Enforced Stopover Flight change

Hello, 
I hear Vueling have form for this.. They offer direct flights, in this case the return part of our trip from Santiago do Compostela to London Gatwick.
Once booked, a few weeks ahead of check-in requirement, we notice they have changed the departure time to 4 hours earlier, with a stop over in Barcelona of 3hrs.
No email notification.

No alternative direct flights on the day or day before. Can't come back later due to work commitments.

Other airlines very expensive or going to Stansted which is awkward for us.

Obviously we have little option but to accept. But surely this falls in the realms of compensation eligibility?
It should.. but I think this is a dirty grey area the airline can exploit to test demand before changing routes of demand not cost effective. 
I can't find anything to support a case for compensation. Wondering if others might have...
Thanks
Jake

Comments

  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 30,883 Forumite
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    JayE_84 said:
    Once booked, a few weeks ahead of check-in requirement, we notice they have changed the departure time to 4 hours earlier, with a stop over in Barcelona of 3hrs.
    No email notification.
    There's no eligibility for compensation if you're notified of a flight being cancelled at least two weeks before departure - if you haven't been notified yet then there's a possibility that you could rely on not being advised about it until within that window ("The burden of proof concerning the questions as to whether and when the passenger has been informed of the cancellation of the flight shall rest with the operating air carrier"), but that's a pretty high risk strategy if you want to ensure that you have an alternative booked.

    JayE_84 said:
    No alternative direct flights on the day or day before. Can't come back later due to work commitments.

    Other airlines very expensive or going to Stansted which is awkward for us.
    However, even though compensation is unlikely to be due, they're still obliged to reroute you under comparable transport conditions, so if there is a direct alternative that day that works better for you than the longer indirect routing via Barcelona, then they should rebook you onto that even if it is another airline that's more expensive....
  • JayE_84
    JayE_84 Posts: 12 Forumite
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    Thanks, I thought as much.
    I suppose they will have Account login records and page views to determine that we are aware of their changes. So any argument from our side is likely to be weak.
    It's the fact there was no SMS or email that makes this infuriating. As realistically, with earliest check-in opening just one week before flights, many are likely still unaware about this change.
    All we can do is provide feedback, that'll go into the bin. :(
  • photome
    photome Posts: 16,360 Forumite
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    JayE_84 said:
    Thanks, I thought as much.
    I suppose they will have Account login records and page views to determine that we are aware of their changes. So any argument from our side is likely to be weak.
    It's the fact there was no SMS or email that makes this infuriating. As realistically, with earliest check-in opening just one week before flights, many are likely still unaware about this change.
    All we can do is provide feedback, that'll go into the bin. :(
    Is there an alternative direct/ non stop flight
  • JayE_84
    JayE_84 Posts: 12 Forumite
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    Not the same day or day before, for Gatwick. 
    All are being routed through Barcelona.

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