Should I get compensation AND reimbursement for cancelled flight?

Hi all.

As the title suggests, I want to clarify if on the ocasion a flight is cancelled and you are delayed more than 5 hours, are you entitled to compensation AND reimbursement for additional travel costs from the airline? I explain my situation below:


A few weeks ago a flight I booked with KLM from Cardiff to Amsterdam was cancelled. They offered me a ridiculous alternative the following day that involved over 8 hours travelling + layover for what should be a 1 hour flight.  I looked myself for alternatives and found many available direct flights from nearby Bristol, but KLM refused to help me book on one of these.  Frustrated with their response I booked my own flight with Easyjet from Bristol which got me to Ams at a much more reasonable time. I explained to KLM that I was not accepting their rerouting option and arranged my own and would put in a claim. 

I submitted a claim for compensation and reimbursement and attached recipts  for the additional travel expenses, which were considerably more than the cost of the original flight. 

I got an email today saying that as per EC261/2004 I was due £221 compensation but my request for reimbursement would no be honoured becusse "the ticket status as per records are reflecting refunded,". I didn't request a refund, but shortly after, i received an email saying my flight was being refunded. This was frustrating becuase the cost of the orignal flight was much less than what I ended up having to pay. 

Before contacting them further I want to check the rules. Should I be  entitled to compensation AND reimbursement for the additional travel costs? My reading of the MSE guide is that I should be able to claim both but not too sure. 

Any advice will be greatly received . 

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Comments

  • onashoestring
    onashoestring Posts: 1,631
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    Yes when a flight is cancelled you have the right to choose between a refund or re-routing to get you to your destination -
  • mrkds
    mrkds Posts: 107
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    Yes when a flight is cancelled you have the right to choose between a refund or re-routing to get you to your destination -
    Thanks! Does that still count as 're-routing'if I arrange my own re-routng? 
  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,031
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    mrkds said:
    Yes when a flight is cancelled you have the right to choose between a refund or re-routing to get you to your destination -
    Thanks! Does that still count as 're-routing'if I arrange my own re-routng? 
    Under my reading of the legislation yes, the courts would tend to agree with this reading.

    You won't get a refund though. If you've asked for one, this is what you'll receive, with no right to change of mind. You need to ask for compensation and re-routing costs.

    You have then paid for a flight and received a flight, there is no cake left after eating the cake unless you are at my mothers' house where the generally can be more cake on request.
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  • mrkds
    mrkds Posts: 107
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    Under my reading of the legislation yes, the courts would tend to agree with this reading.

    You won't get a refund though. If you've asked for one, this is what you'll receive, with no right to change of mind. You need to ask for compensation and re-routing costs.

    You have then paid for a flight and received a flight, there is no cake left after eating the cake unless you are at my mothers' house where the generally can be more cake on request.
    Thanks. That's my understanding as well. I will get back to them. I never requested a refund, only the compensation and reinmusrsment. They took it on themsleves to process a refund so I will contest that with them. I'm guessing they realise that the refund would cost them alot less than the reimbursement so thought they'd try to sneak that on me! 
  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,881
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    I think they took it that you were cancelling from "I explained to KLM that I was not accepting their rerouting option and arranged my own and would put in a claim". A refund of the original flight would generate from that.
  • onashoestring
    onashoestring Posts: 1,631
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     When making your claim - state that you did not request a refund and are claiming the cost of expences to  re- route - which you had to arrange yourself due to the flight they offered being unsuitable - because it did not get you to your destination as soon as reasonably possible . 

    You will need to demonstrate that this was a more reasonable alternative to the flight they offered you . 

    You will need to deduct the refund you already received from the cost of the flight from Bristol to Ams . 
  • mrkds
    mrkds Posts: 107
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     When making your claim - state that you did not request a refund and are claiming the cost of expences to  re- route - which you had to arrange yourself due to the flight they offered being unsuitable - because it did not get you to your destination as soon as reasonably possible . 

    You will need to demonstrate that this was a more reasonable alternative to the flight they offered you . 

    You will need to deduct the refund you already received from the cost of the flight from Bristol to Ams . 
    That's really helpful. I've already responded making it clear to them I did not request a refund (I had also said this to the customer representative at the time and have screenshots of the chat to back this up).

    I also explained the flight I booked got me to Amsterdam about 10 hours before the re-reouting option they gave me. 

    Hopefully will hear something positive soon. 

    Thanks again! 
  • mrkds
    mrkds Posts: 107
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    Thanks all for the helpful advice to my question. I''m going to resurect this post, as I have a follow on question. 

    I finally, (4 months later, no responses to my emails, only took notice when I contacted them via Resolver) got a response from KLM. 

    They agreed to my request for reimbursement for my alternative travel arrangement... but only partially. They refused to reimburse me a taxi fare of £86. Their reasoning is "in line with General Conditions of Carriage, such expenses are considered to be consequential.". I'm not sure what 'consequential' is supposed to mean in this context. They reimbursed everything else, including, strangely, some train tickets which didn't fall into this 'consequential" category. 

    I am less miffed than I was before as I am now no longer out of pocket, but i feel I should still be owed the taxi fare as this was an unavoidable expense required to complete my journey which  I would not have incured had the original flight not been cancelled. 

    So my question is, should I be happy with what I've got an let the matter drop, or should I push then further to get the full reimbursement? 

    Yay or nay?




  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,031
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    Genuine question I don't know the answer to; how good are the public transport connections?

    A train possibly would be deemed more comparable than a taxi, however if the train connections between Bristol and Cardiff aren't good then a taxi likely would be reasonable.

    The rules are clear; you must be suitably re-routed at the earliest opportunity. KLM refused to do this so you chose a reasonable self re-routing. I would personally not deem travel to a new departure airport as 'consequential' if it allows your travel plans to be met and the re-routing is significantly earlier than that offered.

    I would (and it looks like KLM ultimately agree) deem Bristol to be reasonable for re-routing from Cardiff.
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  • mrkds
    mrkds Posts: 107
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    Genuine question I don't know the answer to; how good are the public transport connections?

    A train possibly would be deemed more comparable than a taxi, however if the train connections between Bristol and Cardiff aren't good then a taxi likely would be reasonable.

    The rules are clear; you must be suitably re-routed at the earliest opportunity. KLM refused to do this so you chose a reasonable self re-routing. I would personally not deem travel to a new departure airport as 'consequential' if it allows your travel plans to be met and the re-routing is significantly earlier than that offered.

    I would (and it looks like KLM ultimately agree) deem Bristol to be reasonable for re-routing from Cardiff.

    The train fare I claimed for was for my travel home the night of the original flight. 

    The flight from Bristol was early morning. The first train to Bristol would not have got me to the airport on time. A taxi was the only option. 


    Some of the passagers on the cancelled flight were offered rerouting from Bristol so they clearly do see this as a valid option.  When I asked to added they refused  even though they were still selling seats on that flight on the app (this really irked me!). I don't know if  these passengers were given free transportation to Bristol Airport. 



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