Compensation Clinic: Turkish Airlines EC 261/2004 Downgrade Compensation

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This week the Compensation Clinic deals with EC 261/2004 downgrade compensation case where Turkish Airlines had downgraded a reader to economy on a short-haul segment.

Compensation Clinic Turkish Airlines Downgrade

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Here’s the email from the reader:

My TK flight class was downgraded during early January, and should fall within this category: “30 % of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less.”

Some questions:

This was the shorter segment of 2-leg return flight, costing 2k EUR. how do they usually calculate 30% value?

This happened during weather problems in Istanbul. However if I understand correctly, weather only voids compensation for delay, not downgrade.

Perhaps you could do an article on this, I don’t remember seeing one before.

Here’s the compensation offered by Turkish:

I got 233 eur on 2100 eur ticket (LJU-IST-PEK C return; short haul downgrade). Probably prorated per miles as you say.

Here’s what the EC 261/2004 says:

Compensation Clinic Turkish Airlines Downgrade EC

Here’s the distances flown:

Compensation Clinic Turkish Airlines Downgrade Compensation

I am not sure how Turkish had come to conclusion of refunding 233 euros. The total flown miles are 10,421 and the downgraded segment is 805 miles.

If you try to come up with a LJU-IST segment value, the most sensible calculation would be (2100/10421)*805 = 162 euros. This is less than the refund provided by Turkish Airlines.

EDIT: Outbound or Inbound?

A reader left a comment below about if this happened/would have happened on the return portion. It doesn’t matter because Turkey has implemented their own passenger legislation that is identical to EC 261/2004.

Download (PDF, 116KB)


You could argue that the refund here should be 75% of the value of the downgraded segment as long as there was no intended stopover in Istanbul.

Could be that the internal value that Turkish Airlines has assigned for the short-haul segment is greater than the prorated one and thus the compensation calculated is correct.

Do any other readers have experiences with EC 261/2004 downgrade compensation? There are many delay compensation cases that we have covered here on LoyaltyLobby but this is the first downgrade one.

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  • Malcolm

    I presume there was a plane change at IST, so perhaps TA are basing their calculations on the portion of the flight that originates in the EU and ignoring the miles outside the EU, for which the passenger was not downgraded? Perhaps the airline uses different milage calculations?

  • Ullemann

    Sorry, but there is some confusion, here:
    The EC rule does not apply for the flight from PEK to Europe !
    1. Turkish is not an EU airline.

    2. The flight did not originate in the EU, but in China !

    Look here the fundamental condition for the EC rule::
    The flight must have departed from an EU airport, operating by any airline, or it must be
    arriving into an EU airport and be operated by an EU airline.

    Read more:

    • I actually misread the reader’s email that the downgrade would have been on the outbound. Turkey has, however, implemented regulation that is exactly like EC 261/2004 that apply to flights from Turkey.

      • Ullemann

        Hi and tks for yr reply !!

        Where can I find info on the implemented regulation for Turkish airlines ??

        Tks in advance !

        U. Strecker

  • Ullemann

    Follow up to my previous post = Rule 3 of the EC 261/2004:
    ( )

    Article 3
    This Regulation shall apply:
    (a) to passengers departing from an airport located in the terri-
    tory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies;

    (b) to passengers departing from an airport located in a third
    country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member
    State to which the Treaty applies, unless they received
    benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that
    third country, if the operating air carrier of the flight
    concerned is a Community carrier.

  • Ullemann

    Here is the website for Turkish Airlines’ PAssenger Rights: