Cancelled flight but re-routed - can we claim?

We were due to travel Manchester - Newark - Chicago - Bozeman with United Airlines.
Our flight from Manchester - Newark was cancelled when we got to the airport due to a mechanical problem (we have this in writing from United). United gave us train tickets to get to Heathrow for a later flight to Newark with onward connections via San Francisco and Denver, finally getting to Bozeman 16 hours later than our scheduled time.
We refused this at the airport and United finally re-routed us on a flight from Heathrow to Chicago which then allowed us to pick up our original connection Chicago - Bozeman and arrive at our destination on schedule (without luggage but that's a different story).
We hired a car to get to Heathrow due to timescales (we made check-in with 20 mins to go) and due to us having skis, boots, large holdall and hand luggage which we didn't feel we could transport on the train and the Underground. We have claimed for these car hire expenses separately but are we entitled to flight delay compensation under EU rule 261/2004 given that we arrived at our destination on time even though that was down to us being pro-active rather than the airline?


  • jpsartrejpsartre Forumite
    4.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You weren't delayed so you're not entitled to delay compensation. You might, however, be entitled to compensation for the cancelled flight. The regulations say:

    "In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall [...] have the right to compensation [...] unless [...] they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival."

    Since you didn't arrive more than 2 hours late, the only relevant factor is whether you departed less than 1 hour before the originally scheduled departure time. I would assume the new departure time would be counted as the time you left MAN, not the time of your flight from LHR. Note that if you are entitled to compensation, it is reduced by 50% since you arrived at your final destination on schedule.
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