My flight is more than 3 hours late. Can I get compensation?
Basically yes. If your flight has a delay of more than 3 hours, you are entitled to a financial compensation against the carrying airline. The amount of the claim depends on the flight distance:
- up to 1.500 km there are 250, - per passenger,
- between 1.500 km and 3.500 km there are 400, - € per passenger,
- and from 3.500 km flight distance there are 600, - € per passenger.
Incidentally, the easiest way to determine the flight distance on websites such as https://www.luftlinie.org
A claim against the airline does not exist only if the delay is due to "extraordinary circumstances" (eg force majeure such as a volcanic eruption). However, the airline has to rely on it and has to prove it. But do not be premature by unconventional and blanket claims of the airlines, it would be an exceptional circumstance, discourage the assertion of your claims!
My flight was canceled / canceled. Will I also receive compensation in this case?
Basically yes. As a rule, you will be entitled to the same compensation as for a delay of 3 hours, ie the amount of the claim depends on the flight distance and there must be no extraordinary circumstance.
How do I claim the compensation?
You can either claim the compensation yourself from the airline or ask someone to assert it, such as a lawyer or an online provider focused on passenger rights such as "flightright" or "faiplane".
It can be advantageous if you first ask the airline for payment. If they do not respond or refuse payment even though you are entitled to a compensation payment, the airline is in default and you can then hire a lawyer to enforce your claim. The lawyer has to pay the airline in this case!
If you yourself want to ask the airline to pay, no special form is required. Many airlines already offer ready-made online forms. You can use these, but they do not have to. You can also ask the airline for example by fax, email or letter for payment.
Tip: You should set the airline a deadline for the payment of, for example, 3 weeks in order to put the airline in default. You should also make sure that you have proof that the airline has received your request for payment, eg insertion letter or fax delivery report.
Do I have to observe deadlines? How long can I claim compensation?
Special deadlines do not need to be considered. The general limitation period of 3 years applies. Therefore, you can also claim retroactively for delayed flights, so you have until the end of 2018 opportunity, claims for delay / cancellation from the whole year 2015 to assert!
The airline does not respond to my request for payment or rejects a payment. Should I hire a lawyer or an online provider such as "flightright"?
There are various business models for the online providers. For example, some providers retain a commission of 20% to 30% of their compensation claim (600, X € X to 120, - €! This is annoying if you have already made your claim to the airline and the airline is already in default. Because then you could basically hire a lawyer at the expense of the airline and you retain at the end of 180% of your claim when commissioning a lawyer, without any deductions! But if you hire an online provider on a commission basis, give away cash!
Tip: If you are insured for legal protection, then flight delays are in most cases covered by this insurance. You can therefore immediately hire a lawyer specializing in travel law and your insurance will cover the costs (if necessary, a deductible must be taken into account). You can then waive without financial disadvantages to a previous assertion of your claim for compensation with the airline.
Incidentally, the lawyer fees are set by law and in many cases significantly lower than the commissions for online providers anyway. If you have any questions about possible costs for your flight delay, we will be happy to explain it to you!
I want to hire a lawyer. How does that go?
If you want to hire us, you can contact us eg by email or phone. We are happy to discuss the matter with you personally in our office without any additional costs. However, this is not necessary in most cases. So it does not matter if you are near Regensburg or further afield. We represent you nationwide.