My daughter is travelling from Paris to Sydney via Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airlines in economy class.

9 replies


United Airlines - Mileage Plus

Member since 29 Jan 2011

Total posts 81

My daughter is travelling from Paris to Sydney via Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airlines in economy class..

Her flight from Paris arrives in Abu Dhabi @ 7.00am and her flight to Sydney was to leave at 10.00am.

She got an email from Etihad to say that the flight to Sydney has been cancelled and she's been put on the flight that leaves at 10.00pm a delay of nearly 12 hours.

Just wondering what her rights are and what course of action can she take for any possible compensation.

As a young single woman travelling by herself she's somewhat concerned about the situation.

She has rung Etihad and expressed her concerns and even inquired about being put on the flight to Brisbane that leaves at 10.00am and then travel on a Virgin flight to Sydney. She was told there were "difficulties" in doing this.

Appreciate any advice.


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

cssaus, given your daughter's itinerary, EC Regulation 261/2004 should apply. Consequently she is able to, "(a.) re-routing to the same destination at the earliest opportunity (under comparable conditions); (b.) later rerouting, at the passenger's convenience, to the same destination under comparable conditions (subject to seat availability); or (c.) a refund of the ticket as well as a return flight to the point of first departure, when relevant."

Did Etihad describe what some of these "difficulties" are? If you have access to expertflyer, I suggest you find out availability of seats for the Brisbane flight. Then challenge the Etihad agent on the phone (I presume it's a call centre) by quoting EC Regulation 261/2004 and the availability of the Brisbane flight.

Etihad is also obliged to rebook your daughter on the Virgin flight (or any other flight) available. If all the other flights are overbooked then EC Regulation 261/2004 provides for cash compensation, food and accomodation for the 12h wait.

When a flight is cancelled, there are also certain time-lines that Etihad needs to comply with, when informing the passenger. EC Regulation 261/2004 provides for cash compensation, when these timelines are not complied with.

I'd suggest you google EC Regulation 261/2004 and find out, which aspect of the legislation applies to your daughter's situation. If you get no where with the Etihad agent, speak to a supervisor and quote the airline's obligation under EC Regulation 261/2004. I'm quite certain a resolution would be forthcoming.


Member since 24 Apr 2013

Total posts 2


There looks to have been an issue with their booking engine, as they have issued a notification across social media and their website. The system seems to have inadvertently sent out cancellation notifications. As a result of this issue, it may go some way to explaining the 'difficulties' that were experienced.

Hope this helps!


Member since 09 Aug 2012

Total posts 21

Etihad Tweeted this 2 hours ago. Your daughter may have been one of the customers that this unfortunatley happened to. However, I would confirm with Etihad directly.


Member since 23 Feb 2013

Total posts 46

Hi! I also recieved notification from Etihad. I recieved an email from Etihad, as I am a member of their freqeunt flyer program 'Etihad Guest'.

This is the email that was sent to me, copy and pasted:

Etihad Airways is experiencing technical issues today surrounding some bookings. The airline is working closely with its systems provider to resolve the situation.

Guests are advised to ignore any cancellation notification received. Bookings will be reinstated and original flight plans will not be impacted.

Etihad Airways apologises for the inconvenience caused.

The Etihad Guest Team

I would recommend that you contact Etihad Airways about this just to be sure.


United Airlines - Mileage Plus

Member since 29 Jan 2011

Total posts 81

In my daughter's case, her booking was from CDG to SYD (via AUH) departing October 7. I don't know if her's was one of the affected flights.

Regarding the EC Regulation 261/2004 does it matter where the ticket was purchased or does it purely relate to departure point? I'll try and google the regulation and read through the fine details.

I think the "difficulties" that Etihad were telling my daughter about is making a seat available in the class she's ticketed in.


Member since 23 Feb 2013

Total posts 46

Due to the system malfunction, I recommend you contact Etihad Airways, and just check with them, it may have been an error from their side. The Etihad call centre number from Australia is 1300 532 215

The 'difficulties' brought up by Etihad, (telling your daughter that there was no seat available), may have been a result of the technical issue, Etihad was experiencing. The issue was only discovered yesterday afternoon, Australian time, when Etihad responded with a statement, on its social networking pages, website, and emails. Therefore, this situation may have affected your daughter's travel plans. Again, just contact Etihad, to find out more.

If her situation was not due to the technical issues, then you have a right to demand compensation, usually given out in the form of frequent flyer miles and/or lounge passes and/or a hotel room for the duration of the delay, etc.

As they have an Australian codeshare partner (Virgin Australia), they should also be able to re-route your daughter on an early flight from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane or Melbourne, then Virgin to Sydney, if availibilty permits. 

Hope this clears things up a bit!


Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,058

Dear cssaus,

EC Regulation 261/2004 is silent on the matter of where tickets are purchased. It merely concerns itself with the origin and destination of flights. To that end, I believe I have made an error. It would appear your daughter is not covered by EC Regulation 261/2004. Refer to the link below (page 5).

Since the cancellation happened on the AUH/SYD segment it is deemed that the, "..incident takes place on the territory of a third country for a flight not to a point of destination in the EU." In this situation this regulation does not apply.

I'm uncertain if there is any UAE legislation in place that governs the treatment of passengers for flight delays and cancellations.

Having said that Etihad's condition of carriage stipulates that Etihad will, "...carry you and your Baggage at the earliest opportunity on another of our scheduled services on which space is available in the class in which you were originally booked without additional charge and, where necessary, extend the validity of your Ticket"

You alluded to the difficulties being the class that she is ticketed in. I believe this comes down to the definition of class being either "Economy, Business, First" or "booking inventory". 

I would hazard a guess that because the change in flights is due to Etihad's cancellation, as long as an economy seat is available on the BNE flight, Etihad should make that available to your daughter.

The booking inventory (e.g V,L,Y etc) would only be a concern if you voluntarily choose to change a flight, where the lower inventory that you were booked in is no longer available (and as a result a payment of fare difference is required).

But of course I'd check if this was all down to a glitch by Etihad as others have suggested before you go down this path!



United Airlines - Mileage Plus

Member since 29 Jan 2011

Total posts 81

As her original flight from AUH to SYD (a VA codeshare operated service) has now magically re-appeared, she's now attempting to have EY changfe her booking from the 10.00pm back to the early morning flight. She said when she called them they told her they've referred the issue to the "concerns department"!

Thankkfully she's not travellying until October so she's got plenty of time to get it sorted.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 24 Aug 2011

Total posts 384

Next time send her on SQ. Instead of worrying about being in Abu Dhabi for too long her worries will instead be what to do, eat or buy in Changi or Singapore during the transit. 

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