American Airlines giving seat away

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Jul 12, 2017
3
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#1
I recently booked a roundtrip direct flight between Paris and Chicago using American Airlines services and was set to depart Paris at 12:15pm and return to Chicago at 2:30pm both on June 26, 2017. However, my flight to Chicago was cancelled and I was rebooked on a flight arriving in Philadelphia at 3:50PM with a connection to Chicago departing at 5:50PM.

The unfortunate incident occurred in that my flight from Paris to Philadelphia was delayed by around a half hour – arriving in Philadelphia around 4:30PM. Once I cleared customs, re-checked my bag in again, and went through security, I ran to the gate for my flight to Chicago and arrived exactly at 5:49PM only to be informed by the flight attendant that my seat was given away (this was my one flight that was not delayed). I also had a seat close to the front (5A) on this flight. I was then placed in the stressful situation of being on standby for the next flight to Chicago set to depart at 7:40PM and given a seat last-minute in 17D. I have been traveling from Poland to Paris and then to the United States since June 25th and this was the 4th flight I was embarking on after being awake for more than 24 hours. I have never had a problem like this before so I didn't know how to resolve the issue on the spot.

Instead, I emailed American Airlines a few days later using this exact wording and asked for compensation for the loss of my direct flight to Chicago, loss of my seat in the connecting flight from Philadelphia to Chicago, and the additional stress and lost time in this situation as originally my direct flight would have had me in Chicago by 2:30PM. As I paid around $800 for my roundtrip flight, I lost around 400$ for the direct flight. The airline responded by giving me a bonus 7,500 award miles.

My question is then is this really fair? I don't travel often and never use miles - however based on research and understanding that it takes around 20-40,000 miles to get a one-way domestic ticket, this seems to be low. I would greatly appreciate any advice on if this is fair compensation given my situation and if not, how I can respond to American Airlines. Thank you everyone for your time!
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#2
If you didn't like the flight they rebooked you on, you had every right to cancel and get a full refund and then find another flight to book yourself on to.

If you feel the offer is too low, reply, thank them and let them know what you feel is appropriate compensation, and ask for that.

Unfortunately your delay in Europe wasn't long enough to warrant European compensation.

maybe some other colleagues will have additional information.
 
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Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,175
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#3
I would request the compensation be exchanged from miles for a voucher for a future flight so you can use it immediately rather than wait to accumulate enough miles for a flight.

Even though the aircraft was still at the gate when you arrived, all ticketed passengers must be on board within so many minutes (check the contract of carriage for the requirement) of the scheduled departure. A minute before departure was too late to board.
 
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R

Realitoes

Guest
#4
Your not due any compensation. The mileage was just a goodwill gesture airlines tend to give out with folks who write a letter of complaint to them.

Airlines don't guarantee any specific flight schedule, only that they will transport you from your point of origin to your final destination. If there are any significant delays/cancellations, they will get you there as soon as they can or you can request a refund of the unused portions as sas80 indicated.

You didn't lose money on a the direct flight, just the convenience. AA's tickets are priced based on origin and destination and fare availability, not whether they are non-stop, direct or with connections. Non-stop and direct flights may look more expensive when booking, but that is due to the lower fares you see with the connecting flights being sold out, as people tend to prefer the non-stop and direct flights.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,290
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www.promalvacations.com
#5
What is comes down to is that your connections were just not long enough on the flights you booked. We will not book connecting flights with less than 2 hours in between the flights, especially coming from overseas back to the U.S. because you have to go through Customs.

All they owe you is a rebooking on the next flight with available seats or a refund.
 
Sep 15, 2015
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#6
Weronika,
You are due compensation under the EU 261/2004 regulation on delayed flights. Your flight qualifies because it was leaving an EU airport (CDG). Even if you had made your connection in PHL, you would have arrived more between three and four hours after scheduled, requiring American to pay you €300. As you arrived more than four hours late, you are entitled to €600.

Write American, requesting compensation for €600, citing your arrival in Chicago more than four hours after scheduled, due to American's cancellation of your direct flight.

Your not due any compensation.
Wrong - and terrible grammar to boot.

What is comes down to is that your connections were just not long enough on the flights you booked.
What are you talking about? She didn't book this flight, it was what she was put on by American after it cancelled her original flight.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,290
12,467
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Weronika,
You are due compensation under the EU 261/2004 regulation on delayed flights. Your flight qualifies because it was leaving an EU airport (CDG).
.

Unfortunately this is incorrect. To be eligible for compensation a flight must be delayed 4 hours or more. Her flight was delayed at a half hour. And it depends in the reason due the delay.

And this is why we are advocates. We know the rules - trust me if she was eligible you would have had 5 of us posting the same info to file a claim.



The Flight Compensation Regulation261/2004 is a regulation in EU lawestablishing common rules on compensationand assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or long delays of flights. It requires compensation of €250 to €600 depending on the flight distance for delays over 4 hours, cancellations,
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
362
457
63
St. Louis
#8
Weronika,
You are due compensation under the EU 261/2004 regulation on delayed flights. Your flight qualifies because it was leaving an EU airport (CDG). Even if you had made your connection in PHL, you would have arrived more between three and four hours after scheduled, requiring American to pay you €300. As you arrived more than four hours late, you are entitled to €600.

Write American, requesting compensation for €600, citing your arrival in Chicago more than four hours after scheduled, due to American's cancellation of your direct flight.
Compensation would depend on the reason for the cancellation. Here is our FAQ on EU 261.
 
Sep 15, 2015
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#9
Her flight was delayed at a half hour.
She arrived more than four hours late to Chicago, therefore she is due compensation. Cut and dried. The regulation takes into account re-routing. See excerpts from the actual regulation below. Bold highlights are my own as are clarifications inserted between brackets ([]).

Article 5
Cancellation
1.
In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers
concerned shall...
(c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier
in accordance with Article 7, unless...
(iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven
days before the scheduled time of departure and are
offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more
than one hour before the scheduled time of departure
and to reach their final destination less than two hours
after the scheduled time of arrival
.

Article 7
Right to compensation
1.
Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall
receive compensation amounting to:
(c) EUR 600 for all flights [longer than 3500km].
2.
When passengers are offered re-routing to their final
destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Article 8, the
arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival
time of the flight originally booked

(c) by four hours, in respect of all flights [longer than 3500km],
the operating air carrier may reduce the compensation
provided for in paragraph 1 by 50 %
 
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technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
2,001
3,416
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#10
EU compensation depends on when she was notified of the rerouting. Wikipedia has a great explanation.

The airline is also required to pay cash compensation as described below, unless one of the following conditions applies:
  • the airline notifies the passengers at least two weeks prior to departure
  • the airline notifies the passengers between one and two weeks prior to departure, and re-routes passengers so that they can:
    • depart no more than two hours earlier than scheduled, and
    • arrive no more than four hours later than scheduled
  • the airline notifies the passengers less than one week prior to departure, and re-routes passengers so that they can:
    • depart no more than one hour earlier than scheduled, and
    • arrive no more than two hours later than scheduled
  • the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
I am also not sure that this qualifies under the EU rules because it was the issue of customs and immigration in the US that caused the last leg to be missed. These are out of control of the airlines. It can be theoretically possible to go through customs and immigration and catch a flight in less than 2 hours but practically very difficult. This is thrnsame issue when one misses a flight in Europe because of long security line.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
830
1,366
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#12
@ShortDog ... EU261 compensation only applies if the CDG to ORD cancellation was for a reason within the airlines control (maintenance), occurred at the last minute and the routing would have made her more than 4 hours late.
Its settled law that EU 261 only applies to EU air carriers or flights that touch the EU. Since her CDG to PHL flight wasn't delayed the required 4 hours and that's the only flight EU261 applies to, she wouldn't be owed compensation for that. Here's the verbiage from the CAA (UK's version of the FAA) that covers it. "If your journey involves flights with airlines from different countries, it’s generally the nationality of the airline at fault that determines your rights." https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Re...ights/Your-rights-when-you-miss-a-connection/
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Nov 14, 2016
374
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#13
Unfortunately this is incorrect. To be eligible for compensation a flight must be delayed 4 hours or more. Her flight was delayed at a half hour. And it depends in the reason due the delay.

And this is why we are advocates. We know the rules - trust me if she was eligible you would have had 5 of us posting the same info to file a claim.



The Flight Compensation Regulation261/2004 is a regulation in EU lawestablishing common rules on compensationand assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellations, or long delays of flights. It requires compensation of €250 to €600 depending on the flight distance for delays over 4 hours, cancellations,
Neil is 100% correct. EU 261 does not apply to delays in customs. So that flight isn't owed anything.

However, there's a question about the original canceled flight. We don't know when that happened or what occurred so there's no way to determine if it's possible that EU 261 is owed on that flight. Depending on when it was supposed to land, compensation of €300 or €600 could be owed. So we're going to know the reason and the date the consumer was told about the cancellation. For instance, if they were told only 24 hours in advance that their flight was cancelled due to maintenance, that should be due EU 261.If they were rerouted weeks prior then it's not due EU 261.

If compensation is owed you can use this template as a letter to the airlines:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing regarding flight number on date from departure airport to arrival airport with the scheduled departure time of scheduled departure time.

My booking reference is reference number. This flight arrived # of hours hours late at airport ***OR*** This flight was cancelled and I arrived late on time and day.

The passengers in the party were names of party.

The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Tui & others v CAA confirmed the applicability of compensation for delay as set out in the Sturgeon case. As such, I am seeking compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 for this delayed flight.

My scheduled flight length was number of kilometres, therefore I am seeking €250 / €300 / €400 / €600 per delayed passenger in my party. The total compensation sought is €amount.

I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome a response in 14 days.,

Regards,

Name
 
Jul 12, 2017
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#15
Hi! I just wanted to say that I took your advice and it worked! Sorry I didn't give the right info but you were right, since I was notified less than 24 hours in advance that my flight was cancelled (for no given reason), American Airlines agreed to abide by EU regulation 261. Thank you so very much for your helpful advice! This forum is great!

Neil is 100% correct. EU 261 does not apply to delays in customs. So that flight isn't owed anything.

However, there's a question about the original canceled flight. We don't know when that happened or what occurred so there's no way to determine if it's possible that EU 261 is owed on that flight. Depending on when it was supposed to land, compensation of €300 or €600 could be owed. So we're going to know the reason and the date the consumer was told about the cancellation. For instance, if they were told only 24 hours in advance that their flight was cancelled due to maintenance, that should be due EU 261.If they were rerouted weeks prior then it's not due EU 261.

If compensation is owed you can use this template as a letter to the airlines:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing regarding flight number on date from departure airport to arrival airport with the scheduled departure time of scheduled departure time.

My booking reference is reference number. This flight arrived # of hours hours late at airport ***OR*** This flight was cancelled and I arrived late on time and day.

The passengers in the party were names of party.

The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Tui & others v CAA confirmed the applicability of compensation for delay as set out in the Sturgeon case. As such, I am seeking compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 for this delayed flight.

My scheduled flight length was number of kilometres, therefore I am seeking €250 / €300 / €400 / €600 per delayed passenger in my party. The total compensation sought is €amount.

I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome a response in 14 days.,

Regards,

Name
 
Jul 12, 2017
3
8
3
#16
Thank you so much for your advice! I did use EU reg 261 and got compensated for my original flight being cancelled for no given reason and with less than 24 hour notice. I really appreciate your help!

She arrived more than four hours late to Chicago, therefore she is due compensation. Cut and dried. The regulation takes into account re-routing. See excerpts from the actual regulation below. Bold highlights are my own as are clarifications inserted between brackets ([]).

Article 5
Cancellation
1.
In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers
concerned shall...
(c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier
in accordance with Article 7, unless...
(iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven
days before the scheduled time of departure and are
offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more
than one hour before the scheduled time of departure
and to reach their final destination less than two hours
after the scheduled time of arrival
.

Article 7
Right to compensation
1.
Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall
receive compensation amounting to:
(c) EUR 600 for all flights [longer than 3500km].
2.
When passengers are offered re-routing to their final
destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Article 8, the
arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival
time of the flight originally booked

(c) by four hours, in respect of all flights [longer than 3500km],
the operating air carrier may reduce the compensation
provided for in paragraph 1 by 50 %
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#18
I am executive Platinum and used full miles for my Girlfriend and I to go from LAX to LHR in first class





I had seat 1J and my Girlfriend had Seat 2J as she hates the Bulkhead





We ticketed it in July





On Nov 21st without any notice they switched her to 1G





I noticed it 5 days before our flight and called AA and they said the Seat was Broken but here is what I found out





The seat wasn’t broken it was given to another paying passenger who wanted 3 seats in a row for him and his two guests





I overheard him bragging on the Airplane that he had AA bump a passenger out of the seat





I have left 4 Messages for American Customer Service but have not received a call back





Not sure what to do but won’t accept a small voucher as I really think they should be called out on this and the very least I should tell the world on Social media
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
830
1,366
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#19
@Marty T Guaranteed he's a grand poobah elite. They were willing to annoy you to make him happy and you have decent status so he must have some pull.

As you know, seat assignments aren't guaranteed. So if you're not going to accept a small voucher, you'll probably get nothing. Of course if you don't ask...

Good luck.
 
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