Your rights in case of flight delay

According to the European Passenger Regulation (EU261), passengers who have experienced a flight delay, flight cancellation, flight time change or a missed connecting flight are entitled to compensation from the airline. The compensation is not based on the ticket price but only on the flight distance:

Entitlement to compensation for a delay of 3 hours or more

Short-distance
Distance up to 1.500 km
such as a flight from
Munich – Berlin
Mid-distance
Distance up to 3.500 km
such as a flight from
Berlin – Palma
Long-distance
Distance from 3.500 km
such as a flight from
Frankfurt – Boston

When does the right apply?

The European Air Passenger Regulation defines rights that passengers all over the world – not only Europeans – are entitled to.
These rights apply if a flight arrives at its destination at least three hours late and the departure or arrival airport is in the EU.

If the flight departs outside the EU (e.g. BOS-MUC), it must also be ensured that the airline is a European airline (e.g. Lufthansa, which has its headquarters in Germany), the EU regulation only accounts if the flight was conducted by a European airline.

Flight from – to

Carrier

Carrier

From outside the EUR to outside the EU
From outside the EU to inside the EU
From inside the EU to outside the EU
From inside the EU to inside the EU

Claim

  • From outside the EU to inside the EU (EU-carrier only)
  • From inside the EU to outside the EU (all carriers)
  • From inside the EU to inside the EU (all carriers)

No claim

  • From outside the EU to outside the EU (all carriers)
  • From outside the EU to inside the EU (none-EU-carrier)

Rights in case of delay

In the case of a flight delay of 2 hours or more, you are entitled for additional services such as food, drink, telephone calls . . .

Denied Boarding

In case of non-transportation, you will be refunded the full price of the flight ticket additionally to your compensation (up to € 600).

Other Depature Date

When you are departing on another day as initially booked, the airline must provide you additional accommodation and transfer. You also have the right to withdraw from your flight …

Overbooking

In the event of a flight overbooking, you also have the right for compensation. Additionally the airline must either refund you the full ticket price or rebook you to another flight.

Extraordinary circumstances

“Extraordinary circumstances” describe causes of delays or non-transportation, which the corresponding airline could not have prevented in any way. Delays due to bad weather, strike, radar failure or political terror do not have to be compensated by the airline.

Connecting flights

Connection flights are treated in the same way as flights without layover. This means that if you arrive at your final destination with a delay of 3 hours or more, the airline is obligated to pay compensation. It is somewhat more complicated when the layover landings takes place outside the EU.

EU passenger rights

Flight delays, cancellations or even denied boarding are issues that can happen to every passenger. Should one of these cases occur, it is good to know that the rights of air travellers are governed by the European Air Passenger Rights Regulation (EC Regulation 261/2004).

Reasons for flight delays

Flight delays are most likely to occur due to other delays. THink of it as a chain reaction. If a plane lands late at the destination airport, it is fairly certain that it will depart from there late, too possibly even with an even greater delay as the slot provided for launching is no longer available.