Can Air France refuse to compensate me for a 12-hour cancellation/delay?
posted 3 months ago
On September 22, just a few hours before boarding an Air France flight from Vancouver to Paris, connecting to another Air France flight from Paris to Nairobi, I was informed by email that Air France had cancelled my second flight (and therefore I would miss my hotel booking and be late for my safari). According to Air France, my only option was to take a Kenya Air flight from Paris to Nairobi, 12 hours after I landed at Charles de Gaulle airport.
Usually when you are forced to wait 12 hours because your airline cancels or delays your flight, you are offered a minimum of 600 Euro compensation (this is even written on the Air France info site). However, Air France refuses to compensate me, using the loophole of an obscure 2004 regulation that states that if the flight does not originate or end within the EU, they're off the hook. They write: "The European Court of Justice has ruled that the legal compensation set by the EC Regulation 261/2004 does not apply to such an itinerary. Therefore, I cannot respond favourably to your request" (for compensation).
Really? First of all, my cancelled second flight 814 originated in Paris. Secondly, since when does an international airline that flies all over the world, compensate only those who fly witin the EU?
The fact is: Air France has an obligation to treat all customers equally, and not give preferential treatment to customers who fly only within the EU. When I flew from Dublin to Vancouver last year, and the flight was delayed by 10 hours, Air Canada paid me compensation.
Air France might consider this: why would any Canadian citizen, or anyone living outside the EU, choose to fly with Air France if they knew that they'd be treated like second class citizens, excluded from compensation packages that other passengers receive?
I’ve written to Air France numerous times and they either get my information wrong or don’t respond. Do I have any recourse with Canadian airline regulations or an international regulatory body?
- Commercial and Business Law