A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email question about delay compensation, dealing with essentially four airlines.
You can access KLM’s page for compensation here.
Email from the reader:
I’m wondering if you can give me some advice. I’ve just flown from Edinburgh to Orange County CA on a flight booked with Virgin Atlantic, but operated by KLM / airfrance/ Delta. It’s a 3 leg journey and my first flight (from Edi to Amsterdam) was delayed and ultimately (i think) cancelled due to an engine fault.
This meant I missed all my connections and had to wait almost a whole day before I could get a replacement flight, ultimately arriving at my destination about 18 hours later than I was supposed to (and also exhausted and constantly terrified I wouldnt be able to make the connections in the replacement flight etc.).
So I definitely want to request compensation and reimbursement, but my question is do you have any advice on which company I should be requesting compensation from (I found the flight via Virgin Atlantic but I believe it redirected me to KLM to book it, and at the airport all the staff I dealt with were Swissport/KLM, and the customer service card I was given was a KLM one), and how I should go about doing so?
Hi again, just wanted to also clarify that I was physically sitting on the first KLM plane when they told us about the delay. We taxied for a minute and then were made to get off the plane and told there would be “some delay”, and everything unfolded from there.
When it comes to airline tickets, there are three things:
1. Ticketing Carrier
The ticketing carrier is on whose ticket stock the ticked is issued and who holds the money until individual flights are flown.
The ticketing carrier doesn’t need to be an airline that markets or operates any of the flights.
2. Marketing Carrier
Many airlines codeshare each other’s flights, and this often can create confusion when it comes to elite benefits and flight credits (sometimes they may not be in the same alliance).
The marketing carrier is on whose code the flight is sold even when some other airline operates it.
3. Operating Carrier
This is the airline that operates the segment, regardless of whose ticket stock was used or who is the marketing carrier.
KLM is a community carrier regarding EC 261/2004, while Virgin Atlantic is not. There is similar legislation for the UK, however, called UK261.
The ticketing or marketing carrier doesn’t matter when it comes to EC261/2004 or UK 261 compensation.
Remember that the last operating carrier is always responsible for the luggage-related claims regardless of who checked it in or if there was a reroute along the way.
The reader appears to refer to KLM, Air France, and Delta as airlines whose operated flights they should have been on.
I would open a claim with KLM for 600 euros per passenger for the delay in reaching the final destination.
They are also required to pay for hotel and accommodation expenses unless the agent at the airport provided accommodation and food vouchers. You can include these on the same claim.
The KLM’s handling agent should have informed all passengers on this canceled flight about their rights under the UK261 and EC 261/2004 legislation and handed out a paper.
I am just amazed at how they (all airlines) always forget this critical step.
KLM has been in turmoil for the past six months due to flight delays, cancellations, and passenger caps at this Schiphol hub in Amsterdam.
It may take some time for the airline to process the reader’s claim, which appears to be clear-cut.