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A few weeks ago, I booked a flight with Transavia going back from Prague to Paris on the Wednesday 10th June 2015. Yesterday, I received an email saying "your reservation has been updated, click on the following link to see the new time for your flight" and on the linked web page, the flight appears to be on the 12th June. I have not acknowledged the change yet.

Changing the "time" of the flight by 48 hours seems a bit extreme to me.

Is that legal at all? Is there any procedure to ask for compensations for the additional time off work I'll need to take or for the extra hotel nights ?

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All flights are subject to schedule changes and yes sometimes it can be by as much as 48 or more hours and yes it is totally legal.

You usually have three choices: 1) you can accept the new flight schedule; 2) you can ask them to reschedule you on another flight without fee; 3) you can cancel and get a full refund. But these options come with a time limit, after which it will be automatically assumed that you accepted the new flight schedule and the fare's cancellation / change penalties come into effect.

As it seems your trip has not started, there is no compensation due (unless the PC EU has added a rule about that). But this is one of the reasons for purchasing travel insurance.

  • Here is a quick and good answer, thanks! Also, in case of a trip with a return, can I cancel only the return or is it the whole booking? – SylvainD Apr 18 '15 at 8:33
  • Cancelling in this situation usually means the entire booking. (Unless your trip already underway) – user13044 Apr 18 '15 at 15:51
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As Tom already explained, this is common and you are not generally entitled to anything else than a possibility to reschedule/cancel the flight.

But you would in fact be entitled to extra monetary compensation under EU passenger rights rules if the flight had been cancelled less than two weeks before departure.

Rescheduling in April for June, they don't owe you more than a full refund, should you choose not to fly.

  • Wouldn't this be better as a comment? – DJClayworth Apr 18 '15 at 16:10
  • @DJClayworth I didn't think so, apparently… – Relaxed Apr 20 '15 at 14:44
  • Is there a deadline for the claim under EU rules? – quant_dev Apr 8 '16 at 12:55
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This is why it's a great idea to buy travel insurance (they sell some that doesn't include a medical component.) I have a trip happening where the airline has moved one flight by 48 hours. By objecting I was able to get it to just 24 hours moved, and my travel insurance is covering the extra night's stay at the hotel I was supposed to be leaving that day, as well as the change fees for hotels and airlines down the "domino chain" that are affected.

Do whatever you can to get hold of your airline. Email them, call them, message them on FB, @ them on Twitter, until somebody talks to you. (Do this even if you have a travel agent - if you have one get them on the case as well. I was able to get hold of someone at my airline quicker than my agent could, then connected those two by email.) See if your 48 hour change can be a 24 hour change. See if there's a connecting flight that will let you travel on the same day but have it take longer. Interact with them intensively until you've either minimized the impact of the change (eg you won't miss a day's work) or established that you've done all you can. Then if you have travel insurance, make a claim for the costs of the involuntary change.

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To add to Kate's answer, if you booked through an IATA accredited (and/or similar national trade body) travel agent they may be able to arrange accommodation or alternate flights at no extra cost to you, as part of the "guarantee" that comes with your package. They might even be able to compensate you for lost time at work, though I think this is unlikely. Unless you really are on a tight budget I'd try and spin it positively as an extra couple of days of holiday.

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