A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a Compensation Clinic-case where Delta ended up canceling Amsterdam-Boston flights and his quest to claim the compensation per EC 261/2004.
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Here’s the email from Bill:
3 of us returning from Oslo on a business trip.
Original Schedule was:
OSL-AMS-BOS with arrival in BOS at 12:31pm
All were economy tickets although we purchased gate upgrades on Air France BOS-CDG AF333 which were very nice seats!
To complicate matters our Tickets were purchased through Air France and the return, OSL-AMS-BOS, was KLM code share on Delta metal AMS-BOS.
OSL-AMS.. slight delay due to Snow removal and deicing.
Boarded Delta KLM Flight Number KL6031 on time.
Long wait at the gate after boarding while a mechanical issue was addressed. As I recall it was a frozen lavatory line. the Delta captain and crew did a great job of giving us updates and passed out water and snacks. An attempt was made to obtain the necessary part from a sister airline but it was eventually determined that the part would need to be delivered from the US and our flight was cancelled.
The pilot announced all rebooking would be automated and go to the KLM service center. Wait about 1 hour from the announcement and check on the kiosk.
As we waited and checked it became clear that the priority of rebooking was status members, and then folks with connections. Our final destination was Boston and we waited a very long time for rebooking. Eventually the numerous and helpful KLM agents suggested we should get in line for an agent but they suggested we go to a different service center that would have a shorter line. We did follow that suggestion although it created a bit of a confusion at the Schengen check point. Mostly because of language accents and unfamiliarity of international travel by one of my party.
When we arrived at the second service center our flight had been rebooked but it was a very unsatisfactory flight option and we requested another routing. They quickly found a flight option, KLM from AMS to ZUR and then Swiss Air from ZUR to BOS arriving around 8:30 pm.
We asked about the connection time in Zurich which was not long but seemed adequate. Unfortunately we did not ask about weather!
We were delayed leaving AMS as Zurich had high winds and by the time we landed in Zurich, after a very, very rough and bumpy flight our flight to Boston had left.
KLM was ready for our group of 3 plus another 8 refugees from the Delta flight and had rebooked us and set up fine accommodations near the airport. The next day started early and was uneventful although long going ZUR-CDG-BOS.
When we arrived back in the office I recalled one of your newsletters about EU 261 and asked the person that had booked our tickets to investigate it. She found the appropriate form on the Delta Website , filled out the details for our 3 tickets and Delta sent check within about 4 weeks. They had contacted her about addresses but other than that we had no pushback or difficulty getting the full 600 euro refund.
I do not have and email or any correspondence from us to Delta. No information was provided by Delta or KLM about this rule.
Thanks for your great service. I would not have known about EU 261 without Loyalty Lobby.
Delta seems to be one of the easier carriers to deal with when it comes to EC 261/2004 compensation. Here the compensation was 600 euros PER PERSON.
Airlines are supposed to inform passengers about the EC 261/2004 in case of delays and/or cancellations by handing out a form/booklet but that rarely happens. I guess that airlines want to pay out as few of these cash compensations as possible.
Remember that the EC 261/2004 applies to all Community Airlines’ flights (EU + Iceland, Norway & Switzerland) and to all airlines on flights FROM EU + Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.