The EU regulations on Air passenger rights describe when you are entitled to compensation for delay:
If your flight is delayed at departure, you have the right to assistance, to reimbursement and a return flight, depending on the duration of the delay and the distance of the flight.
If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation, unless the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.
or for downgrade:
If you are downgraded, you are entitled to reimbursement of a percentage of the price of your ticket, depending on the flight distance as follows: ...
Yesterday 8 May I happened to notice on the KLM website that my non-stop international flight AMS-SFO (operated by KLM/Delta) of 18 May is canceled.
I did not receive notice (it is 9 May now, so maybe it is pending). I received an email late on 9 May. They booked me for an flight with a stop-over in Detroit that leaves 45 minutes later, but I will arrive 6:15 hours later in SFO.
Does this count as either a delay or a downgrade that I can claim compensation for?
I have gone through both EU Regulation on air passenger rights and European Commission Interpretative Guidelines on air passenger rights but the texts regarding cancellation are not obvious IMO.
Under Scope paragraph 2 it says that the rules
... shall apply on the condition that passengers:
(a) [skip]; or
(b) have been transferred by an air carrier or tour operator from the flight for which they held a reservation to another flight, irrespective of the reason.
Under Cancellation it says
In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:
(c) have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 7, unless:
(i) [skip]; or
(ii) they are informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival;
(ii) applies to me
I can quote more text parts from these two documents, but I think that goes to far here.
- Did I obtain re-routing under satisfactory conditions? (BTW they also use the term comparable transport conditions)
- I did not get a reason for the cancellation.
- Of course, I can only apply for compensation after my actual flight.
As for downgrading, how do I find out if I am placed in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased?