Reader Question: American Airlines Flight Delay Ex-Europe When On Award Ticket – Any Compensation?


A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question by email regarding American Airlines flight delay ex-Europe on an award ticket that lead to a missed connection in US and further delay reaching the final destination.

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Here’s the email from the reader:

Please can you advise…

I recently booked an itinerary with AAdvantage miles from Munich via Philadelphia and Milwaukee to ORD.

As a result of the plane departing MUC four hours late for technical reasons I arrived in Philadelphia too late to make any connections (aside from a SW Airlines flight) that AA refused to put me on – “because they have no relationship with that airline” – and was given a hotel voucher to a hotel with no restaurant and a $15 meal voucher for dinner.

Earlier, when it was obvious that the MUC flight was leaving too late to make connections in Philadelphia I asked to be moved onto a MUC to LHR to ORD itinerary but AA refused as they didn’t know the likely time of departure ex MUC.

I was then booked on a flight leaving Philadelphia at 0700 to ORD again with no meal voucher and too early for breakfast.

What if any recourse do I have against AA for compensation for arriving at the destination a day (actually 10 hours) late?

American Airlines should have given the reader a leaflet explaining him the rights under the European Union legislation EC 261/2004. It seems that many airlines including American conveniently “forget” to do this…

As long as the reason for the mechanical delay was not a bird strike, American Airlines is liable for 600 euro compensation in cash getting the reader to his final destination more than four hours late. The legislation explicitly also applies for award tickets.

You have to remember that the EC 261/2004 applies for ALL airlines flights FROM the European Union plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. It only applies for community carriers flights the other way.

The reader should contact American Airlines Customer Relations and explicitly request delay compensation per EC 261/2004 legislation.


I was flying out from Rome yesterday and saw on the departures board that Delta had canceled their New York flight for the day. Hope that all the passengers on that canceled flight also file for the compensation claim.

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