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Me and my partner booked return tickets from Paris to Antananarivo with Air Madagascar. On our way there, they cancelled the flight and we weren't informed until we arrived at the airport (we took the Eurostar from London in the morning). There was no one from Air Madagascar, so we contacted someone from the airport and we were given a hotel room and a flight the morning after. Nothing from Air Madagascar.

On our way back, our flight also got cancelled. We were not given tickets on an alternative flight that was leaving later that day (there was an Air France flight). We were given a room in a hotel close to the airport but no tickets whatsoever for any future date. At the airport, there were no managers or any person with any decision power, only one person to provide us with a hotel voucher. Given the circumstances, we decided to buy tickets with another company, as we already had to skip one day of work and we would miss our Eurostar connection from Paris to London.

The day after we landed in London, we were sent e-tickets for 4 days after our original flight, which we rejected as we were already back home.

After all this, we complained to Air Madagascar and all they offer is 300€ per person or 600€ in flights with Air Madagascar.

  • Is that all we are entitled to? We got both our flights cancelled and got offered nothing but basic lodging.
  • Is this worth chasing or should we accept what they are offering and forget about it?
  • Is there some regulator or authority that I can contact? We've searched for an European travel ombudsman, but it doesn't exist as far as we have found out. I've also checked here: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm and many other similar sites, but I am still unclear what we are entitled to.
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This might provide a helpful general guide. The first question is whether the regulation is applicable: it is, if you are departing from an EU state (France), or traveling to an EU state on an EU-based airline (so not a Air Madagascar flight from Madagascar). There are factors such as not having a confirmed reservation or arriving late, or free / discounted tickets not available to the general public. Compensation under cancellation depends on factors such as distance, degree of advance notice, and the reasons for cancellation. The latter refers to "extraordinary circumstances" such as bad weather. You're well within the 3500 km threshold for 600€ compensation. The rules are not clear whether "earliest opportunity" rebooking requires endorsing a ticket to another airline.

There is a complaint form. The interesting thing is that the form asks if they offered a choice of refund or re-routing, and if the answer is "no" then you have to choose between "refund only" and "re-routing" only, but not "nothing at all". If the complaint form doesn't help, you can complain to the French authorities. The Air Madagascar sales conditions state "We will apply the Regulations and proceed to compensation under the terms of those Regulations if we cancel a flight. We assume our responsibility for a connection flight only if this flight is part of a single contract established with you. We will have no further liability to you". I cannot find any indication that their regulations compensate for cancelled flights. For a delay, their liability is limited to proven damages not more that 4,694 SDRs (good luck figuring out how much that is in cash).

  • We've already tried with the complaint form, but all we got from Air Madagascar was an offer to settle fro £300 each, which I find abusive. We didn't follow the complaint with the French authorities because we don't speak French fluently. I guess we will have to ask one of our French friends to give us a hand with the complaint. I really appreciate your quick response. – Tavo Jul 14 '16 at 12:33

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