A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question regarding a Gulf Air ticket from Paris that resulted in a six-hour arrival delay in Dubai (missed connection in Bahrain).
You can access EU’s website for Passenger Rights here.
Here’s the question from a reader:
I’m writing today as I’m a little confused about a possible compensation.
I got a one way ticket with gulf air from Paris to Dubai via Bahrain.
I had 1h05 connection but the flight from Paris arrived 1h20 late so I missed my connection and they put me on the next flight to Dubai which was 6hours later.
My question here is am I eligible to claim a compensation as it’s a non EU company but the trip started in the EU.
The EC 261/2004 legislation applies to all airlines FROM the European Union & EEA (Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland), including Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands (but not the Faeroe Islands), and all community airlines (list above) when flying to the above-mentioned area.
As the reader’s delay was more than three hours to the final destination and the flight was not within the EU/EEA, and the distance exceeded 3,500 kilometers, they are eligible for a compensation of 600 euros.
The airline can only deny the compensation if they can demonstrate that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances and what can be classified as one is very limited.
The reader first needs to contact Gulf Air and request 600 euro compensation per EC 261/2004 due to more than three-hour flight delay arriving at their destination. They should not accept a voucher as compensation unless significantly higher value, and they are sure that they can use it within the validity period, but a cash payment.
Suppose the airline denies the compensation, and the reason cannot be classified as an extraordinary circumstance. In that case, the reader needs to contact the enforcement body in France where the trip started:
There are minimal cases classified as extraordinary circumstances per resolved cases and court judgments, although airlines do their very best to deny these claims under dubious grounds. If the claim is not approved, just file a case with the enforcement body that may take months to mediate it.
The EC 261/2004 is going through some changes, and once approved, the time frame for delays after which airlines are required to provide cash compensation will be much longer. They do not, however, apply to flights that were taken before the legislation is in place.
Some companies handle the claim process for affected passengers. They usually take a one-third cut of the payment. Whether this is worth it for you depends on how you value your time and diligence how well you can follow up with the regulator and the airline.