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Which passenger rights I actually have, I only checked more closely last year, as I had 9 hours late and was stuck at the airport of Addis Ababa. The passengers around me all pulled out their cell phones and took a photo of the flight board with the word "DELAYED", so late, because they wanted to prove that the flight was actually delayed - hoping to get compensation from the airline later pick up. So, as a joke, I checked for myself if I had the right to compensation.

When do I have the right to compensation for flight cancellations and delays?

Should there be delays and flight cancellations, the European passenger law will apply under certain conditions. In fact, it says: "Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights".

For whom are the European air passenger rights valid?

  • Passengers departing from an EU airport
  • Passengers landing on an EU airport

Prerequisite: The airline must be based in the EU.

Thus, the incident was already done for me. Although I flew from an airport in the EU (Frankfurt) and had both flight tickets booked with an airline in one operation, but the onward flight after the stopover in Addis Ababa was no longer in the EU. In addition, the airline was not based in the EU. The European passenger rights were thus not. According to BGH judgments, European passenger rights do not apply even if flights with a flight number on a route were booked and started together from one EU country (BGH, judgments of 13.11.2012, X ZR 12/12 and X ZR 14 / 12). As you can easily check if you have a right to compensation, you will learn below (you do not have to read any legal texts).

However, should you belong to the group of people for whom the conditions would be met, you have the option of claiming compensation from the airline.

What compensation do I receive if my flight is delayed "Flight delayed"?

According to the EU regulation, you are entitled to the following compensation:

  • 2 hours delay, the airline must provide drinks and snacks
  • financial compensation is available from 3 hours late (250 to 600 euros depending on the route)

What compensation do I get if my flight is canceled? Flight canceled?

If the flight is canceled completely, the airline must make the following, in accordance with the European Passenger Rights Regulation:

  • full refund of airline ticket
  • timely alternative transportation by plane or train
  • alternative transportation at a later date
  • Timely return flight at the beginning of the journey
  • Snacks and drinks at the airport
  • financial compensation in the amount of 125 to 600 euros per person depending on route

if the flight is canceled more than 14 days before departure, that does not work.

If the flight is brought forward, this is equivalent to a cancellation.

What happens when there are strikes during a strike?

A tiresome topic, which occurs more and more often. Who does not know the months-long strikes of Lufthansa and who was not annoyed? The bad news first: If it comes due to strikes to flight cancellations, the airline does not have to pay compensation under the EU passenger rights regulation, because strikes are considered exceptional circumstances. The airlines, however, are obliged to inform as soon as possible about strikes. This gives you time to rebook or cancel your flight or find a replacement. Also, the airlines commit to finding alternatives, book on other flights or cancel the flight in the worst case for free. However, you can not claim any financial compensation.

In "exceptional circumstances" such as the closure of the airport or airspace, political instability / unavoidable safety risks, strikes and storms or icy roads, the airline will not have to pay compensation if it is not responsible.

Passenger rights outside the EU

Outside the EU, European passenger rights generally do not apply unless you are flying from an EU airport to a non-EU country. However, you can also benefit from certain airline services outside the EU. However, I do not know if you can legally demand them. It is probably due to the goodwill of the airlines, what compensation they offer you. I have the following positive experiences: In my case, I got after 2 hours of waiting in Addis Ababa drinks and muffins from the airline. After 3 hours of waiting we were allowed in the airport lounge and received a warm meal, drinks and free Wi-Fi. There was no financial compensation. About 20 years ago I flew once with Thai Airways and my return flight was canceled. The flight did not continue until the next day. I got a free night at the Airport Hotel, a hot meal, breakfast and a free phone call home.

How can I check if I am entitled to compensation?

Very easily. At Flightright, you can check the compensation calculator in a few steps, and even in real time, to see if you're entitled to any compensation. You need your flight number, possibly ticket number and information about the flight and in a few seconds you will find out if you are entitled to compensation for the European air passenger rights. Flightright will check for free what you are entitled to. If you hire the service provider to claim airline rights for you from the airline, Flightright will receive a commission on a successful basis. That is, only when your requirements are met, Flightright gets the commission, so you have no financial risk. This is a fair deal, because you have no problems and months of disputes with the airline but can leave the legal matters to a professional. Allegedly, the success rate of Flightright is 98%.

Here you can check with Flightright if you are entitled to compensation *

What should I do if I want compensation?

Collect evidence, such as my fellow travelers: take a picture of the billboard at the airport, hand in your plane ticket and obtain a written confirmation from the airline on-site that delays have occurred and why these delays or cancellations have occurred. Contact Flightright, the pros' chances of success are higher than those of private individuals.

What experiences have you had with delays or flight cancellations? Have you ever received any compensation? Write it in the comments.



* This article was created in collaboration with Flightright and contains advertising.