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Bei einer durch die Fluggesellschaft verursachte Verspätung stehen Ihnen verschiedene Rechte zur Verfügung, Bild: David Prado Perucha / shutterstock

Compensation claim for flight delays

Holidays at last! We all know that the beginning of a holiday is always a bit stressful. Especially if you travel with children, the holiday preparations incl. Packing your suitcase is a bit of a challenge. When you finally arrive at the airport, it is all the more annoying when the plane is also delayed. However, you are often entitled to compensation – which can quickly fill your holiday budget a little.

When is there a claim for damages? Only in the case of cancelled flights or also in the event of flight delays?

If your flight takes off late due to the airline’s fault, you are entitled to free food (snacks and drinks) from the airline even after a delay of two hours. The airline must pay financial compensation in the event of a delay of three hours. Since 11 February 2004, this has been legally regulated in the EU Air Passenger Law 261/2004 “Compensation for Flight Delays”. The prerequisite is that the flight has either taken off from the EU (affects all airlines) or landed in the European Union (affects airlines based in the EU).

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My flight is delayed: what is the best way to proceed? How can I check whether I am entitled to compensation?

In the event of a flight delay, it is important to check whether you are entitled to compensation. Very important: Passengers have up to three years to assert their rights. So before you hastily accept the voucher offered by your airline and thus release it from its financial compensation payment by means of a waiver, you should keep a cool head.

A small checklist

On the last point, passengers receive support from the online provider Flightright. Here you have the opportunity to search for your cancelled flight via an online form and check the compensation claims within a few minutes free of charge. Flightright’s travel law experts will then – if you are commissioned – take over the unpleasant process of asserting your rights directly with the airline. This is done without risk – a commission is only due in the event of success. Hiring external experts is a good idea, as individuals can quickly reach their limits due to a lack of access to the information they need.

Flight delay
There are also opportunities for compensation in the event of missed connecting flights, Image: Hafiez Razali / shutterstock

Who is entitled to compensation?

Now it is becoming particularly interesting for employees: The decisive factor is who travels. Whether it’s a package tour or a business trip. The person who travels is entitled to financial compensation. So it doesn’t matter whether the ticket was paid for by you or your boss.

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What rights do I have if I miss my connecting flight due to a delay?

If you reach your desired destination airport more than three hours late, you are also entitled to financial compensation. The decisive factor is the arrival at the destination and not the delay of individual partial flights.

How much is the financial compensation in the event of a flight delay?

The amount of compensation is generally based on the distance from the departure to the destination airport.

These are staggered as follows:

  • On short distances (up to 1,500 kilometres), you are entitled to compensation of 250 euros
  • On medium-haul flights (up to 3,500 kilometres, you are entitled to compensation of 400 euros
  • On long-haul flights (over 3,500 kilometres), you are entitled to €600

With the knowledge that you have the right to compensation even in the event of an annoying delay, you will be able to travel to the airport in a relaxed manner in the future after selecting a suitable destination .

In the event of a delay, be sure to follow the important to-do steps in the checklist above.