8 Rights in Cases of Flight Delay:
Comprehensive Overview of Flight Compensation, Ticket Reimbursement etc.
What rights do passengers actually have in the event of a flight delay? Are they only entitled to the widely known lump-sum compensation of up to € 600 or also to further benefits? And how significant must a delay have been in order for those affected to be able to assert their passenger rights?
This article provides passengers with an overview of their rights in case of flight delays in just a few minutes. For this purpose, we have summarized all you need to know in three sections each covering one of the following topics:
- individual passenger rights that travellers might be entitled to;
- conditions for passengers to obtain such rights; and
- an illustration of the rights using an example.
In addition, this comprehensive guide contains numerous practical hints and recommendations on how to best enforce these various claims. Furthermore, a separate article discusses ways of how to enforce the right to flight compensation of up to € 600.
Below, please find a list of the most important rights passengers may be entitled to in the event of a flight delay as of March 2021. These rights may include claims to
- A lump-sum flight compensation of up to € 600 per passenger (art 7(1) of the Flight Compensation Regulation);
- € 250 for short-distance flights up to 1,500 km (930 mi);
- € 400 for medium-distance flights up to 3,500 km (2170 mi) and for long-distance flights within the EU;
- € 300 on other long-distance flights with delays between 3 and 4 hours;
- € 600 on other long-distance flights with delays of more than 4 hours;
- Meals and refreshments for the duration of the delay (art 9(1)(a) of the Flight Compensation Regulation);
- Free means of communication (e.g. phone calls) (art (9(2) of the Flight Compensation Regulation);
- Free hotel accommodation where necessary including transportation between the airport and the hotel until the flight takes place (art 9(1)(b,c) of the Flight Compensation Regulation);
- A refund or reimbursement of the ticket price (art 8(1) of the Flight Compensation Regulation);
- A partial reimbursement of the price of a package travel contract (s 651m(1) of the German Civil Code);
- Damages for lost or delayed luggage of up to 1,131 SDR or approx. € 1,300 (s 280(1) of the German Civil Code / art 19 of the Montreal Convention); and
- Damages for loss of profit of up to 4,694 SDR or approx. € 5,600 (s 280(1) of the German Civil Code / art 19 of the Montreal Convention).
The following compensation calculator can be used to check whether a particular flight meets essential requirements necessary for compensation at no cost. The form also provides an initial assessment of whether or not further claims may be asserted due to flight delays. The additional claims on which the claims mentioned in items 2. through 8. depend will be discussed more closely in the course of the article.
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This article was written by Dr Philipp P Roeckl, a lawyer admitted to the German bar. It was originally published in German in 2019 and was translated for the first time on October 17, 2020 along with an editorial update. Since then, it was reviewed on several occasions – last time on March 4, 2021. Dr Roeckl supports the Qamqam comparison website as a guest author by writing articles such as the one you are reading right now, covering various legal issues.