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Was due to fly PRN-DUS-MAN on 3 July, but the PRN-DUS flight was cancelled 3 days before, while it still ran on 1 and 4 July. In other words, the service was only reduced.

As I was re-routed and reached MAN 8 h 15 min past the original schedule, I've requested EC261 compensation.

I know airlines will just hold their ears and go "CORONA, CORONA, CORONA!!!", and even users on Flyertalk have done this, but I know it's not that simple. The specific cancellation must be beyond the control of the airline, and from what I can gather, a reduction of an up-and-running service, no matter how reasonable due to insufficient demand, is hardly beyond the carrier's control.

So on what grounds could the airline claim this specific cancellation to be beyond their control?

UPDATE: turned out there were no valid grounds for refusing compensation, and with the intervention of the Kosovan civil aviation department, I've now received due compensation (EUR 412 in total)

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  • 1
    Have you actually requested compensation and have your request turned down? Jul 15 '20 at 17:55
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    @KristvanBesien Eurowings have never ever replied to a single request of mine but one, either to service@eurowings.com or claims261@eurowings.com. I always get an auto-reply with a case number, but again IME no reply comes back. Now, the Kosovan civil aviation authority, which does deal with EC261, said if I don't get a reply within 6 weeks from sending it (so 5 weeks from now) I can contact them about it, but nothing further.
    – Crazydre
    Jul 15 '20 at 18:00
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    For instance, 8 hours could be a missed day of work for some people, and could set them back 70 euros at the minimum wage level in some countries. From my perspective, if someone really has zero income and needs student aid while enrolled in cheap European education, and is flying on 10 euro tickets out of necessity, yes, that is actually kind of poor by European standards, and it is completely sensible to want to get whatever money one can in that situation. The fact that there are people who are worse off is neither here nor there.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 16 '20 at 2:36
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    To me, when I have no idea what financial difficulties someone is facing, but they have explicitly told me that they are in a difficult situation, one should never tell them off for trying to get a little more money through completely legal means. Also, comparing trying to get a refund from a multinational corporation with refusing to pay a regular person with low income for a picture seems strange to me.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 16 '20 at 2:46
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    Glad that it worked out! Maybe you could add an answer explaining how you went about obtaining the compensation?
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 3 '20 at 18:19
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So as I suspected, the reduced service on the PRN-DUS route was by no means caused by extraordinary circumstances, but was a profitability-based business decision due to the pandemic (not confirmed, but obvious to me)

I got the standard compensation (EUR 400) with the help of the Kosovan civil aviation department, and then reimbursement of a "lost" rail ticket (GBP 10.55) directly via Eurowings. The Kosovan body, while slow, seems to know their stuff, so kudos to them for that!

So for future reference, the common belief that any and all cancellations remotely having anything to do with the pandemic is ineligible for compensation is false!

On 5 July I emailed Eurowings (claims261@eurowings.com) requesting compensation.

On 20 July I got the much-expected refusal claiming extraordinary circumstances without specification or evidence.

On 22 July I e-mailed the Kosovan civil aviation department (avioudhetaret@rks-gov.net) attaching 1) Eurowings's refusal plus a translation to English; 2) the original and modified itineraries; 3) the "lost" rail ticket confirmation (GBP 10.55)

On 28 July the Kosovan civil aviation department e-mailed Eurowings (with a copy to myself) asking for a statement regarding the cancellation.

On 27 September I asked how things are coming along.

On 28 September the Kosovan civil aviation department asked me to attach the itineraries again "so that [they] can proceed on this case based on EC regulation 261/2004", since the 6-week deadline had passed for Eurowings to respond.

On 29 September I emailed the itineraries again as asked.

On 21 October I asked how things are going.

On 24 October the Kosovan civil aviation department told me Eurowings had backed down and would grant compensation but needed my bank details and the rail ticket confirmation.

On 25 October I provided these details.

On 7 November the Kosovan civil aviation department forwarded an email from Eurowings saying they would pay out EUR 400. When I asked why they wouldn't reimburse the rail ticket, they referred me to Eurowings, closing the case on their end.

On 26 November I received EUR 400 on my account. The same day I emailed Eurowings asking why they wouldn't reimburse my rail ticket and explaining why they should (had it been in the opposite direction, they would've been legally obliged to, and the price is the same)

On 2 December Eurowings told me they'd reimburse the rail ticket (in EUR)

On 22 December I received EUR 11.60 on my account.

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    Impressive! Glad you were able to get your fair compensation.
    – JonathanReez
    Jan 7 at 4:40

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