Right. Im not a lawyer, but here are my thoughts.
As you have a direct connection, you flight is scoped into EC261 and IMHO (as a layman) would be treated as a cancellation.
You can ask them to re-route you, under comparable conditions at the first opportunity – they will probably argue that the day after is the earliest, at which stage you have to decide whether you want to push that and ask for a flight the same day on another carrier – at this stage, I can’t really say anymore (in terms of whether you would be in firm ground to cancel, rebook on another carrier and sue for the price difference), as I’m not qualified in law.
Even if they insist you should take the flight the day after, they are still on the hook for hotac, transfers and subsistence if I read the regs right.
Good luck, this is infuriating – my wife and I have just taken a 6 hour schedule change outside the EC and are basically stuffed, so I know how annoying this circumstance is. we’ve lost a 1/2 day of our hols.
1. This Regulation establishes, under the conditions specified herein, minimum rights for passengers when:
(c) their flight is delayed.
For the purposes of this Regulation:
(h) “final destination” means the destination on the ticket presented at the check-in counter or, in the case of directly connecting flights, the destination of the last flight; alternative connecting flights available shall not be taken into account if the original planned arrival time is respected;
1. This Regulation shall apply:
(a) to passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies;
2. Paragraph 1 shall apply on the condition that passengers:
(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.
3. This Regulation shall not apply to passengers travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public. However, it shall apply to passengers having tickets issued under a frequent flyer programme or other commercial programme by an air carrier or tour operator. Assume you are travelling on a commercial ticket?
4. This Regulation shall only apply to passengers transported by motorised fixed wing aircraft. Just to check the second segment is not by helicopter
1. In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:
(a) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 8; and
(b) be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Article 9(1)(a) and 9(2), as well as, in event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Article 9(1)(b) and 9(1)(c); and
2. When passengers are informed of the cancellation, an explanation shall be given concerning possible alternative transport.
Right to reimbursement or re-routing
1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:
(a) – reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan, together with, when relevant,
– a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;
(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.
2. Paragraph 1(a) shall also apply to passengers whose flights form part of a package, except for the right to reimbursement where such right arises under Directive 90/314/EEC.
3. When, in the case where a town, city or region is served by several airports, an operating air carrier offers a passenger a flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring the passenger from that alternative airport either to that for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.
Right to care
1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered free of charge:
(a) meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time;
(b) hotel accommodation in cases
– where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary, or
– where a stay additional to that intended by the passenger becomes necessary;
(c) transport between the airport and place of accommodation (hotel or other).
2. In addition, passengers shall be offered free of charge two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.
3. In applying this Article, the operating air carrier shall pay particular attention to the needs of persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them, as well as to the needs of unaccompanied children.