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Welche Optionen haben Fluggäste bei Verspätung?, Bild: Matej Kastelic / shutterstock

Compensation for Delays & Flight Cancellations: What Options Are There?

Flight delays and cancellations are a nuisance for passengers, who can not only disrupt their travel plans, but also suffer possible financial losses. What many travelers don’t know is that if a flight doesn’t go as planned, they are entitled to compensation from the airline.

But what can passengers do to get compensation for the inconvenience caused? There are several ways to get this payout, but each has its pros and cons. In this article, we will compare the different options.

Different ways to get compensation

If an airline could do something in the course of normal business to ensure that passengers still arrive at their destination on time in the event of problems with a flight, but does not do so, they must pay compensation for delays or cancellations.

In order for customers to receive this amount, they must make their claim. There are several options for this:

● Submit your application yourself

Passengers can contact the airline themselves and submit an application there. To do this, they have to collect documents such as flight tickets and other information and send them in.

This takes time and effort. Under certain circumstances, the airline may decide that the application will not be accepted, for example because it does not feel at fault for causing the delay, or if the documents are not meaningful enough.

● Use a service provider for quick compensation

Fast-track compensation service providers such as Compensation2Go take on this task for their customers and pay out compensation directly without having to wait for a response from the airline. In return, they receive a share of the payout as a fee.

Even if a court later decides that the airline does not have to pay compensation in this case, customers will receive the amount from the service provider. (More information at www.compensation2go.com)

● Apply for a debt collection agency

Debt collection agencies specialize in clarifying outstanding claims between two contracting parties. If you commission them, they try to collect a denied compensation in various ways. Again, there is a fee for the service. Depending on the outcome of the order processing, compensation is received after a waiting period that usually lasts several months.

● Claim compensation

If the airline refuses to pay compensation, it may be necessary to enforce the claim in court. This is associated with a lot of time and potential costs if the negotiation ends in favor of the airline. Here, too, it can take months for the legal dispute to be resolved.

Based on these options, it can be seen that it is not always easy to implement the claim for compensation.

Why can compensation claims be denied?

Air passenger law states in which cases compensation must be paid. As it is an EU law, this does not affect all global travel and airports. However, for airlines that have to comply with these requirements, it is also true that they do not have to pay for all cancellations. This applies, for example, to a storm, which they cannot influence.

Providers often try to deny their complicity in the problem so that they can save themselves the expenses. If it is not clear whether the airline was responsible for the problem, such decisions can even go to court.

An example of a case that is in a gray area is strikes.

  • Depending on the interpretation and course of the strike, these can be seen as part of ordinary business life, for which the airline must pay compensation.
  • However, it may be decided that a strike is an “extraordinary circumstance” that the provider did not cause or could not influence.

In the past, there have already been courts that have ruled in favor of the passengers in this case and those that have not blamed the airline. In these cases, passengers risk that their efforts and the time spent on them will be in vain if the court refuses to pay them out. For these cases, a service provider for quick compensation is a good option.


There are several ways to get compensation for a flight cancellation or delay. If you want to take care of yourself, you have to be prepared to spend the appropriate time collecting documents and dealing with the airline in the event of a dispute.

If you want to receive the money without waiting and it is uncertain whether the airline was responsible for the delay, the fees for a service provider for quick compensation can be worthwhile. They pay out the amount no matter how a potential legal dispute is decided in the end. In return, the customers waive around 34% of the compensation amount as payment.