necessary documents required by the Applicable Laws of the country in question, such as the countries to which they must fly, to or on, and must allow JAL , if JAL deems it necessary in its reasonable discretion. , to make and keep copies of them; provided that, even if a Passenger presents departure, entry or other necessary documents to JAL and JAL brings the Passenger, JAL shall not be deemed to guarantee that such documents comply with Applicable Laws.

(b) JAL reserves the right to reject the Carriage of any Passenger who does not comply with any of the Applicable Laws or whose departure, entry or other necessary documents are not complete in any way.

Lufthansa:

7.1 … (W) e may also refuse to carry or continue to carry or cancel your seat reservation if …

7.1.7. you do not have a valid travel document; you want to enter a country for which you are only entitled as a transit passenger or for which you do not have valid immigration documents; destroy your travel documents during the flight; or refuses to deliver your travel documents to a crew member against a receipt when requested; or

compensation: who is responsible for subsequent travel after being denied entry to a country?

I was booked with Qatar Airlines from Muscat to Bangkok, through Doha. Upon registering in Muscat, Qatar ground staff verified my documentation for my flight to Bangkok. I had the "adequate medical insurance", the required insurance, but I didn't have a work permit, instead I had an official document that said I was in a domestic relationship in Thailand and an appointment at the hospital for the birth of my son. They asked me if I had a work permit and I told the Qatari staff no. They argued with the staff and checked me in and gave me boarding passes to Doha and Bangkok.

Again, at the boarding gate in Doha for the Bangkok flight, I was again asked if I had a work permit, to which I replied "no" and resubmitted my documents and allowed to board the Bangkok flight.

Upon my arrival in Bangkok, I was denied entry to the Kingdom of Thailand, as I do not have a work permit. They accompanied me to the immigration office and the Qatari staff told me that I had to pay for my own flight to the UK.

All of this was very annoying and degrading for me as I cannot be there for the birth of my son and I was treated as a criminal as it was considered to be a security risk. The Qatari statistic refused to return my passport to my final destination.

I was forced to sit in the back of the plane on both flights and escorted to the boarding gate by Qatari ground staff. The Doha staff was not discreet! While standing in line with a document saying that I was a deportee for all to see.

On top of this, I had to spend 2/3 hours in Doha, I couldn't get food or water as my boarding pass was denied! I requested to be escorted to a restaurant, but this was denied as it seemed that the staff member was too busy sitting relaxed in an office.

I found the boarding gate manager in Bangkok very rude, he refused to give me his name! I was not shown compassion since I was going to be with my newborn son and my partner.

I would like to know why I was allowed to board 2 separate flights without a work permit. If I had known this was necessary, I would not have tried to travel to Thailand!

As soon as I got back to the UK I checked both CAAT and IATA and both stated that a work permit was required!

Also, why did I have to pay for a flight to the UK when Qatar failed in its "Duty of Care" by allowing me to travel with insufficient documents? Does the responsibility for the cost of my next trip surely fall on Qatar?

Cheers

Barry Mutch