We booked flights from ABZ-LHR-BKK through EVA Air, with the ABZ-LHR leg provided by British Airways, and the LHR-BKK leg provided by EVA Air - all legs are on the same EVA Air booking.

  1. ABZ-LHR (British Airways)
  2. LHR-BKK (EVA Air)

However, the first flight (ABZ-LHR) was cancelled with only hours to go, which resulted in us arriving at our final destination (BKK) 24 hours late.

I'm trying to claim compensation under EU/UK Regulation 261/04. However, British Airways are refusing to say anything, claiming that I have to deal with the original booking agent, EVA Air. Predictably, EVA Air are saying the opposite: that I have to deal with the responsible airline, British Airways.

From what I've read in EU/UK Regulation 261/04, it seems clear that British Airways should provide compensation - is my understanding correct?

  • Would you care to provide the date of the cancelled flight please?
    – Xnero
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 12:30
  • @Xnero 01-Dec-2022
    – Cocowalla
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 12:36
  • There’s a long list of CJEU case law on the topic at samgongustofa.is/media/domar-og-urskurdir/… but I don’t see anything covering that specific situation. There may be something in case law of lower courts.
    – jcaron
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 13:34
  • 2
    Oh, didn’t pay attention, but the flight is of course not covered under EC261 as it does not involve the EU, but by the UK’s equivalent regulations (while they still exist).
    – jcaron
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 13:49
  • Still, for information, the EC published interpretative guidelines for EC261, but while some of the topics are close to yours I don’t think your specific case is discussed.
    – jcaron
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


According to https://www.tamimi.com/law-update-articles/aviation-delay-extension-of-scope-of-applicability-of-ec-261-for-long-haul-flights-and-multiple-carriers/

Therefore the ECJ decided that Iberia Express, as operating carrier of the first leg of the journey, was potentially liable for compensation because ‘a right of compensation exists against the operating air carrier when a passenger fails to catch a directly connecting flight as a result of a relatively minor delay in arrival of the preceding flight, with the result that there is a delay in arrival at the final destination of three hours or more, even when the flights concerned are operated by different air carriers and the booking was made through a tour operator who carried out the booking of the entire flight journey via another contractual air carrier which did operate flights on any part of the journey.’

(emphasis mine)

So it's the operating carrier of the flight which caused the initial delay (which subsequently were amplified by missed connections) who is liable.

The decision is flightright GmbH v Iberia Express SA

Note that this is EU case law, it may or may not apply in the UK since Brexit. YMMV.


As usual the law is poorly written in this regard. The law clearly specifies that the "operating carrier" is on the hook but it doesn't specifically cover the case of itineraries with multiplies airlines and how exactly to determine the "operating carrier" in this case. By almost all definitions the "operating carrier" in your case was British Airways, but the law isn't tight enough so there is a loophole.

From https://www.elliott.org/airline-problems/eu-ec-261-european-air-travel-rights-guide/#My_flight_is_a_code-share_Does_EC_261_apply

The regulation does not explicitly address code-shares. However, the preamble states that the obligations created by the regulation “should rest with the operating air carrier who performs or intends to perform a flight, whether with owned aircraft, under dry or wet lease, or on any other basis.”

However, all of the examples I cite above are subject to caveats. First, the regulation does not specifically address code-share situations, and second, a code-sharing flight often presents the airlines involved with an opportunity to engage in circular finger-pointing, leaving the traveler stuck in the middle.

Full text of the law: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004R0261:en:HTML

I would keep pestering BA and clearly state that they are the operating carrier. EVA was the "marketing carrier" for the cancelled flight. If that doesn't help, you can consider either file a complaint or engage a commercial EC 261 collector who will pursue the case for you but take a cut of the proceeds.

  • 3
    I'd file a complaint first and only engage a collector if they fail to resolve the matter. No reason to give up 30% of your compensation to third parties.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 22:59
  • @JonathanReez I did that some time ago. You need to be persistent! I contacted the carrier every month (TAP Portugal) during one long year, until I got 600€ worth of miles (I opted into miles - as I had an upcoming flight - instead of the 400€ cash): travel.stackexchange.com/questions/107483/…. It was not a code-share flight, though.
    – Vickel
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 0:40

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