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We were to fly from Milan (LIN) to Bergen (BGO) via Amsterdam (AMS). The flight were to depart from Milan 17:25, and we would arrive in Bergen 22:50.

The first flight got cancelled (two months before the travel), and we got new tickets were we would arrive the next day instead. This was followed by a rebookings after rebookings (we have had a total of 18 tickets for the return trip).

  • 6 days before we were to travel from Milan, we got rescheduled to our original itinerary (but the first flight was operated by Alitalia instead of KLM).

  • 3 days before we were to travel from Milan, we got rescheduled to a new route (LIN - LHR - AMS - BGO) departing Milan 13:20 (4 hours earlier than scheduled). I believe this should be enough to claim 2 x €400 in refund from KLM, according to EU's air passenger rights).

  • British Airways had to cancel their flight to Heathrow (big IT-mess). We got help from KLM Customer Service and got a new itinerary: LIN - TXL - CPO - OSL - BGO, with an overnight stay in Copenhagen. The departure time was approximately the same as the original plan (but we got to the airport several hours earlier, to reach the plane to Heathrow).


Which airline(s) should we ask for a refund?

and how much can I get?


I thought I shoud ask KLM, since they got me the new tickets, and are the cause for the entire mess. The latest reschedule they made (before BA cancelled their flight was only three days prior to our departure).

We had to get a hotel room in Copenhagen.

KLM answered:

However, this cancellation happened well in advance and it was followed by several ticket reissues with other carriers.

[...] However, I need to explain that claims are dealt with by the flight operator, in this instance, British Airways for the cancellation of flight BA577 and Air Berlin due to the delay of their flight AB8735. Therefore, I can only recommend you to contact both carriers to proceed with your claim.


Note: Both my wife and our nanny lost almost a full day at work, incurring further expenses. Can we get a refund for this?

  • Just my initial thoughts: nothing for the first change (because it was cancelled more than two weeks ahead). The next claim also fails because this isn't a delay, unless the new schedule would have caused you to arrive more than four hours later than your original schedule: if it did, then AZ is liable as the carrier causing the reschedule. The last claim is more complex, but BA was the operating carrier who caused your delay, I think they are liable. Put in a claim to BA and see if they honour it. Doubt that you can claim from both AZ and BA. – Calchas Jun 22 '17 at 14:39
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    Without knowing what caused the delay on Air Berlin there's no way to know if they can be held liable at all. There are lots of exceptions for cases where the flight is delayed for reasons outside the control of the airline (e.g. extreme weather, terrorist attacks, strikes, etc. etc.). – jwenting Jun 23 '17 at 13:48
  • There were no such events, but British airways' IT-problems caused delays for pretty much everyone, other airlines included. – Stewie Griffin Jun 23 '17 at 13:51
  • You can't get a refund for side cost such as missed billable hours etc. That is just the personal risk of traveling. But since you booked the tickets with KLM they are your point of contact in case something goes wrong and should sort things out for you with BA. – Brilsmurfffje Jul 1 '17 at 11:49
  • It might be important who got your money. If you "only" got the tickets you still have been in a contract with KLM. To whom you made your payment is your opponent. – Thomas Jul 26 '17 at 7:18
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You have several independent claims here:

First claim:

OP: The first flight got cancelled (two months before the travel)

No valid claim exists for this change, as it was issued more than 14 days in advance:

EU261: (i) they are informed of the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure;

Second claim:

OP: 6 days before we were to travel from Milan

You may have a valid claim here, depending on the differences in departing and arrival times:

EU261: (iii) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

Third claim:

OP: 3 days before we were to travel from Milan,

You have a valid claim here, due to the above clause (iii).

Fourth claim:

OP: British Airways had to cancel their flight to Heathrow (big IT-mess).

You may have a valid claim here, depending on the differences in departing and arrival times, again due to the above clause (iii).

OP: Which airline(s) should we ask for a refund?

Under EC 261/2004 the operating carrier is the carrier onto which the obligations rest, which in your case means several individual and independent claims.

EU261: (7) In order to ensure the effective application of this Regulation, the obligations that it creates 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.

EU 261/2004

OP: and how much can I get?

I'm not about to put a monetary value on your claims, as it can get quite complicated with rerouting involved :)

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