How to get Delta Airlines to abide to EC261/2004?

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  • Colsoul

    I was supposed to fly DTW to MSP to CDG on 23 May 2019, with only one hour connection in MSP. DL859 (to MSP) was delayed by 45 minutes and since I knew I would not make the connection, I was re-routed on the direct flight AF377 DTW to CDG, but since there was only one seat left, I was downgraded to Economy. Despite DL showing on their website that 75% of fare must be reimbursed when involuntary downgrade, DL refuses to pay compensation and abide to EC261/2004 regulation. Can EU enforce DL to abide the EC regulation. I am tired of dealing with such a terrible customer service who simply argues that EC261/2004 only applies to flight originated from EU, not to flights with destination the EU. DL has lost my business and I will avoid them as much as I can.



    Delta is right here – you are not covered on flights to the EU on non-EU airlines.

    So if your journey originated in USA on Delta then EC261 will not protect you. You need to follow up under whatever consumer protection applies to US airlines.


    I am wondering if would be better of when booking via one of the Delta Europe based Skyteam partners?
    For instance you book a flight MSP – AMS on KL or DTW – CDG on AF. There is a fair chance your flight will be operated by DL.

    Would the OP still be covered by EU261? Problem in this case could be of course that EC261 only handles delays and cancellations, not downgrades.

    Opinions anyone? Or some experience?


    EC261 refers in most parts to the “operating air carrier”. So if your flight is scheduled to be operated by DL then it isn’t covered.


    Why are you fighting with Delta? Contact your credit card company and initiate a chargeback. That is what I always do. I give a merchant one opportunity to make good and after that, they can feel free to resolve via the chargeback process.


    As simonS1 says nothing is due on this under EU261. If flight was operated by an EU carrier then it would fall under EU261. Doesn’t matter what flight numbers a flight is on, down to the operating metal as to whether it is falls within EU261.

    If flight had originated in EU then all carriers are subject to EU261.


    To elaborate on Tim’s post, the way the EU regulation operates is that it applies to all EU carriers operating flights into AND from the EU. However, it applies to non-EU carriers only on flights FROM the EU. As OP was flying INTO the EU on a non-EU carrier, the EU regulation doesn’t apply.

    Whether this is fair or appropriate is a separate matter. I have never really understood the reason for the distinction (and I’m a lawyer!) but it is there, and sadly for OP Delta are entirely correct in saying they are not bound by the regulation in this instance.

    Had OP read the document s/he linked to this would have been fairly apparent, since the second bullet point, right up near the top of the page, states that it applies if (header included):
    …You are traveling on a flight departing from an airport in the EU”

    Finally, taking off my lawyer hat and putting on my pedant hat, one doesn’t “abide to” something, one “abides with” something. Although in this case “comply with” would have been a better use of English.

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