Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Time Change - Will I Be Compensated?  
User currently offlineGreenIsle From Ireland, joined Oct 2006, 13 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3010 times:

Hi all,

Last week I had a flight from Cairo-Prague-Cork. Czech Airlines had changed the time of the Cairo-Prague leg, from 03:05 to 02:05, and I was not informed. The time was changed 2 days prior, this was a Saturday 23 Sept. The flight was Monday morning. I was later informed by CSA that my travel agent (from whom I booked the flight) was informed on the Saturday, and they do not work weekends, therefore were not able to inform me.

What I ended up doing was buying a ticket on a KLM flight from Cairo-Amsterdam-Prague, and then catch the Prague-Cork connection (with plenty time to spare). Price: €550 for the KLM flight. When I got to Prague, I was removed from the Prague-Cork flight (as I was a no-show for Cairo-Prague), but as there were seats available, and I was there to take a flight for which I have paid for CSA did put me on the flight at no extra cost. I also got the impression they were not obliged to do this.

So my questions:
1: Bottom line, I was not informed of this change. Should I be reimbursed €550 from CSA or the travel agent? Or was it my tough luck for not confirming the flight. Yes, CSA did inform the agent, but they should have known that the agent would not be working.

2: The CSA agents had left the check in desk in Cairo just minutes before my arrival (in plenty time for the time as I knew it). The travel agent was saying I should have been checked in, I didn't even have luggage to check (2 back packs which would have fit in the overhead bins). The Check in agent said "flight closed, nothing I can do for you". Though it's no good to me now, should they have made more effort to check me in? I would have made the gate with time to spare.

3: I had no travel insurance, is such an even covered if I had purchased insurance?

4: This practice of removing "no-show" passengers from connection flight surprised me. In this case there was many hours to spare, what is your opinion of this? I disagree with it as the price of the ticket includes both flights. Was CSA in fact "doing me a favour" by re-booking me on the flight free-of-charge.

Many thanks for your feedback.
Jason.

P.S. On a positive note, I did get to fly a KLM 777-200, and it was my first time in Amsterdam, so I went down-town & rented a bike!

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

Hi GreenIsle,

ouch - to put it mildly...  Wink

The time-change problem is one that we constantly deal with; it's just as nice as airlines sending us messages that a PNR will be cancelled within 24 hours on a Saturday evening - the booking gets cancelled on Sunday evening, and when you're back at the office on Monday, it's already too late...  Sad ... those are two things I really don't miss from my days in sales...

In any case, here's my take on your questions - mind you, I'm no expert on the legal side of things...

1) I guess it'll be neither one - the t/a couldn't inform you since they only found out after your flight, but that's also not the airline's flight - after all, it could also have been an agent that operates 24/7. I always gave out the recommendation to check the flying times online within something like 24h prior to departure (all 4 big CRSs have sites where you can access your PNR data anytime), since time changes, unfortunately, simply do happen.

2) Once a flight is closed, it usually stays that way (though, as far as I know, it is indeed possible to "re-open" a flight) - really depends on how close to the departure time this was. If there was enough time to spare, it's really unfortunate that the agent refused to do so, or that they didn't offer to find a seat on another connection for you (they're not obliged to since you were, albeit without knowing it, late for the flight, but they still could have done so).

3) Depends on the type of insurance, but the typical types I know do not.

4) Standard practice - don't show up for a flight, every segment after that no-show segment gets cancelled, the logic being that if you didn't catch the first flight, you can hardly make the other ones - also, it's a protection against, for example, people from the UK using cheaper BA fares from Germany or the Netherlands and simply not flying the first leg (just an example)... that's how this practice got started. And, indeed, CSA was not obliged to rebook you onto your flight to Cork, and doing it free of charge was, indeed, more than they'd have had to do.

Sorry, but I don't think you'll be able to get any money back on this... but that also, to some degree, depends on the consumer-protection laws of the country where you bought the ticket - depending on those, either the travel agent or the airline might, and I stress the word "might", have to pay compensation.

By the way - was this the outbound flight, or was this your return flight? Also, even though some people don't like doing this, it always helps a lot to have some type of contact phone number for you in the PNR, under which you can be reached - it doesn't always happen that way, but I've received calls from airlines occasionally informing me that my flight had been moved forward.

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2797 times:

At very least you should get a refund for what extras you paid for. Write them a nice letter, pointing out it was their responsibility to notify you (and don't admit that you should have checked) of the change in schedule.

What you should ask them for is a refund of what you paid to KL (less any refund value of the ticket you didn't use) plus any reasonable expense you incurred. Don't be greedy, but don't be a wimp either. Insist politely that they refund (not compensate - that isn't the same thing) the additional expenses you incurred due to their error.

Good luck


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2747 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 2):
Write them a nice letter, pointing out it was their responsibility to notify you (and don't admit that you should have checked) of the change in schedule.

The main problem will be finding out who "them" is - the airline or the travel agency...

Oh, and before I forget it - welcome to a.net, GreenIsle.



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineORDflier From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2703 times:

CSA is not obligated to refund you any of the monies paid
to KL. At most, they may refund a portion of the value of the Cairo - Prague portion, however this to be a unlikely possibility.

I find it unusual that an airline changed their schedules just two days prior to departure. Are you confident that the change was only implemented by CSA just two days prior? Also, are you confident that your Travel Agent provided your contact information to CSA? Many times I have found that I have to contact the carrier directly to provide contact information as this information is not always been properly formatted for transfer between the various airlines computer systems.



ORDflier
User currently offlineGreenIsle From Ireland, joined Oct 2006, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day ago) and read 2609 times:

Thanks all for your feedback.

- To answer your question Leskova - It was the return flight. Original itenary was Cork-Prague-Cairo-Prague-Cork.

- Yes, both CSA and the travel agent said the time change was made 2 days prior. I don't think the t/a provided my contact info to CSA - I just am sure CSA informed the t/a about the change - who in turn could not contact me as they were not working weekends.

[Edited 2006-10-02 22:02:25]

User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day ago) and read 2578 times:

Quoting GreenIsle (Reply 5):
It was the return flight. Original itenary was Cork-Prague-Cairo-Prague-Cork.

Unfortunately, that places the responsibility on you - reconfirmation. Sorry.

Of course, providing your contact details to the airline could (though that's by no means a certainty) have helped - but in the end, I suspect that it would probably have ended just the same, i.e. you would not have been informed about the flight.

But I agree with ORDflier - you can always ask for a partial refund (though, from experience, I'll tell you that it's very unlikely that they'll refund anything, depending on the fare you were travelling on).



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineAdools From Egypt, joined Oct 2006, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day ago) and read 2540 times:

I was recently caught in a similar situation: I flew to Cairo (FRA-CDG-CAI-CDG-FRA on Air France). I left Frankfurt on the 21st of September and returned to on the 25th. Apparently, the Egyptian government moved forward the normal one hour winter time change to coincide with the start of Ramadan (this year on Sunday the 24th of September). This took place on the evening of the 23rd (Saturday) while I was in Cairo. No one from Air France knew about this on the 21st when I flew to Cairo. No one notified the airlines, and Air France scrambled to inform its passengers that all flights were moved one hour earlier. I checked in online from Cairo, and so noticed the difference. My flight was only 20% full, so I don't think anyone missed it due to the time switch. Bad luck GreenIsle, to be caught in this confusion, and welcome to Egyptian business!!

User currently offlineIH8B6 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 208 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 2506 times:

Quoting GreenIsle (Thread starter):
Yes, CSA did inform the agent, but they should have known that the agent would not be working.



Quoting GreenIsle (Reply 5):
- Yes, both CSA and the travel agent said the time change was made 2 days prior. I don't think the t/a provided my contact info to CSA -

Crappy situation.
CSA informed the T/A. They did their part...some agencies operate 24hrs a day.

There are a lot of travel agencies who only put their contact number in the PNR and not the passenger's. This causes lots of issues during schedule changes like this. Travelocity used to be very guilty of this. Customers would show up for their flight during a schedule change and they would miss it because the only contact info was Travelocity.

I think your agent is on the hook here.

Good luck!



Over-moderation sucks
User currently offlineAisak From Spain, joined Aug 2005, 762 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 2506 times:

Quoting Leskova (Reply 6):
Quoting GreenIsle (Reply 5):It was the return flight. Original itenary was Cork-Prague-Cairo-Prague-Cork.
Unfortunately, that places the responsibility on you - reconfirmation. Sorry.

Doesn't EU law protect passengers against changes/cancelations from the airline 15 days prior to scheduled departure?

Anyway....I'm not in the travel business but I've always thought an airline employee at the airport can rebook passengers in these cases (or misconnections, severe delays, cancelations....) no matter who issued the ticket. A simple looñ at the PNR history would show it was not the passenger, nor the travel agents fault.


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3970 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 2478 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Leskova (Reply 6):
Unfortunately, that places the responsibility on you - reconfirmation. Sorry.

But what if, a hypothetical here, CSA were one of those carriers that tell you repeatedly return confirmations are no longer necessary ?



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 2478 times:

Quoting Aisak (Reply 9):
Doesn't EU law protect passengers against changes/cancelations from the airline 15 days prior to scheduled departure?

There are certain protections, but a one hour change? And if I'm not mistaken, those laws are only envoked in the case of package tours - and I'm guessing that this was a flight booked separately from any land arrangements.

And even if it was a package - a one hour time change is not enough.



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1184 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 2468 times:

Quoting GreenIsle (Thread starter):
1: Bottom line, I was not informed of this change. Should I be reimbursed €550 from CSA or the travel agent? Or was it my tough luck for not confirming the flight. Yes, CSA did inform the agent, but they should have known that the agent would not be working.

They informed you. They did so by means of the travel agent. This is one reason not to use travel agents, because you don't control your own fate in cases like these. The airline did its part. They don't have any responsibility to maintain a schedule of who works what hours. But, had your contact info been in the system ..... ?????

Quoting GreenIsle (Thread starter):
2: The CSA agents had left the check in desk in Cairo just minutes before my arrival (in plenty time for the time as I knew it). The travel agent was saying I should have been checked in, I didn't even have luggage to check (2 back packs which would have fit in the overhead bins). The Check in agent said "flight closed, nothing I can do for you". Though it's no good to me now, should they have made more effort to check me in? I would have made the gate with time to spare.

My experience is that international flights close a long time before, and they won't reopen them. Not sure why, I just know that this is how airlines do this.

Quoting GreenIsle (Thread starter):
4: This practice of removing "no-show" passengers from connection flight surprised me. In this case there was many hours to spare, what is your opinion of this? I disagree with it as the price of the ticket includes both flights. Was CSA in fact "doing me a favour" by re-booking me on the flight free-of-charge.

Someone else answered already, standard practice.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 1):
By the way - was this the outbound flight, or was this your return flight? Also, even though some people don't like doing this, it always helps a lot to have some type of contact phone number for you in the PNR, under which you can be reached - it doesn't always happen that way, but I've received calls from airlines occasionally informing me that my flight had been moved forward.

Whenever I reach an international destination, I call the airline (usually AA in my case) and give them my contact info. This would have been significant in your case because you would have had a case against the airline for full compensation if they did not contact you directly.

Quoting ORDflier (Reply 4):
Also, are you confident that your Travel Agent provided your contact information to CSA?



Quoting GreenIsle (Reply 5):
- Yes, both CSA and the travel agent said the time change was made 2 days prior. I don't think the t/a provided my contact info to CSA - I just am sure CSA informed the t/a about the change - who in turn could not contact me as they were not working weekends.

Very important point to find out from the travel agent.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 6):
Of course, providing your contact details to the airline could (though that's by no means a certainty) have helped - but in the end, I suspect that it would probably have ended just the same, i.e. you would not have been informed about the flight.

I think that we wouldn't be reading this thread if the traveler had provided the contact info and reconfirmed his flight in person.

FLY2LIM



Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 2444 times:

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 10):
But what if, a hypothetical here, CSA were one of those carriers that tell you repeatedly return confirmations are no longer necessary ?

Quite hypothetical, because they say that they recommend a reconfirmation on their website (admittedly - recommending something and requiring something are two different things); personally, I tend to either reconfirm or at least check my booking on Amadeus' checkmytrip.com or Sabre's virtuallythere.com (depending on which CRS I used to book my own flight) to make sure I'm not caught off guard.

But back to your question - and it is, indeed, difficult: to be precise, the change of the way airlines deal with travel agents has actually placed a large extra amount of responsibility on the airlines (well... at least here in Germany it has): since 0% commissions have been introduced, a travel agent is no longer an agent acting on behalf of the airline, but essentially just someone helping two parties close a contract. If the airline requires further information, it is their resposibility to obtain that information - even if that requires asking the passenger at the check-in counter for a contact number at the destination. The airline, prior to departure, certainly can contact the travel agent to ask the agent to obtain contact details, but in general, the responsibility lies with the airline (which is what I have been told, repeatedly, by Lufthansa's travel agent's service center).

As far as I'm concerned, every travel agent will (or should) tell his/her client that it is advisable to put contact details in the PNR, for exactly this type of situation. Those that, back when I was in sales, told me that they did not wish to give those details to the airline (and there were quite a number of those, I'd guess it was about 60-70% of my customers back then) always received a mini-lecture from me how it was their responsibility to check with the airline prior to departure - regardless if the airline told them it was not required.



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 23 hours ago) and read 2420 times:

Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 12):
They informed you. They did so by means of the travel agent. This is one reason not to use travel agents, because you don't control your own fate in cases like these.

Nonsense - you always have the ability to check your flight times.



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineQantas767 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 101 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 21 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

Can someone fill me in on who is CSA?


IF IT DON'T HOVER - DON'T BOTHER
User currently offlineNickofatlanta From Australia, joined May 2000, 1487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 21 hours ago) and read 2324 times:

CSA Czech Airlines (OK)

User currently offlineQantas767 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 101 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

Thanks mate, is there a web site that you can search for the ICAO codes any where? Some of the european airlines befuddle me at times it is hard to work out who is who!


IF IT DON'T HOVER - DON'T BOTHER
User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1184 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 2209 times:

Quoting Leskova (Reply 14):
Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 12):
They informed you. They did so by means of the travel agent. This is one reason not to use travel agents, because you don't control your own fate in cases like these.

Nonsense - you always have the ability to check your flight times.

Leskova:
There must have been some missed translation between English and Deutsch. By "control your own fate" I mean that with a travel agent you let them take care of the details. I book directly and I am always in direct contact with the airline, hence I control my own fate regarding changes, etc. That's all I meant. I never said anything about the ability to check flight times.

FLY2LIM



Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineFrntman From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 209 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 6 hours ago) and read 2073 times:

I would say that the travel agent is the one at fault here. They are essentially representing you. The food chain would go...the travel agent is the airline's customer and you are the travel agent's customer.

If the airline notified their customer (the airline) of the schedule change, but the travel agent failed to notify you, I say the blame is on the travel agent.

Travel agents in order to try to remain competitive must focus on the service elemt of their product. Even if this means giving the airline their mobile telephone number as a contact number.


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 5 hours ago) and read 2055 times:

Quoting Frntman (Reply 19):
I would say that the travel agent is the one at fault here. They are essentially representing you. The food chain would go...the travel agent is the airline's customer and you are the travel agent's customer.

Not really - the travel agency is the one presenting the choices to the customer, enabling the customer to close a contract with the airline: the passenger is, and remains, the airline's customer. I'm not saying that a travel agent has no responsibilities at all - but contacting a passenger at their destination (or wherever they might have travelled onwards from thereon) is not one of them.

Quoting Frntman (Reply 19):
Travel agents in order to try to remain competitive must focus on the service elemt of their product. Even if this means giving the airline their mobile telephone number as a contact number.

More often than not, it is in fact the customer refusing the entry of their phone number into the PNR, expecting (even if told differently) that this will be used by the airlines for marketing purposes...

Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 18):
I book directly and I am always in direct contact with the airline, hence I control my own fate regarding changes, etc. That's all I meant.

Which is an advantage that's minimal, at best - after all, your practice of contacting the airline after your arrival is something you can do just as easily if you've not booked directly but through an agent. The only situation in which it can be an advantage is when there is an extremely short-term change of flight times (which, of course, you'd find out while reconfirming your flight regardless of whether you've booked direct or through an agent) and which is also the exact situation in which the ability of checking online whether your times have changed alleviate the problem of not having the direct control of your "own fate".

I understand that you prefer booking direct with the airlines, because you see advantages there - I, probably somewhat influenced by my profession, don't see much merit in those arguements, based on personal experience as passenger as well as based on what I see and hear from agents.

I guess we'll just have to end up at the point where we'll agree to disagree...



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 2 hours ago) and read 1997 times:

Quoting Leskova (Reply 6):
Unfortunately, that places the responsibility on you - reconfirmation. Sorry.

Most airlines recommend reconfirming flights 72 hours prior to departure.

If I were you Greenisle I would write to CSA and tell them you reconfirmed 72 hours prior and that you want a refund at least of half the cost of your round trip CSA ticket.

Bottom line though, is always check your itinerary online 24 hours prior to departure online, just to make life simple for yourself!


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 1 hour ago) and read 1965 times:

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 21):
Most airlines recommend reconfirming flights 72 hours prior to departure.

Less and less, these days, although from markets like the Middle East and South Asia it's still a good idea to do it anyway (airlines are much tougher with revenue integrity in these markets as there is a higher occurrence of nosho and dummy bookings)

This particular situation is nobody's fault (except maybe the Egyptian government) - the time change was highly unusual and at very short notice, and not by the airlines choice. It sounds like the sched change was carried out correctly on the inventory system (OK use AF's Alpha3 inventory) and communicated out to the travel agent via the GDS's, just nobody was in the office to work the queue. Unfortunate all round.

I'd talk to the travel agency first, to see if they can lodge a claim with the airline on your behalf - it was after all an unusual situation, so it's worth asking.

Leskova's suggestion of checking your booking online is an excellent one. For any Amadeus-hosted carrier (like OK), checkmtrip.com will work, regardless of the GDS your travel agent used to book the flight. You just need the record locator returned by the airline, which should be on your itinerary/receipt.


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3970 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 1 hour ago) and read 1941 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Qantas767 (Reply 17):
Thanks mate, is there a web site that you can search for the ICAO codes any where?

Search form for IATA and ICAO codes (among others)
http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/

Directory of ICAO codes by country
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICAO_airport_code



I've got $h*t to do
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Will 1/3 Be A Busy Holiday Travel Day? posted Tue Dec 5 2006 02:48:20 by AlexPorter
Who Will Be My CPT. Or F/O Or F/A? posted Tue Dec 5 2006 00:39:25 by Stylo777
US Bankcorp Will Be Decider In US/DL Merger posted Thu Nov 16 2006 16:17:42 by DLPMMM
FedEx Cancels 380F, Who Will Be Next? posted Tue Nov 7 2006 22:36:20 by DeltaDAWG
Which NW DC-10s Will Be Going To ATA? posted Mon Oct 30 2006 09:31:51 by MD11Fanatic
CR Airways (N8) Will Be Renamed Hong Kong Air posted Fri Oct 27 2006 10:26:49 by YLWbased
What Will Be Next? posted Sun Sep 24 2006 05:40:26 by Jamesjimlb
What Livery Will Be On The B-747-LCF posted Thu Sep 7 2006 04:01:23 by KC135TopBoom
IAH Will Be Redone Again posted Sun Jul 30 2006 07:57:44 by Shanderawx
Argentina Govt' Will Be Able To Have 20% Of AR posted Thu Jun 22 2006 05:05:05 by EZEIZA