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I have bought a ticket from Czech Airlines from Athens to Prague. My flight was cancelled about three weeks before its due departure. The Airline offered to give the money for the tickets back or to go via Paris to Prague. According to this site I am entitled to comparable alternative means of transportation.

I am arguing with the airline that the flight via Paris cannot be considered comparable and indeed it would put a lot of strain on our daughter who is only one and a half year old. I am willing to accept a flight to Munich, for it is about the same distance from our final destination in Germany and there are direct flights from Athens.

The airline now offered us a direct flight from Thessaloniki which is a five hour drive from Athens, so I turned it down.

My question is now: am I right in claiming that an indirect flight cannot be considered comparable? And: is the airlines offer of a direct flight from Thessaloniki a sign for me being right.

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    The cancellation was made three weeks out, so is outside the "compensation" window. If the airline does not offer another direct flight, then all they can do is offer a connecting flight from Athens to Prague via City X. That is as "comparable" as they can get. I don't think the EU regs require them to buy you a ticket on another airline. The Thessaloniki offer doesn't really fulfill the EU rules, so is only a kindness offer on their part, not proof of your theory. – user13044 Aug 1 '15 at 13:38
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Your right to be re-routed under "comparable transport conditions" stems from EC Regulation 261/2004 Article 8 (1), b or c.

Article 8

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

  1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

(a) [...]

(b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

(c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32004R0261

However the meaning of the words "comparable transport conditions" is not clarified in the Regulation and, to my knowledge, has never been defined by a court of record invited to adjudicate on it. It's a bit hard to prove a negative, so if anyone else can suggest a relevant case I'm happy to amend this answer. I just did a text search on the ECJ case law on 261/2004.

I can suggest you keep pushing the airline but until a court rules otherwise the reroute via Paris is good enough for their position.

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