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I booked a ticket on international route with multiple stops (Stockholm-Brussels-Abu Dhabi-Mumbai). Stockholm to Brussels was with Brussels Airlines and the rest of the trip was with Etihad, but on a single ticket.

The flight to Brussels was cancelled by Brussels Airlines due to bad weather conditions at Brussels airport. The BA ticket counter at Stockholm airport rebooked me on a later flight. The ticket that was given to me said that my reservation is confirmed all the way. But when I reached AUH airport, Etihad people told me that flight to Mumbai is not confirmed (even though the ticket given to me by Brussels Airlines said it was confirmed). They denied me boarding and gave me a boarding pass for a flight that was taking off 9 hours after my original flight. They also refused to give me any kind of accommodation or meal vouchers because they said that it was the fault of Brussels Airlines for giving me an unconfirmed ticket.

I contacted BA customer support but they said that the ticket was confirmed and it is Etihad's fault for denying me boarding. Both companies have denied my compensation claim for denied boarding. What are my options now?

Edit: After two months, I got an email from Brussels Airlines and this is what they said: when they gave me the ticket, as per their system, the booking was perfectly fine and confirmed. But something went wrong while the ticket was transferred from BA system to Etihad system, and in Etihad's system, the ticket was not confirmed. And since this situation is "beyond their control", they cannot provide me compensation. But just as a gesture of goodwill, they will pay me 200 euros for the inconvenience caused. Should I accept their offer or press for full compensation (550 euros)?

  • It sounds like you were merely wait listed on the next Etihad flight. Were you given a Boarding Pass with as seat assignment? Keep in mind though, they will likely deny you because of the weather. – Johns-305 Jan 17 '18 at 15:46
  • No, they said that I will get boarding pass at the airport. The ticket clearly said that it is "confirmed". The email from the BA customer support also said that ticket was indeed confirmed. – futureishere Jan 17 '18 at 15:59
  • Can you clarify whether you bought a single ticket with multiple destination or more tickets? Where did you buy it? – Noldor130884 Feb 6 '18 at 13:54
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    @futureishere Definitely take the 200 – Crazydre Mar 23 '18 at 4:35
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You biggest hurdle to compensation will be the weather, for which you are likely not entitled to any compensation. :(

As for 'confirmed', it's not really a thing. What they were probably trying to express is that your booking/ticket on Etihad was still valid, even though your flight to Brussels was cancelled.

Meaning, when you got to AUH, EY did see your valid ticket and maybe even listed on the flight, but without a boarding pass or seat assignment, you were not really on the flight. Always know exactly what your status is on following flights and get a seat as soon as possible. EY in BRU probably could have done this.

  • I am not asking for compensation for the delay due to bad weather. I am asking for compensation due to denied boarding. My ticket to Mumbai was rebooked all the way, so I was not trying to board the original flight in AUH, but the one next day. The problem here is that BA says that ticket was confirmed while Etihad says that it was not. – futureishere Jan 18 '18 at 10:40
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    Unfortunately, it probably won't matter. If the delay was weather, compensation will be very difficult. But as noted, you may have misunderstood what 'confirmed' meant. You may have been 'confirmed' BRU-AUH only. – Johns-305 Jan 18 '18 at 10:57
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    "Confirmed" is absolutely a thing! It's been a part of the way airline tickets have worked for decades. – Doc Feb 17 '18 at 1:13
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    @Doc Well...it's not a separate thing. "Confirmed" just means the process has completed successfully with ticket, record locators etc correctly exchanged. The Agent 'confirmed' the res by looking at those. For example, no one says 'I have a confirmed reservation for the SuperBowl." You just have a valid ticket. – Johns-305 Feb 17 '18 at 12:41
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    @Johns-305 Actually a confirmed reservation has nothing at all to do with a ticket. You can have a confirmed reservation without a ticket ever being issued, or a confirm reservation for a booking that is different to your ticket. Like I said, it's a standard travel industry term with a specific meaning. – Doc Feb 17 '18 at 16:42
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Your claim of denied boarding does not seem to be valid under EC 261 Regulation because here is the issue is the unconfirmed ticket, there is no such rule governing unconfirmed ticket. In my opinion, you should take the goodwill amount of 200€ from Brussels Airlines, this is the best available option for you.

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