Reader Question: American Airlines 31 Hour Delay On Codeshare Booking & Claiming EC 261/2004 Compensation


One of our LoyaltyLobby readers reached out to us via Twitter regarding a 31hr flight delay that occurred while traveling on a British Airways codeshare operated by American Airlines  and where to send the compensation request.

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Codeshare flights are often complicated in case things go wrong in operations, making it more difficult for the operating airline to fix things and help the passenger expediently.

Here is the question sent to us from the reader:

Unfortunately she didn’t include her actual routing of the return portion of her ticket and this plays a major role to determine if any EC261 compensation is actually due.

Generally British Airways who sold the code share ticket is right here, if American Airlines operated her flights then AA is the carrier responsible to compensate the passenger for any costs and damages associated with that delay.

It’s always the operating carrier (in this case AA) that is responsible to pay EU Compensation IF DUE but as American is a non-EU carrier they only have to pay when their flight departs from the European Union. Leaving from the U.S. to the EU isn’t applicable for EC261.


The reader should contact American Airlines regardless and request compensation for this delay. 31 hours is ridiculous and should be compensated no matter if the flight is subject to EC261 or not. If it indeed departed from the EU the passengers are due 600 Euro plus associated costs for hotel and meals unless the airline gave out vouchers for that.

If the flight didn’t depart from the EU then I’d expect American to offer the passenger miles or a voucher for future flights. A 31 hour delay should be worth at least 20,000 miles or $400 and usually American is fair in determining compensation value. One can always file a complaint with the Department of Transportation (DOT) if the airline won’t budge.