ACTION DESK: Fan’s fury over airline’s ‘joke’ compensation offer

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A football fan has said he’s been left furious after claiming an airline has not offered adequate compensation when his plane home was cancelled.

Tom Neil, from Norton, along with two friends, travelled to Marseille to watch England in their opening Euro 2016 clash with Russia on June 11 of this year.

After the Three Lions laboured to a draw, things got even worse after the group’s flight from Marseille to Paris was cancelled due to industrial action.

After being turned away from the next five flights, they missed their connecting plane from Paris-Orly to Luton and were stranded in Marseille.

After being told by ‘rude’ check-in staff to ‘get a bus, it’s not our problem’, Air France staff eventually arranged a flight to Paris - via the French island of Corsica where they had to spend the night on a bench in the airport.

When the group finally got home nearly two days after they were supposed to, the 24-year-old accounts executive only received a reply from the airline four weeks’ after putting in the compensation claim and had to resort to Twitter to get their attention.

An Air France customer service staff member claimed through email correspondence the airline had acted in accordance with (EC) 261/2004 - EU legislation on cancelled or delayed flights. But Mr Neil disputes this and said the airline did not offer an adequate level of care. He added the Paris flight they ended up missing due to strike action in Marseille was a Transavia flight - a subsidiary of the KLM-Air France group and could be entitled to more compensation.

“It’s been a joke from day one. From the flight back with no communication whatsoever about the cancellations - they had no plan to help customers that were stranded in France, we were basically left to fend for ourselves,” he said.

“The customer service was absolutely shocking, we were never told that our flight had been cancelled, the first time we had heard about this was when turned up at the airport.

“Staff on the check-in desks didn’t want to know, they were shrugging their shoulders saying it’s nothing to do with us.

“Air France have tried every trick in the book to try and wriggle out of paying us compensation we’re entitled to. They even quoted EU legislation trying to dissuade us from pursuing it - but from my understanding, we’re entitled to even more.

“They have offered us less than we had to pay out for. We were told everything we had to pay trying to get home would be honoured and I think it’s an absolute disgrace. How can they reimburse less than what we’re entitled to?”

Action Desk repeatedly contacted Air France to comment on the story but they did not respond to the final deadline given to them.