EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Sep 13, 2018
5
0
1
75
#1
Under EU rules (Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004), my wife and I are entitled to compensation because American cancelled our flight from VCE to PHL on 9/10/2018, and flew us to Philadelphia on 9/11/2018. Furthermore, under Regulation 261, American was "obliged to provide each passenger affected with a written notice setting out their rights under the regulation, and the contact details of the national body tasked with enforcing the regulation." They did not do this.

I called American's AAdvantage Gold Service Desk and was told to use their Customer Service contact form to address our request for compensation, although the form is hardly designed for such inquiries. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with addressing such a request with American, and any advice on accomplishing this. Under Rule 261, we are entitled to compensation of 600 Euros each, so it's no wonder that American doesn't comply with the mandatory notice requirements.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
You may not necessarily be due compensation if the reason for the flight cancellation was beyond the control of the airline. Why was the flight canceled? Christopher has an excellent post here about EU 261, what it covers and doesn't and how to file a claim. Was it weather related?

EU 261 contains an exclusion for “extraordinary circumstances.” What constitutes an extraordinary circumstance?

EU 261 states that airlines’ obligations to passengers as set forth in the regulation are limited or excluded in “extraordinary circumstances,” which are defined as follows in the preamble:

(14) As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases where an event has been caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier.
(15) Extraordinary circumstances should be deemed to exist where the impact of an air traffic management decision in relation to a particular aircraft on a particular day gives rise to a long delay, an overnight delay, or the cancellation of one or more flights by that aircraft, even though all reasonable measures had been taken by the air carrier concerned to avoid the delays or cancellations.​


https://www.elliott.org/frequently-asked-questions-about-eu261/
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 13, 2018
5
0
1
75
#3
Hi, Neil,

I was aware that there are "extraordinary circumstances" that will excuse an airline's cancellation and avoid an obligation for compensation as a result of a cancelled flight. The flight was cancelled due to mechanical/electrical problems that they were unable to fix, not any of the issues under paragraphs 14 or 15 of EU 261. Because I knew that was the case, I didn't think to include that information in my initial post.

Thanks for your comment.
 
Sep 13, 2018
5
0
1
75
#4
I had sent an inquiry to Sean Bentel, Vice President - Customer Relations at AA, whose contact information I got from the Elliott Advocacy listing of AA executives. He had someone in Customer Relations reply, confirming that we would receive 600 EUR per person or an $800 travel voucher per person at our choice, and providing a list of the information we will need to submit (name, address, email address, phone number, compensation choice, signature). Very minimal requirements. I sent my email to Sean Bentel at 12:44 PM today, received the reply at 2:00 PM today. Considering that my email had to be forwarded to someone to handle, a reply had to be prepared with specifics about the flight date and flight number, I'd say that was impressively prompt service.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
Hi, Neil,

I was aware that there are "extraordinary circumstances" that will excuse an airline's cancellation and avoid an obligation for compensation as a result of a cancelled flight. The flight was cancelled due to mechanical/electrical problems that they were unable to fix, not any of the issues under paragraphs 14 or 15 of EU 261. Because I knew that was the case, I didn't think to include that information in my initial post.

Thanks for your comment.
Then use the link in our info and file the form. You can file it directly with the EU.

Too many airlines try to play games with their responsibility, thinking the consumer is just going to go away. Many would just take the airlines word for it.

It sounds like you are due compensation so file directly. Let us know what happens.
 
Sep 13, 2018
5
0
1
75
#6
Hi, Neil,

At Elliott Advocacy's FAQs concerning EU 261, the discussion about "How do I file a complaint under EU 261?" and links to further related information says to submit directly to the airline. As noted in my 2:57 email on 13 September, I received a reply from American in a little more than an hour explaining what information they needed to pay the 600 EUR. I sent them the necessary information later that afternoon, and received an email this morning confirming that we will receive two checks in the amount of $693.14 (not a terrible exchange rate) in 8-10 business days.

Article 8(1) of EU 261 provides that compensation payments should be made within seven days by cash, electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services. If we actually receive the checks in 8-10 business days, rather than seven days, that will be a welcome resolution of our claim.
 
Sep 13, 2018
5
0
1
75
#8
Hi, Neil,

Terrible is in the eyes of the beholder. Their exchange rate was 1.15523, vs your rate of 1.16. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to exchange money at a hotel? Now, that’s what I call a terrible rate.

For me, it’s not worth complaining about a loss of $3. I was more than happy to get this resolved quickly and painlessly!

To each his own.
 
Apr 10, 2017
456
692
93
#9
That’s a terrible exchange rate. The current exchange rate is 1.16 E to the dollar. You should be getting closer to $697.

I would complain about that exchange rate.
I believe the amount is per person, not total. In that case the exchange rate is fine.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,779
113
San Francisco
#11
Hi, Neil,

At Elliott Advocacy's FAQs concerning EU 261, the discussion about "How do I file a complaint under EU 261?" and links to further related information says to submit directly to the airline. As noted in my 2:57 email on 13 September, I received a reply from American in a little more than an hour explaining what information they needed to pay the 600 EUR. I sent them the necessary information later that afternoon, and received an email this morning confirming that we will receive two checks in the amount of $693.14 (not a terrible exchange rate) in 8-10 business days.

Article 8(1) of EU 261 provides that compensation payments should be made within seven days by cash, electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers and/or other services. If we actually receive the checks in 8-10 business days, rather than seven days, that will be a welcome resolution of our claim.
It's wonderful that we were able to guide you to successful self-advocacy. Stories like yours make all our hard work worthwhile. Thanks so much for letting us know.
 
Likes: Neil Maley