Reader Question: Hainan Airlines Flight Cancellation Ex-Europe


A LoyaltyLobby readers sent us a question regarding Hainan Airlines flight from Rome that has been canceled more than a month in advance due to “Corporate Planning.”

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Here’s the email from the reader:

I know that some Chinese carriers are less than perfect, but as business class passengers, you would hope that they could come up with something better.

My issue is that we have a connecting HU flight ( on the same ticket ) to get back to MEL. The whole thing is a bit tricky talking to China, whilst travelling around Europe.

I am sure I will work something out but, it’s really poor performance from a supposed 5* airline ( note all made worse by the fact that if you don’t book directly with them, your on your own) thanks as always.

The reader is lucky here because their flight is ex-Europe, and EC 261/2004 legislation applies even for carriers outside of the community.

Hainan Airlines is required by law to rebook the passenger at their (passengers’) convenience to the final destination, in this case, Melbourne. This included moving to passengers on flights operated by other airlines. The cash payment for the delay doesn’t apply because Hainan informed about this cancellation more than 14 days in advance.

There are several one-stop connections between Rome and Melbourne on November 19.

I would try to contact Hainan’s office in Rome to sort this out. Trying to get their office in China schooled about EC 261/2004 legislation is likely a lose-lose situation, including the inevitable language barrier. Their Italy office surely should be aware of it.

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The reader can also file a complaint with the National Enforcement Body.


The email that the reader received from Hainan was rather cold. Just told them to print out the confirmation of the cancellation, and that’s it.

The European Union law EC 261/2004 is crystal clear on this. Hainan Airlines is required to rebook the passengers to their final destinations. I am sure that Hainan is doing whatever they can to try to keep passengers on their metal to save money.

The duty to care also applies that includes paying for hotel accommodation and meals in Italy that are caused by this cancellation.