Compensation Clinic: Air France MEX-CDG Flight Delay & EC 261/2004 Compensation

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A LoyaltyLobby reader had a ticket from Atlanta to Paris via Mexico City. Air France had a mechanical delay that lead to an arrival delay of 3 hours and 8 minutes.

compensation-clinic-air-france-mex-cdg-delay

European Union has very strong consumer protection in case of delays and cancellations that airlines have tried not to honor. European Union is set to introduce new set of Passenger Rights in 2015 that are less generous for passengers.

compensation-clinic-air-france-mex-cdg-delay-table

The passenger was aware of the current EC 261/2004 rules and used advise here and on MoneySavingExpert (UK website from where the table above is from) to file a complaint with Air France.

As the passengers address was in the United States, Delta was handling the claim. This must be a “leftover” due to Northwest’s close partnership with the KLM.

Even today, if you buy a KLM ticket using US POS (Point of Sale) the ticket is issued by delta, even when there is not a single Delta segment.

Here’s the complaint that was sent to Air France:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Re: Compensation claim for delayed flight

Booking reference: 0579999999999, 0579999999999

I am writing regarding flight AF0439 on 31OCT13 from Mexico City to Paris CDG with the scheduled departure time of 8:50 PM. This flight arrived 3:25 hours late at CDG airport.

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.

The passengers in the party were Mark Peterson, Sarah Clark

My scheduled flight length was 9190 km, therefore I am seeking E300 per delayed passenger in my party. The total is e600 for all passengers.

I look forward to a full response to this letter within 14 days.

It took seven weeks for the complaint from Air France to make its way to Delta:

From: AFKL Customer Care [mailto:kustrel@delta.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2014 11:11 AM
To: mark@xyzxyz.com
Subject: Re: Flight delay/cancellation

Dear Mr. Peterson,

RE: Case Number 10509090

Thanks for your email concerning your travel with Ms. Clark from Mexico City. We have reviewed the information you submitted.

Your travel falls under the guidelines of European Union Regulation (EC) 261/2004 defining an airline’s requirements when flight changes occur. Our records show Air France Flight 439 on October 31, 2013 from Mexico City to Paris-CDG was delayed for 22 minutes.

According to Regulation (EC) 261/2004, airline passengers are not entitled to compensation in case of delays less than 3 hours.  Respectfully, EU compensation is not due in this instance. I’m sorry for any disappointment.

We appreciate your loyalty as a Diamond Medallion Member and look forward to serving you in the future.

Regards,

Janet Delta

You Share, We Care

Delta agent had looked at a wrong flight. After the issue was pointed out:

Thanks for the clarification about the travel date. I’m really sorry I looked at October 31 in error.

Your travel falls under the guidelines of European Union Regulation (EC) 261/2004 defining an airline’s requirements when flight changes occur. Air France Flight 439 on 30OCT13 from MEX to CDG was delayed for over 3 hours due to technical reasons.

After reviewing this claim, compensation is due in accordance with the EU recommendations. I’ll request a check in the amount of EUR300 equivalent to $413.10 USD each for you and Angela. Please allow enough time for processing and postal delivery.

Thanks for your patience while your case was reviewed again.

Regards,

Janet Delta

You Share, We Care

Conclusion

I doubt that many on that delayed Air France flight were aware of the fact that Air France was owing them 300 euros each. Airlines are supposed hand out a leaflet in case of delays and have the information readily available, but that is not really the case.

It pays to be informed consumer and to know what you are entitled to.

You can always drop me an email about the problems you have had with travel providers and compensation offered/received. I post one new case each Sunday.

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