The holiday is booked, you are all set and ready to go. But then the airline suddenly changes your flight schedule. With a flight schedule change, you may also be entitled to compensation. Airlines are allowed to change the flight 14 days before scheduled departure. However, it is often the case that the airline still changes flights within 14 days. In this case, you have the right to compensation.  

The compensation amount

  • An amount of €250 applies to all flights of 1,500 kilometres or less. 
  • An amount of €400 applies for all flights within the EU of more than 1,500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1,500 and 2,500 kilometres.
  • An amount of €600 applies for all flights of more than 3,500 kilometres

Right to compensation

Whether you have the right to compensation depends on when you have been informed about the flight schedule change and by how many hours your flight has been changed in departure and/or arrival times. 

  • You were informed of the flight change less than 7 days before the scheduled departure of the original flight and your new flight departs 1 hour before the scheduled departure time or arrives 2 hours later than the scheduled arrival time of the original flight.
  • You were informed of the flight change between 2 weeks and 7 days before the scheduled time of departure and your new flight departs 2 hours before the scheduled departure time or arrives 4 hours later than the scheduled arrival time of the original flight. 

Example

Four days before your departure with Lufthansa from Amsterdam to Moscow you get a message from Lufthansa that your flight departs a day earlier. In this case, you have been informed 7 days or less before the scheduled departure time and your new flight departs at least 1 hours earlier. You are therefore entitled to compensation. You are entitled to compensation of €400,- because the distance is between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres.

The compensation amount

The compensation amount is determined by the distance of the flight. The ticket price has no influence on the amount of your compensation. According to EU Regulation 261/2004, the compensation is determined as follows:

  • €250 for all flights of 1,500 kilometres or less
  • €400 for all flights within the EU of more than 1,500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres. 
  • €600 for all flights of more than 3,500 kilometres

Made extra costs?

You have already booked your hotel, arranged transportation, and mapped out the whole trip. These costs are already made beforehand. It may also be that you incur extra costs because of the flight changes, for example an extra hotel stay if your flight departs a day later. Who pays for these extra costs? Claim24 can help you recover these costs on the airline. It is important that you keep all proof of the extra costs made as a result of re-routing of your flight. 

Extraordinary circumstances

A flight cancellation compensation only applies when the airline can be held accountable. Based on the EC 261/2004, the operating airline is not liable for flight schedule changes caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’. These are circumstances that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. To put it simply, when the flight disruption is out of their control, the airline is not responsible and the air passenger has no right to compensation. Think of: 

  • Adverse Weather Conditions
  • Air Traffic Control Restrictions
  • Strikes (unrelated to airlines)
  • Birds Strikes
  • Safety and/or Security Risks
  • Medical Emergency
  • Hidden manufacturing defects

However, it is good to know that airlines have been guilty of using extraordinary circumstances as an excuse to justify flight schedule changes. Keep in mind that the airline has to provide proof (“burden of proof”) when they use extraordinary circumstances as a reason to discharge themselves from all responsibility. For example, a strike by airline staff is not considered an extraordinary circumstance nor do ‘bad weather conditions’ always justify a rebooked flight. In addition, technical problems that are not related to manufacturing defects are not considered extraordinary circumstances. 

Claim your rebooked flight with Claim24

Claim24 is here to protect the rights of air passengers and claim a flight compensation from the airline. We file the claim on behalf of the passenger, get in touch with the airline, and take care of everything using inhouse legal and aviation expertise. No payments upfront, no payment if we lose, and no financial risk – we work on a ‘no win, no fee basis’. When we win, we take a 24% commission fee from the total compensation amount (incl. VAT). 

Interested? Use our free claim form to find out if you are entitled to a flight compensation for your rebooked flight!

 
 
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