Flight Delay Compensation EU
Delayed departure, care and support services
If the flight is late
- by two hours or more with flights up to a distance of 1,500 km
- by three hours or more with intra-Community flight with a distance of more than 1,500 km and for all other flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km
- by four hours or more with a distance of more than 3,500 km
then the airline is obligated to provide free snacks and refreshments as well as to make contact by email or telephone available.
If necessary, the airline also has to provide hotel accomodation and transfer.
The legal basis is Art. 6 and 9 of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.
Delayed arrival and compensation (compensation payment)
Passengers have a claim on compensation payment if a flight reaches its Destination three hours or more late. The amount depends on the distance booked and comes to between euro 250 and euro 600.
- With flights up to a distance of 1,500 km: euro 250
- With intra-Community flights with a distance of more than 1,500 km and for all other flights between 1.500 km and 3,500 km: euro 400
- With flights with a distance of more than 3,500 km: euro 600
The compensation payments may be reduced by 50 percent if a flight above a distance of 3,500 km is not later than four hours behind the scheduled arrival time.
Compensation payment is not made if the airline can prove that the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances are, among other things, poor weather conditions and inadequate safety.
The legal basis is Art. 5, Section 1c) and Section 3 in conjunction with article 7 of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 in the interpretation of the ECJ (judgment of 19 November 2009 in the joined cases of C-402/07 and C-432/07 “Sturgeon/Böck”).
Is a technical defect an extraordinary circumstance releasing the airline from the obligation to pay compensation?
Technical defects do not generally constitute extraordinary circumstances. The airline is not entitled to refuse any eventual compensation payment.
The legal basis is Art. 5, Section 3, of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.
What is an extraordinary circumstance?
Extraordinary circumstances may, for example, be political instability, poor weather conditions and unexpected flight safety problems. Whether there is any unusual condition must be assessed in each specific instance.
The legal basis is Art. 14 of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.