Compensation Clinic: SAS Flight Cancellation & EC 261/2004

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Compensation Clinic visits this week SAS compensation case where FRA-ARN flight was cancelled and the passenger wanted to collect the money per EC 261/2004 regulation.

Compensation Clinic SAS Flight Cancellation FRA-ARL

Remember that you can always email me about your travel related compensation experiences whether good or bad.

Here’s the email from a LoyaltyLobby reader:

I thought I’d share my recent experience with SAS.

I was booked on a SAS flight from FRA to ARN. The flight got cancelled due to a mechanical issue and we got rebooked to an earlier SAS flight, which was heavily delayed. We reached ARN with approx 1,5 hours delay.

According to EU regulation 261/2004 we’ve been eligbile for 125 EUR cash compensation.

I filled out the webform. It took them almost 2 months to reply, but I was positively surprised that they were offering to wire the Cash right away, or double the amount as a travel credit.

From my experience most European airlines will always blame mechanical issues being extraordinary circumstances and therefore not eligible for compensation according to EU Regulations, although quite some judges in courts have judged otherwise. Nice to see that there are airlines that will regulate without hassle. I also want to mention that I have not any frequent flyer status on SK.

Here’s the response that the reader received from SAS:

Thank you for your correspondence received by our office. We were sorry to learn that you were among the passengers whose travel plans were disrupted as a result of flight SK674/DDMON14 cancellation, and on behalf of SAS please accept our sincere apologies.

We fully recognize the importance of on time performance to you and understand our customers’ concern when flight irregularities occur. It is unfortunate that above flight due to a technical issue. It is a very rare occurrence and please rest assured that the matter has been reviewed and our operations to Frankfurt are closely monitored.

With regard to your request, we confirm that in line with the EU regulation n° 261/2004, this situation is eligible for 125 EUR cash. This amount can also be raised to 250,- EUR in Travel Credit (validity 1 year) Please kindly let us know of the option that suits you best. Should you choose the cash option, please kindly provide us with the following information:

• Bank name
• IBAN
• BIC code
• Beneficiary’s name and address

We renew our apologies and despite the inconvenience encountered, sincerely hope that you will allow us a further opportunity to welcome you back onboard SAS.

Conclusion

I decided to feature one positive experience with EC 261/2004 compensation, as the readers points out on his email, is often very difficult to actually collect.

Airlines always blame some other party or “mechanical”, although neither of these is a valid reason. Often you must escalate to national enforcement body or open a small claims case, before you get what you are entitled to.

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