Today I was scheduled to fly MSP->CLT->MAD. The flights were operated by American, but I booked with Iberia, and the flight number I received for the transatlantic portion was an Iberia flight number.

Unfortunately, the flight from MSP->CLT was delayed due to mechanical issues, and I missed my connection to Madrid. American got me a hotel room in Charlotte and put me on the same flight to Madrid tomorrow, meaning my arrival will be delayed 24 hours. It appears this really was the next available flight and it probably wouldn't have been possible for them to get me there earlier.

I'm wondering if I can get some sort of compensation for this very long delay. It appears that EU Regulations would entitled me to compensation in this situation if this were an EU carrier. It's not clear to me if this applies in my case where I'm flying American but booked with Iberia and have an Iberia flight number.

My questions are:

  1. Am I entitled to compensation in this case?
  2. If I am not, is there a good chance I could get something if I ask for it?
  3. If I ask for compensation, should I do so in person at the Charlotte airport (where I will presumably be speaking to American Airlines employees), or should I just file a claim electronically with Iberia?

2 Answers 2


You are not officially due compensation, because :

a) EU261 does not apply for the reason you've already stated - you are flying on a non-EU carrier, for a flight that is not departing from the EU. The fact that your ticket was booked with an Iberia flight number does not change this, as EU261 applies to the "operating carrier" (the one actually running the flight, in this case American Airlines) and not the marketing carrier (Iberia).

b) The US does not have any equivalent compensation due in the event of a delay like this, nor does American Airlines have a published policy for compensation beyond those that you've already received (hotel room, and I presume meal vouchers).

Despite American not having a published/legal requirement for compensation, there is certainly no harm in asking. Many US airlines will offer compensation when a specific flight suffers an extensive delay (generally at least 3 hours, often more) as a result of something like a mechanical delay. Normally this compensation will not be offered automatically, especially given that your initial flight was not extensively delay (with the delay instead coming from a missed connection).

The airline staff at the airport will almost certainly not be able to issue such compensation (although again, no harm in asking!). Instead your best option would be to email American Airlines Customer Relations and request compensation. As I said above, they have no legal requirement to offer you anything at all, so don't be surprised if they say no, or if the compensation offered is a relatively small amount of AA Miles.

  • The operating/marketing carrier distinction was the crux of my question, so thanks for clarifying that. I will try sending a customer relations email and see what happens.
    – Joe
    Apr 11, 2022 at 11:18
  • I agree, but I think you can start asking at airport (very politely). They will not give you monetary compensation, but you may get (ask) lounge access, or maybe also an class upgrade. Then you can ask later to Iberia (if you booked with them). I have doubt you can get something (it is already difficult and it requires insisting also when we are entitled to compensation) Apr 11, 2022 at 13:03

Pretty sure EU261 rules dont apply in this regard, as the operative line in the regulation is:

  1. This Regulation shall apply: … (b) to passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that third country, if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a Community carrier.


Emphasis mine.

American was the operating airline in your case, so the regulations dont apply.

  • Literally beat me by 1 second!
    – Doc
    Apr 11, 2022 at 3:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .