Qatar Airways and EC 261

doctorstrangelove

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Hi all,

I've had a bit of a misfortune while travelling (who hasn't?) with Qatar Airways recently from CDG -SIN via DOH J class on 29/06. Upon trying to check in online on 28/06 I was informed that my initial flight scheduled to depart DOH for SIN on 29/06 @19:45 had been changed to a depature on 30/06 @02:35. My flight from CDG to DOH was due to arrive in @16:50. A very manageable 3 hour transit through DOH had now become almost 10 hours. I asked about what the issue with the delay was when I checked into CDG but they were unable to advise and, when I asked what compensation I was entitled to they said I was entitled to compensation and that when I got off the plane in DOH someone would be waiting to explain the situation to me. I then waited 90 minutes nursing a coffee in Starbuck's prior to boarding (WARNING: Qatar has no BC lounge access in CDG!!!) what it must be said was a very pleasant flight to DOH in Qsuites.

Upon arriving in DOH there was no-one to greet me as they had stated in CDG and, after wasting a further forlorn 10 minutes in the expectation that someone might appear I marched to the Customer Service Desk to establish what the situation was. I knew that as my flight had originated in the EU that I was protected under EC261 and asked the member of staff behind the desk about 1) compensation (an e-mail address was provided) and 2) as my flight was departing the day after my initial booking the accommodation I was entitled to. The staff member contacted the Premium Team (I think?) over the phone and they asked me to provide them with a PCR test as, without this, I was unable to enter Qatar and avail of accommodation. Of course, as my final destination does not have this as a condition of entry I had no reason to obtain one as I had been planning just to transit through Qatar. They used this to effectively wash their hands of any further responsibility to me: the hotel in the aiport was booked out so they couldn't give me a room there; no vouchers for food or refreshments (as stipulated by EC261) were provided. I tried to be constructive and suggested that an acceptable compromise, given the lack of lounge access in CDG together with my prolonged transit would be for them to grant me access to the first class lounge where I knew there were beds that could potentially be used and even if not available it would be a nicer way to spend 10 hours! They refused to do this (no reason given). The other accommodation issues I could understand - but the lounge would have been of minimal effort for Qatar Airways to authorize and would have been a satisfactory gesture of goodwill.

I'm currently at the stage where I've e-mailed Qatar asking for compensation for the above. Under my understanding of EC261 compensation I am entitled to 600 euro for the delayed flight (as per Qatar's own website and my own reading around it). However, is there either 1) additional compensation I am entitled to as Qatar broke EC261 legislation by not providing me with accommodation (or indeed anything at all to compensate for the delay at the airport - luckily I had BC lounge access with my ticket!) or 2) a regulator that I can report Qatar to for not providing me with accomodation? Finally, does anyone know how I can escalate this if Qatar does not respond - it's been 10 days so far with no communication with them apart from an acknowledgement of receipt of the first e-mail.

Thanks for reading!

 

MEL_Traveller

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The €600 sounds about right. They will likely argue that they have provided food because you had lounge access. Accommodation they will probably argue is outside their control as you need a PCR test for them to provide it… covid has been deemed an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ by the EU IIRC, and in this case it is a government imposed restriction, not the airline’s.

See how you go with the €600. If you have problems look at next steps at that stage.
 

doctorstrangelove

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3 weeks now and I've still heard nothing from Qatar apart from the original acknowledgement e-mail. Does anyone have any idea how I can escalate this? I sent them a follow up e-mail last week that has also gone unanswered. :(
 

BNEFlyer

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Compensation is based upon the entire journey.

There has been case law precedent confirming this.
Good to know.

And to the OP RE: lounge in CDG, it's obviously a bit late now but QR are using the Paul Maxence Pop-Up lounge in 2E.
 

doctorstrangelove

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Good to know.

And to the OP RE: lounge in CDG, it's obviously a bit late now but QR are using the Paul Maxence Pop-Up lounge in 2E.
Strange. It must not have been available to use for Qatar on the day of my flight; why else would they tell me that there was no lounge access available? 😕
 

doctorstrangelove

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A reply!

This is in reference to your feedback we received in regards to your recent journey with us from Paris to Singapore.

We are sorry to learn of the disruption to your travel schedule as the result of the delay to your flight QR042/29 June 2022 from Paris to Doha, which consequently resulted in you missing your onward connection to Singapore on QR942/29 June 2022.

We understand the inconvenience that you encountered and can fully appreciate how unsettling this situation must have been. Although every effort is made to achieve on time departures/arrivals, there are occasions when flights are delayed due to circumstances beyond our control as it unfortunately happened with QR042, which was due congestion at the local immigration in Paris and air traffic slot restrictions.
...
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused on this occasion and if your journey has not been satisfactory. However, in view of the nature of the delay on your flight from Paris to Doha, which can be considered as an extra-ordinary circumstance, we regret that we are unable to offer any compensation as claimed.

What do people think? Are they trying to give me the run-around? I don't see how they could have misconstrued my inital query as such. My first e-mail was very clear that QR942 was cancelled and they now appear to be trying to reframe it as a 'missed connection' outwith their control. :mad:

My reply:

Thank you for taking the time to give me a detailed reply. I'm afraid you have misunderstood my circumstances.

I did not miss QR942 DOH - SIN because my CDG - DOH was delayed. QR942 never flew. I was informed of its cancellation by your agents at CDG of this and about my rebooking on QR946. I had also attempted to check in the previous night to my flight online and saw on my itinerary then about this flight change from DOH - SIN. It had nothing to do with any delay leaving Paris, which was minor. While I cannot recall the exact time I arrived at Doha Airport I would have had more than sufficient time to make it from my CDG - DOH flight to QR942 had it been flying (again, it was cancelled). I even double checked the departure screens at Doha Airport when I arrived on the off chance that QR942 had somehow been rescheduled after all but there was nothing. I would ask you to review your airline's records - if you have a record of the late departure of CDG - DOH that day I'm sure you have also a record of the cancellation of QR942. As such, my late arrival in Singapore was due to the cancellation of QR942 and subsequent rebooking on QR946 rather than a late departure from CDG and therefore I must insist that I am entitled to compensation under EC261.

I'm very much relying on their honesty here as unfortunately the only evidence I have are my initial flight e-ticket and a paper ticket of the new flight they placed me on. :(
 

doctorstrangelove

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Not sure, but in my booking in the app that’s the one that they say is available.

In response to my complaint:

We would also like to inform that our premium passengers are given access to the American Airlines Admiral Club lounge at Paris airport, however, entry into this lounge will be based on oneworld access policy.

I'm told no lounge access by the ground crew at the time of departure, you're told by the app to use Paul Maxence, and I'm now told by their staff that I may have been able to use the AA lounge! What sort of a ship are they running at CDG? 🙃
 

andye

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In response to my complaint:



I'm told no lounge access by the ground crew at the time of departure, you're told by the app to use Paul Maxence, and I'm now told by their staff that I may have been able to use the AA lounge! What sort of a ship are they running at CDG? 🙃
I used AA in CDG in May but was clearly told at checkin. I assumed QR had changed terminal or something when you said you didn't have access
 

Mattg

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I'm just going to post a link to this thread from 2016, which may or may not be of interest here:

 

doctorstrangelove

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I'm just going to post a link to this thread from 2016, which may or may not be of interest here:

Thanks Mattg, interesting to read of another's experience. Albeit from a small sample size of two and separated by a period of 6 years it seems that Qatar Airways has a policy of not 'understanding' EC261 legislation! Unfortunately as my flight was out of CDG I suspect it would be more trouble than it's worth to liaise with the French equivalent of the CAA given the language barrier. Persistence appears to be key so I'll give them two weeks or so to reply before I send off another e-mail, but I may have to be prepared to go through a 3rd party agency like Airhelp if they're not budging.
 

boxjelly5

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Aug 7, 2014
Posts
27
Hi all,

I've had a bit of a misfortune while travelling (who hasn't?) with Qatar Airways recently from CDG -SIN via DOH J class on 29/06. Upon trying to check in online on 28/06 I was informed that my initial flight scheduled to depart DOH for SIN on 29/06 @19:45 had been changed to a depature on 30/06 @02:35. My flight from CDG to DOH was due to arrive in @16:50. A very manageable 3 hour transit through DOH had now become almost 10 hours. I asked about what the issue with the delay was when I checked into CDG but they were unable to advise and, when I asked what compensation I was entitled to they said I was entitled to compensation and that when I got off the plane in DOH someone would be waiting to explain the situation to me. I then waited 90 minutes nursing a coffee in Starbuck's prior to boarding (WARNING: Qatar has no BC lounge access in CDG!!!) what it must be said was a very pleasant flight to DOH in Qsuites.

Upon arriving in DOH there was no-one to greet me as they had stated in CDG and, after wasting a further forlorn 10 minutes in the expectation that someone might appear I marched to the Customer Service Desk to establish what the situation was. I knew that as my flight had originated in the EU that I was protected under EC261 and asked the member of staff behind the desk about 1) compensation (an e-mail address was provided) and 2) as my flight was departing the day after my initial booking the accommodation I was entitled to. The staff member contacted the Premium Team (I think?) over the phone and they asked me to provide them with a PCR test as, without this, I was unable to enter Qatar and avail of accommodation. Of course, as my final destination does not have this as a condition of entry I had no reason to obtain one as I had been planning just to transit through Qatar. They used this to effectively wash their hands of any further responsibility to me: the hotel in the aiport was booked out so they couldn't give me a room there; no vouchers for food or refreshments (as stipulated by EC261) were provided. I tried to be constructive and suggested that an acceptable compromise, given the lack of lounge access in CDG together with my prolonged transit would be for them to grant me access to the first class lounge where I knew there were beds that could potentially be used and even if not available it would be a nicer way to spend 10 hours! They refused to do this (no reason given). The other accommodation issues I could understand - but the lounge would have been of minimal effort for Qatar Airways to authorize and would have been a satisfactory gesture of goodwill.

I'm currently at the stage where I've e-mailed Qatar asking for compensation for the above. Under my understanding of EC261 compensation I am entitled to 600 euro for the delayed flight (as per Qatar's own website and my own reading around it). However, is there either 1) additional compensation I am entitled to as Qatar broke EC261 legislation by not providing me with accommodation (or indeed anything at all to compensate for the delay at the airport - luckily I had BC lounge access with my ticket!) or 2) a regulator that I can report Qatar to for not providing me with accomodation? Finally, does anyone know how I can escalate this if Qatar does not respond - it's been 10 days so far with no communication with them apart from an acknowledgement of receipt of the first e-mail.

Thanks for reading!

Have a look at airhelp.com I learned through TripIt Pro of their service that lodges it for you.
 

doctorstrangelove

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A prompt reply from Qatar.

We have further checked on your feedback below and found that there was indeed a schedule change that occurred on your itinerary from Doha to Singapore.

Our records show that QR942/29 June 2022 had been canceled since 01 June 2022 and the alternative flight on QR946/30 June 2022 was automatically added to your booking. Further to our records, the cancellation was done on your itinerary on 08 June 2022 and was automatically notified to your respective booking office/agency.

In view of your claim under EC261 regulation, please allow us to inform that as the schedule change occurred more than 14 days before departure, which was notified to your booking agency (Qantas), we regret to advise that we are unable to offer compensation on this occasion.

1) This isn't rocket science I'm asking of them. My first e-mail was very clear and to the point so why they couldn't uncover this in the first instance and save me the time in replying is beyond me.

2) I think I'll have to concede defeat here and admit that, even though I only became aware of the change the night before when I went to check in online this cancellation had occurred weeks ago. And it appears the fault as so many things are these days lies with the Red Roo who never contacted me to inform me of my change in itinerary (the flight was a classic rewards booking through them). Had I known in sufficient time I could have got a PCR test and been able to avail of a hotel in Doha at Qatar's expense. Screw Qantas. :mad:
 

Guvner

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You've been right royally QF'd. Join the ever expanding club.
The takeaway here is that QR have stated in writing to you that they inform QF of cancelled "itineraries", however in practice QF don't seem to pass on that information to the pax (based on my experience). In fact I was told today by a QF CC agent that QF don't get notified by QR, which contradicts the reply you received.
 

Mattg

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2) I think I'll have to concede defeat here and admit that, even though I only became aware of the change the night before when I went to check in online this cancellation had occurred weeks ago. And it appears the fault as so many things are these days lies with the Red Roo who never contacted me to inform me of my change in itinerary (the flight was a classic rewards booking through them). Had I known in sufficient time I could have got a PCR test and been able to avail of a hotel in Doha at Qatar's expense. Screw Qantas. :mad:

Sadly, with the way things are going right now, you should probably consider yourself lucky that Qantas didn't inadvertently cancel your entire booking after there was a QR schedule change! :oops:

 

Danger

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I'm confused, doctorstrangelove. Didn't QR first tell you that your CDG-DOH flight was delayed and that was the reason you missed your DOH-SIN? But then, in the subsequent reply, doesn't QR say that the DOH-SIN flight was cancelled on 1 June?

And what does an alleged delay at CDG have to do with a changed departure time to a DOH-SIN flight?

Ask QR to provide you with the documentation provided to QF. And ask QF what documentation was provided by QR. I expect you'll get nowhere with either request but it can't hurt to try.

In 2017 I sued Airberlin in an Australian court under the Montreal Convention for failing to reimburse me for expenses after my bag was delayed. (Airberlin said, "We regret to inform you that we have to decline your request for reimbursement of toiletries. These items are consumer goods considered as everyday commodities. Due to the delayed delivery of your baggage you had to purchase these everyday commodities earlier than expected. As the purchase of toiletries is necessary once your supplies are used up additional costs will not result.") Qatar is a registered Australian business so you could try VCAT or even small claims. First, though, exhaust all options to be appropriately compensated. Courts will look favourably on that.
 

doctorstrangelove

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I'm confused, doctorstrangelove. Didn't QR first tell you that your CDG-DOH flight was delayed and that was the reason you missed your DOH-SIN? But then, in the subsequent reply, doesn't QR say that the DOH-SIN flight was cancelled on 1 June?

And what does an alleged delay at CDG have to do with a changed departure time to a DOH-SIN flight?

Ask QR to provide you with the documentation provided to QF. And ask QF what documentation was provided by QR. I expect you'll get nowhere with either request but it can't hurt to try.

In 2017 I sued Airberlin in an Australian court under the Montreal Convention for failing to reimburse me for expenses after my bag was delayed. (Airberlin said, "We regret to inform you that we have to decline your request for reimbursement of toiletries. These items are consumer goods considered as everyday commodities. Due to the delayed delivery of your baggage you had to purchase these everyday commodities earlier than expected. As the purchase of toiletries is necessary once your supplies are used up additional costs will not result.") Qatar is a registered Australian business so you could try VCAT or even small claims. First, though, exhaust all options to be appropriately compensated. Courts will look favourably on that.
Thanks for your thoughts Danger. I've no idea why they initially decided to reject my claim based on a late departure from CDG that had nothing to do with the issue. Maybe they were just lazy and saw the first flight was delayed and decided not to investigate further. Maybe they were indeed trying to give me the run around. 🤷‍♂️

Their second e-mail to me I'm inclined to believe to be true (perhaps I'm naive)! But hey ho I've submitted a two line e-mail stating that I want to pursue this further with Qantas and for them to provide me with the documentation (as you suggested). I don't think however they can be held legally responsible if they informed my booking agent about the cancellation and Qantas failed to pass it on.
 
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