Frequently Asked Questions
The function of apf is to assist passengers of airlines with headquarter in Austria and those taking off and landing in Austria in asserting their rights without going to court. apf sees itself as an independent broker between the airlines and their customers.
Informatiosn on passenger rights for train, bus, ship and flight are also avaiable on the YOUR EUROPE portal.
Arbitration is a modern approach to conflict resolution that seeks to settle disputes without using the public court system. When there is a dispute that a passenger and a airline cannot resolve themselves, the apf reviews the case and proposes an individual solution that will be acceptable to both sides.
APF works for all air passengers of Austrian airlines as well as for air passengers of foreign companies if they take off or land at an airport in Austria. De facto, this means that a ticket must have been purchased.
The arbitration procedure is free for the complainant. Should costs be incurred during the procedure caused by the complainant himself/herself such as postage and stationery costs, any eventual attorneys’ fees, etc., then they must be borne by the complainant.
apf does not replace complaints management at the particular airline. Before apf can deal with your case you must attempt to reach agreement with the airline concerned. If no satisfactory results were obtained for you then we are happy to take on your case.
- Please provide us with all information and documentation in writing. Use the complaint form from the website www.apf.gv.at for this purpose. If you do not have the possibility of attaching all documentation electronically then you can send them by post or fax. We need the following things from you: name, address, telephone number, where applicable fax number, where applicable email address.
- A complete written exposition of the facts in the case. Please describe what, exactly, happened.
- The written complaint which you already sent to the airline.
- All documents which may be of assistance in clarifying your complaint (such as tickets, collection notice, taxi or hotel bills, etc.).
- The complete correspondence that has passed between you and the airline.
- Your current claim against the airline. What are we supposed to achieve for you?
- With submission of the complaint, the complainants acknowledge the apf procedure guidelines and confirm that all information given is truthful. Upon request, apf will send the procedure guidelines by email, fax or post.
As soon as it receives your complaint, the apf will check to see if the complaint falls within its authority and fulfils the criteria for an arbitration procedure. If for any reason an arbitration procedure is not possible, you will be informed.
If an arbitration procedure is opened, the apf will request the airline in question to submit its own written statement of the facts.
If it seems appropriate, the apf may invite one or all of the parties concerned to a meeting in their business premises. You can, however, decline to take part in such a meeting if you prefer.
Should no arbitration procedure be possible, we will as a matter of course notify you of the reasons for this rejection and be happy to inform you where you should turn instead.
For the precise steps in the procedure please see our procedure guidelines.
The amount of time processing of a case takes depends, on the one hand, on the reaction speed of the airline in question and, on the other hand, on its individual complexity. apf is in any case interested in producing a solution as quickly as possible in the framework of the arbitration procedure. In many cases this is possible within a few weeks, on an annual average the goal is a maximum of three month. In complex complaint cases resolution is aimed at within six months.
In order to have your complaint processed, apf needs all necessary information from you in written form. You will find a listing of all documents under the item: What does apf need from me in order to take action?
In the course of the arbitration procedure, both you and the airline are obliged to cooperate in the procedure and to provide apf with all information required to assess the factual circumstances. False and/or incomplete information may lead to termination of the arbitration procedure.
Having other institutions and organisations deal with the case during the ongoing procedure should be avoided, except in justified cases.
Yes, at any stage of the procedure you can, at your own expense, authorise a lawyer or other trusted person to represent you.
On demand, proof of the right to represent you (by means of a proxy statement) must be provided.
apf works out a solution which in most cases leads to resolution and thus termination of the dispute. The solution recommended by apf may be different from the results of judicial proceedings. Acceptance of the solution is not mandatory.
If the arbitration procedure does not lead to any agreement, it is then terminated.
If both parties agree to the apf's proposed solution, they effectively accept it as an out-of-court settlement. If one of the parties does not agree, the solution is not considered binding. The parties can then assert their claims through the court system. In such cases, the solution proposed by the apf is considered merely a recommendation.
Submission of the complaint and the duration of the arbitration procedure interrupt the running of the statute of limitations (deadlines only begin to run again after the conclusion of the procedure). That means that if no consensus is reached in the arbitration procedure you may assert your claims in the courts with jurisdiction over them.
The processing of personal data is carried out, regardless of the type of submission of the arbitration request, exclusively for processing the case and for carrying out the procedure. Data without personal reference are used in the context of publications such as the annual report on the performance of our tasks as an agency (in accordance with Section 8 (2) of the Federal Law on the Agency for Passenger and Passenger Rights [PFAG] or in accordance with Section 9 of the Alternative Dispute Settlement Act [AStG]). Also due to legal obligations, we use collected data in anonymous form for statistical evaluations.
Preferably by using our arbitration form on the Website.
You will receive a confirmation by email that we have received your arbitration request. Should you not receive any further communication from us within two weeks, we request that you contact us again. Where deadlines must be met, please contact us even sooner, if needed.
Should electronic transmission not be possible for you, you may also send us your arbitration request by post.
Agency for Passenger Rights (apf)
Linke Wienzeile 4/1/6
We are reachable during office hours at the telephone number +43 1 5050 707 740. We can give you certain information by telephone and advise you in matters of complaint. However, a complaint must always be submitted to us in writing since an arbitration procedure can only be initiated in that way.