When Kara van Wyk’s airline charges her in euros instead of dollars, her airfare bill takes off. Can her tickets be saved?
“Oh, did we say dollars? We meant euros”
Question: I traveled to Europe on a codeshare flight between Delta Air Lines and KLM. Before I left the United States, I carefully checked the size and weight restrictions for my two bags on both the Delta and KLM websites, because I’m an artist and I needed to take rolls of paper with me. I made sure my bags complied.
The trip from Portland, Ore., to Copenhagen, Denmark went off without a hitch; I paid $50 to check a second bag. However, on the flight from Toulouse, France, to Portland, Ore., I had to pay 200 Euros for the second bag. When the gate agent saw my second bag, she declared it “too long,” she never measured it. Although the flight was on KLM, the airport staff worked for Air France. There was no KLM or Delta presence that I could find in that airport.
“Should I have been charged extra for my checked luggage?”
Barbara Hilliard’s dogs didn’t make their KLM flight from Nuremberg, Germany, to Dallas via Amsterdam. Neither did she.
Turns out the plane was swapped out at the last minute — a so-called “equipment change” — and there was no room for her pets. “They told me they had no place to put the dogs and I would have to secure another way to get the dogs to Amsterdam and then they would fly them to Dallas,” she says.
Hilliard was unhappy. Not only because she’d made several phone calls before her trip to make sure her dogs could fly, but also because her only option was to buy an expensive ticket on Lufthansa to make her connection. She thinks KLM and its codeshare partner Delta Air Lines, through which she booked the tickets, should refund the price of her new ticket and pay the dogs’ freight, too.
“Is this enough compensation? A partial refund for my dogless flight”
Ted Oehlerking’s flight from Bremen, German, to Seattle, via Amsterdam was canceled all the way down the line. Although his airline, KLM, put him on the next available flight and upgraded him, it didn’t offer him any financial compensation for the delays.
Thing is, under EU 261, the European airline consumer protection law, his airline owed him €250 for the denied boarding actions and delays — and perhaps more. Here’s the full text of the rule.
It’s worth taking a closer look at how a regulation like this can affect air travel, since the Transportation Department is on the verge of creating a similar set of rules for the domestic airline industry. And it’s worth asking if there’s ever a point when enough compensation is enough.
A subsequent email to Delta Air Lines, KLM’s codeshare partner, generated a form-letter apology, agreeing that Oehlerking and his wife were, indeed, subject to EU compensation rules. It offered him either a €250 in cash or a €350 voucher for the canceled flights. Is that, plus the courtesy upgrade, enough?
“Is this enough compensation? A $150 voucher for denied boarding in Bremen”