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Old Jun 12, 2010, 5:47 PM
Dylann Dylann is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8
Angry Seeking Air Canada 839 from Frankfurt to Ottawa

I had the misfortune of booking Lufthansa 4215 connecting with Air Canada 839 through Frankfurt on April 21/10. No problems with Lufthansa; big problems with Air Canada (again).

On April 20/10 when I checked online in Paris the status of my return AC839 flight to Canada via Frankfurt, it was operational. At 0830h on April 21/10 when Lufthansa staff in Paris checked the status of your flight AC839, it was still operational. But, when we got to Frankfurt, guess what? AC839 was cancelled. This cancellation was NOT due to volcanic ash. The skies were open on April 21st.

Why was this flight cancelled? Lufthansa was flying. United was flying, Hell, even Condor Airlines was flying out of Frankfurt. Why was Air Canada still on the ground? They refuse to say. I suspect (but have not proof) it was because they failed to have planes in position at Frankfurt but who knows? Only Air Canada (AC) and as usual they refuse to comment.

We all know there was no safety issue at that time resulting from the Icelandic volcano ash cloud. AC flew out of Paris de Gaulle. AC flew out of London Heathrow. So what was AC’s problem at Frankfurt? No other airline had a problem – just Ait Canada.

To add insult to the situation, AC sent me an email on April 20/10 stating “we look forward to welcoming you onboard AC839 departing Frankfurt at 13:45 on Wed 21-Apr, 2010”. Well, isn’t that special? If only they had done so. And why would I ever again check an Air Canada flight status online when they provide blatantly misleading information? Nor was there any follow-up email informing us that AC839 had been cancelled. We had to find that out in person at the Frankfurt check-in counter.

Thanks to Air Canada’s incompetence, we had to pay for a night at the InterCity Hotel, Frankfurt Airport (€106.00), pay internet fees (€6.00), pay shuttle bus fare (€5.00) and, pay for food at the airport (€10.00) for a grand total of €127.00. And all this because I stupidly believed Air Canada would do what it said it would do and what other airlines were actually doing – fly out of Frankfurt on April 21/10. They sent written confirmation that AC839 was a go but not when it was cancelled.

There was no reason, or even excuse, for AC839 not to depart at 13:45 on Wed 21-Apr, 2010 as their 20-Apr, 2010 email stated yet no reimbursement from Air Canada – just a snarky refusal ending with “we hope to welcome you on an Air Canada flight in the near future”. Like ya, has it been cancelled yet?
Old Jun 13, 2010, 12:33 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

As this flight originated in the European Union you are fully entitled to reimbursement of all your reasonable expenses and to compensation for a cancelled flight regardless of the reason the flight was cancelled. This regulation has been hotly disputed by the airlines, particularly as the disruption caused by the volcanic ash was outwith their control. However, the EU governments have insisted that the airlines honour their obligations. You are absolutely entitled to compensation.

Write again to Air Canada. Tell them that you are seeking reimbursement until EU Regulation 261/2004 for the portion of the flight which was cancelled (Frankfurt to Canada). As this flight originated in the EU the regulation applies. Air Canada is not exempt from this regulation. It applies to all airlines flying into or out of the EU regardless of the nationality of the carrier. Advise them that you will complain to the competent authority in Germany for enforcement if they do nto reply satisfactorily within 30 days. Ask for your reasonable expenses and compensation.

Here is a link to the competent authority in Germany where you can file your complaint if Air Canada fail to respond appropriately. I understand that Germany accepts complaints in English.

Let us know how you get on.
Old Jun 14, 2010, 12:35 PM
Dylann Dylann is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8
Default Seeking Air Canada 839 from Frankfurt to Ottawa

Many thanks, will do.
Have a complaint in with the Canadian Transportation Agency but it never hurts to cover all possible bases.
Old Apr 21, 2011, 8:19 PM
Dylann Dylann is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8
Talking Success!

Finally, seven (7) months after Air Canada cancelled flight AC839 out of Frankfurt even though there was no volcanic ash and skies were open on April 21/10 they finally issued cheque 890535/0645 on October 28/10 for $181.00 to cover the cost of our overnight stay at the Inter City Hotel Frankfurt Airport.

It should have been a simple matter for Air Canada to reimburse our expenses yet the confrontational attitude of their customer “service” staffer Kim Shergill in Calgary and their corporate unwillingness to accept responsibility forced me to contact both the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA) Fluggastrechte/Passenger Rights 261/264 and the Canadian Transportation Agency, Complaints Investigation, to resolve this matter.

Obviously attacking on two fronts in a pincer motion is better than simply contacting Air Canada and expecting fair treatment. It is unacceptable that AC either does not know the European Union regulations (ya, right) affecting passenger rights or, they choose to ignore them in hopes that stonewalling reimbursement requests will result in stranded passengers giving up in frustration.

Should I ever be unfortunate enough to book an Air Canada flight and be stranded again, I will pursue reimbursement just as vigorously as I was forced to do in this instance. Obviously, one should never give up when haggling with the national carrier.
Old Apr 22, 2011, 7:21 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Thanks for getting back to us and letting us know. Perseverance pays, but the regulatory authorities are f ailing in their duties by allowing airlines to stall like this.
Old Nov 8, 2011, 7:10 AM
victoria stiles victoria stiles is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 13

I am very glad to be on this forum and come across this thread. Really very informative.

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