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Old 06.12.2010, 07:36
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Flight cancellation compensation

Hi any advice appreciated.

Swiss airlines have cancelled my return flight to geneva from the uk twice today. The flight I will now get means I will miss work. As I am paid by the day am I able to claim my lost days pay from them ? This happened when I returned from America once and someone mentioned there was legislation for this, though I did not pursue it at the time.
Thanks.
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Old 06.12.2010, 08:00
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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Hi any advice appreciated.

Swiss airlines have cancelled my return flight to geneva from the uk twice today. The flight I will now get means I will miss work. As I am paid by the day am I able to claim my lost days pay from them ? This happened when I returned from America once and someone mentioned there was legislation for this, though I did not pursue it at the time.
Thanks.
Cancelled for what reason? I'm pretty sure that makes a difference. I think you're pretty much SOL at getting paid

http://www.swiss.com/web/EN/general/...rticle_09.aspx
Quote:

9.2 CANCELLATIONS, REROUTINGS AND DELAYS
9.2.1 We will take all necessary steps to carry you and your baggage punctually. To avoid flight cancellations we may, in exceptional circumstances, arrange for a flight to be operated on our behalf by an alternative Carrier and/or aircraft.
9.2.2 Unless specified otherwise in the Convention, if we cancel a flight, fail to operate a flight reasonably according to schedule, fail to land at your final or Stopover destination or cause you to miss an onward flight for which you hold a confirmed reservation, we shall, at your option:
  1. carry you on another of our scheduled services on which space is available without additional charge and, where necessary, with an extension of the validity of your Ticket; or
  2. re-imburse you the price of the coupon or the coupons not used by you with a Miscellaneous Charges Order, MCO; or
  3. refund the corresponding fare in accordance with the provisions of 10.2 below
  4. if it is not possible to carry you to the destination shown on your Ticket within a reasonable period of time using our own services and if you do not wish a refund, we may use the services of another carrier chosen by us to bring you to the destination
9.2.3 Unless otherwise specified by the Convention, should any of the events specified in 9.2.1 above occur, the options outlined in Article 9.2.2 are the sole and exclusive options available to you and we shall have no further liability towards you.
9.2.4 If, owing to overbooking, we are unable to provide a seat for you on a flight for which you hold a confirmed reservation, we will provide denied boarding compensation in accordance with the applicable law and our own denied boarding regulations (see Article 16).
I'd be interested to know what the 'Unless otherwise specified by the Convention' covers.
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Old 06.12.2010, 08:45
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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Cancelled for what reason? I'm pretty sure that makes a difference. I think you're pretty much SOL at getting paid

http://www.swiss.com/web/EN/general/...rticle_09.aspx

I'd be interested to know what the 'Unless otherwise specified by the Convention' covers.
Yes I think there is some europewide convention. I'm going to check it out when I finally get back.
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Old 07.12.2010, 12:39
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

I think that "unless otherwise specified by the convention" refers to the Montreal Convention, see here: http://www.auc.org.uk/default.aspx?c...90&pageid=5298

My understanding, which may be wrong, is that it does allow for compensation for costs directly resulting from a cancellation, but that the interpretation of this is currently in the courts and you have zero chance of getting anything.

The British AUC (Air Users Council) have a website in English explaining the rules. Note that Switzerland counts as what they refer to as an "EU country" here, and the rules in Switzerland are the same as in the UK. http://www.auc.org.uk/

You really have to weigh up the effort involved in dealing with this compared with what you will get. I have personal experience dealing with Swiss, and I actually involved the AUC who agreed with my claim and dealt with it for me. Swiss simply refused to respond to the letters from either me or the AUC, and the end result was nothing.

I really think you need to write this off, and if the lost costs matter to you, you should take out travel insurance in the future that specifically covers this, if you can find any.
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Old 07.12.2010, 13:18
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

I thought this was the EU convention which is applicable. I've never used it despite being urged to do so by friends who work in the EU. My understanding is that it includes Switzerland.
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Old 07.12.2010, 13:30
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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I thought this was the EU convention which is applicable. I've never used it despite being urged to do so by friends who work in the EU. My understanding is that it includes Switzerland.
I "benefited" from this regulation about four years ago - a heavy delay due to the airline overbooking my flight from Milan to New York meant they had to pay me EUR 600 under the rules. In fairness they owned up and processed the cash payment right there and then. If the flight is departing from the EU it doesn't matter where the destination is in fact.
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Old 07.12.2010, 13:45
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

You may be entitled to some compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 depending on the reason for the cancellation.

As a general rule, if the cancellation was due to an act-of-God (eg, heavy snowfall) or other circumstances outside of the airline's control, you are entitled to nothing more than a refund of your unused ticket price (if you choose not to travel) or a reasonable duty-of-care if you choose to travel on another flight. This means that the airline needs to provide you with meals, drinks, and hotel accomodation as required.

If the cancellation is due to something under the airline's control, like a mechanical problem, you are entitled to the same duty-of-care as listed above plus cash compensation (of up to EUR600, depends on length of schedule flight + length of delay/cancellation).

The rules are complicated and getting compensation is not straight-forward, as many test cases have been put forward in court. Best thing to do is to use a company like EUClaim to lodge a claim with the airlines.

But in any case, you'll not be compensated for lost working time / wages. The compensation follows strict guidelines outlined in Articles 7-9 of the Act.

Quote:
Article 7
Right to compensation


1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall
receive compensation amounting to:
(a) EUR 250 for all flights of 1 500 kilometres or less;
(b) EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than
1 500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1 500
and 3 500 kilometres;
(c) EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b).
In determining the distance, the basis shall be the last destination
at which the denial of boarding or cancellation will delay
the passenger's arrival after the scheduled time.
2. When passengers are offered re-routing to their final
destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Article 8, the
arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival
time of the flight originally booked
(a) by two hours, in respect of all flights of 1 500 kilometres
or less; or
(b) by three hours, in respect of all intra-Community flights of
more than 1 500 kilometres and for all other flights
between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres; or
(c) by four hours, in respect of all flights not falling under (a)
or (b),
the operating air carrier may reduce the compensation
provided for in paragraph 1 by 50 %.
3. The compensation referred to in paragraph 1 shall be
paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank
cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in
travel vouchers and/or other services.
4. The distances given in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be
measured by the great circle route method.


Article 8


Right to reimbursement or re-routing

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall
be offered the choice between:
(a) — reimbursement within seven days, by the means
provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket
at the price at which it was bought, for the part or
parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts
already made if the flight is no longer serving any
purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel
plan, together with, when relevant,
— a return flight to the first point of departure, at the
earliest opportunity;
(b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their
final destination at the earliest opportunity; or
(c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their
final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience,
subject to availability of seats.
2. Paragraph 1(a) shall also apply to passengers whose
flights form part of a package, except for the right to reimbursement
where such right arises under Directive 90/314/EEC.
3. When, in the case where a town, city or region is served
by several airports, an operating air carrier offers a passenger a
flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking
was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring
the passenger from that alternative airport either to that
for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination
agreed with the passenger.


Article 9


Right to care

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall
be offered free of charge:
(a) meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the
waiting time;
(b) hotel accommodation in cases
— where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary,
or
— where a stay additional to that intended by the
passenger becomes necessary;
(c) transport between the airport and place of accommodation
(hotel or other).
2. In addition, passengers shall be offered free of charge two
telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.
3. In applying this Article, the operating air carrier shall pay
particular attention to the needs of persons with reduced mobility
and any persons accompanying them, as well as to the
needs of unaccompanied children.

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Old 07.12.2010, 16:19
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

The posters above are absolutely correct about EC Regulation 261/2004. This regulation is often misinterpreted or misquoted but Village Idiot's interpretation is, I think, fully correct. It doesn't allow for damages caused by delay.

However, I still think that the reference to the "convention" in the second post refers to the Montreal Convention. This is a separate piece of international legislation that does actually say that carriers may be liable for damages caused by their delay. However, it doesn't apply if the airline is not at fault i.e. if it was a weather related delay or similar, and I have never read of anyone successfully claiming under it in any circumstances. So it's a bit irrelevant really.

If you're really bored you can read it by following the link in my first post and clicking through.
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Old 07.12.2010, 17:50
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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Hi any advice appreciated.

Swiss airlines have cancelled my return flight to geneva from the uk twice today. The flight I will now get means I will miss work. As I am paid by the day am I able to claim my lost days pay from them ? This happened when I returned from America once and someone mentioned there was legislation for this, though I did not pursue it at the time.
Thanks.
No, I am sorry, but in accordance with the Warsaw Convention and the DenHaag Protocols, airlines are NOT liable for things of this kind caused by cancellations or heavy delays.

The legislation demands that you get a voucher for a free meal, and in case of an overnight stay a free overnight stay in a hotel.

And be careful in regard to insurance coverage. All insurance companies will refuse any idea to cover against losses of the indirect nature. Do not forget that there are businessmen who due to delays of some hours lose business to the millions.
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Old 07.12.2010, 17:51
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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Yes I think there is some europewide convention. I'm going to check it out when I finally get back.
In short, NO. ECAC does not differ in its rules and regulations from ICAO
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Old 07.12.2010, 17:55
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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I thought this was the EU convention which is applicable. I've never used it despite being urged to do so by friends who work in the EU. My understanding is that it includes Switzerland.
Any EU convention is overruled by the rules and regulations of ICAO, based on "Warsaw/DenHaag". Switzerland is a full member of ECAC and so civil-aviation-wise a EU country, but not a full member of the EU. And so, ECAC rules are respected here 100% but some EU conventions not so. In fact, many airlines in EU countries have pushed the matter into the courts, and refer to the points above
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Old 07.12.2010, 17:58
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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You may be entitled to some compensation under EC Regulation 261/2004 depending on the reason for the cancellation.

As a general rule, if the cancellation was due to an act-of-God (eg, heavy snowfall) or other circumstances outside of the airline's control, you are entitled to nothing more than a refund of your unused ticket price (if you choose not to travel) or a reasonable duty-of-care if you choose to travel on another flight. This means that the airline needs to provide you with meals, drinks, and hotel accomodation as required.

If the cancellation is due to something under the airline's control, like a mechanical problem, you are entitled to the same duty-of-care as listed above plus cash compensation (of up to EUR600, depends on length of schedule flight + length of delay/cancellation).

The rules are complicated and getting compensation is not straight-forward, as many test cases have been put forward in court. Best thing to do is to use a company like EUClaim to lodge a claim with the airlines.

But in any case, you'll not be compensated for lost working time / wages. The compensation follows strict guidelines outlined in Articles 7-9 of the Act.


ALL this clearly refers to the flights directly, but NOT to indirect results of the delay. So, if you cannot sign a contract on a particular morning, you cannot ask for compensation for this
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Old 07.12.2010, 18:11
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

Mike,

I had the same from London city yesterday, got to the airport at 6.30 to see the flight had been cancelled to Basel due to Technical issues with the aircraft, seems odd the Geneva and Zurich flights were also cancelled. We got shipped off to Heathrow for a BA flight, but no meals or drinks were offered, we eventually took off from Heathrow at 16.30hrs. Having looked at the regulations theoretically compensation should be payable at the rates determined in the regulations quoted below, in addition there should be a meal and hotel allowance given should a delay be longer than the specified time limit. However this can be dependant on whether it is your outbound or inbound flight, ie, if the delay is substantial on your outbound flight then it is deemed you can return home and therefore a hotel allowance is unlikely to be given unless you have travelled a long way, if it is on your inbound flight ie. you are stranded abroad then the hotel allowance is more likely however most airlines will only cover reasonable costs and unfortunately they do not specifiy what is reasonable (Ryanair and BMI were chastised for this after the volcano issues in April).

What annoys me is that you have to ask for the text if your flight is delayed or cancelled, if you dont ask I am not sure what you are then entitled to. From what I have read it is very difficult to obtain the set compensation amounts for a delay due to the stays put in place by the UK courts when a few of the carriers contested the legal position, I believe this is due to be heard by the European courts in about a years time. For a cancellation it should be paid and other hearings have determined mechanical failure in itself is not an 'extraodinary circumstance' as some airlines will quote however if that mechanical failure is a result of an 'extraordinary circumstance' then payment of compensation will not happen.

There is a lot of information on the moneysavingexpert.com site in the forums, but, reading most stories dont plan on spending the compensation soon as it sounds extremely unlikely it will ever be paid.

For me I plan to write to Swiss with a strong letter of complaint, I have noticed a steady decline in the quality of their service over the last 6 months, flights are now frequently delayed, after the volcano issues they offered no support even suggesting that they would only move my initially cancelled flights even though I had 6 more booked after them that were dependant on me being in the right part of the world to be able to use the tickets, and finally a 12 hour delay yesterday with again no support, whats ironic is that I was 10 minutes late for a flight two weeks ago (having already flown with them at least 50 times this year) and they charged me £200 for the privilage of rebooking with them for a later flight, seems very one way to me.
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Old 07.12.2010, 18:38
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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Mike,

I had the same from London city yesterday, got to the airport at 6.30 to see the flight had been cancelled to Basel due to Technical issues with the aircraft, seems odd the Geneva and Zurich flights were also cancelled. We got shipped off to Heathrow for a BA flight, but no meals or drinks were offered, we eventually took off from Heathrow at 16.30hrs. Having looked at the regulations theoretically compensation should be payable at the rates determined in the regulations quoted below, in addition there should be a meal and hotel allowance given should a delay be longer than the specified time limit. However this can be dependant on whether it is your outbound or inbound flight, ie, if the delay is substantial on your outbound flight then it is deemed you can return home and therefore a hotel allowance is unlikely to be given unless you have travelled a long way, if it is on your inbound flight ie. you are stranded abroad then the hotel allowance is more likely however most airlines will only cover reasonable costs and unfortunately they do not specifiy what is reasonable (Ryanair and BMI were chastised for this after the volcano issues in April).

What annoys me is that you have to ask for the text if your flight is delayed or cancelled, if you dont ask I am not sure what you are then entitled to. From what I have read it is very difficult to obtain the set compensation amounts for a delay due to the stays put in place by the UK courts when a few of the carriers contested the legal position, I believe this is due to be heard by the European courts in about a years time. For a cancellation it should be paid and other hearings have determined mechanical failure in itself is not an 'extraodinary circumstance' as some airlines will quote however if that mechanical failure is a result of an 'extraordinary circumstance' then payment of compensation will not happen.

There is a lot of information on the moneysavingexpert.com site in the forums, but, reading most stories dont plan on spending the compensation soon as it sounds extremely unlikely it will ever be paid.

For me I plan to write to Swiss with a strong letter of complaint, I have noticed a steady decline in the quality of their service over the last 6 months, flights are now frequently delayed, after the volcano issues they offered no support even suggesting that they would only move my initially cancelled flights even though I had 6 more booked after them that were dependant on me being in the right part of the world to be able to use the tickets, and finally a 12 hour delay yesterday with again no support, whats ironic is that I was 10 minutes late for a flight two weeks ago (having already flown with them at least 50 times this year) and they charged me £200 for the privilage of rebooking with them for a later flight, seems very one way to me.
Hi, great to hear of someone else on it - mine was similar to yours but with even more agony. I was also on the 6.45am from City, that was canned so I went to the 8am from city. That was also shelved so I was put on the 11.50 from Heathrow, that was delayed and then cancelled and I got the last space on the 19:30 which got in 30 minutes late at 10.30pm I arrived home at 12.30am some 18 hours later. I have to say the trick I think is that they put it down to weather and extreme weather conditions are not covered. I found it annoying that flights were clearly leaving City when they canned it so it was not the case to put the closure down to weather when geneva was also open.

Swiss have been pretty good to me normally and the lady on the desk was as helpful as she could be but I have to say my trick was as soon as I found out the 11.50 was axed we were all airside by then and I legged it to departures again and sprinted into the (very short queue) and got the space on the 7.30. About 5 minutes later the queue was tailing off down the hall and the wait in it would have been hours.

It's still patently unfair that you are not compensated for these things. Much more than the flight itself it is the financial loss incurred as I am a contractor and only paid if I turned up.

It was quite a day though, I have to say.
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Old 07.12.2010, 18:47
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

Off topic, but if you're under no time pressure to return home, it can pay to inform the check in chicken you're willing to be bumped if the flight is full. They'll gladly look after you and it saves them having to ask. I had this experience coming back from Thailand once and was offered a 5 star hotel and €600 per person cash. Duh...
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Old 07.12.2010, 18:53
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

I'm currently trying to check all flights leaving Manchester. My guests from the weekend should have flown easyjet to Manchester on Sunday evening, they are still at the airport now. Naturally they had our place to come back to but the most frustrating aspect is obtaining any info.

To be honest I think the bit extra with Swiss is well worth it as both Sunday and Monday evening, the scheduled Swiss flights managed to leave Manchester but the Easy jet flights were canceled.

Forgot to mention the destination airport is Zurich.
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Old 08.12.2010, 00:31
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

Mike,

I agree with you in that Swiss are generally good, however, when things go wrong they are woefully inadequate, not necessarily from a service perspective but more from a communication angle. I recieved no notification of the cancellation (if I had I would not have spent £45 getting to city airport for 6.30) and as previously said it seems odd to me that when all the swiss airports aswell as city airport were open that all flights were cancelled. Whilst I am not a generally a theorist it does seem odd so many flights were cancelled on the same day (especially after the movement of wikileaks to a .CH address).

Putting this aside though they have a legal obligation under EU law to compensate and extend a duty of care to their customers which they are clearly failing to do, basic elements like meal allowances were not offered, luckily for me I was travelling with a colleague who had BA lounge access so my day was not that uncomfortable (if we had of been in terminal 1 I have swiss lounge access which we would have used instead), however also in the queue were a family with two small two children who also had to endure a 10 hour delay with no kind of compensation at all, just left to wander the concourse of terminal 5 for all those hours.
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Old 08.12.2010, 02:04
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

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Whilst I am not a generally a theorist it does seem odd so many flights were cancelled on the same day (especially after the movement of wikileaks to a .CH address).

WTF?


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Old 01.02.2011, 09:54
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

Swiss just got back to me about a flight cancellation just April due to the volcanic ash (to be fair, it took me until August to contact them about it) and stated that they're willing to offer something.

So I scanned in all hotel bills, credit card receipts etc. and sent them off yesterday. The amount is touching on 650 CHF for 5 days hotel accomodation (didn't claim for food, but asked the question is this is possible).

Got a reply this morning, that they're willing to pay 250 CHF per head (for the misses and I) and they're not willing to pay anymore.

Do I have a chance to squeeze them a little, or should I cut and run with this?
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Old 01.02.2011, 10:30
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Re: Flight cancellation compensation

Ok me being totally dumb in this matter, please allow me to ask something;

Why should the airlines companies give money back to their customers for a natural disaster or weather condition out of their control? I find it great if they do, but I would understand if they don't.

If your house is destroyed from a natural disaster, insurances are not covering what it calls ''Act of God'' (in french).

So is it under the airlines responsability to refund people who had been touch by cancellations due to natural circonstances?

How does it work?

Last edited by Nil; 01.02.2011 at 11:04.
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