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If a flight is delayed or canceled, what are your rights as an expat in Germany?

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

If your flight is delayed or cancelled in Germany, you should know your rights as an airline passenger. In some cases, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline.

Informational image about the rights of expats in Germany in case of flight delays or cancellations

As an airline passenger in Germany, you have certain rights protected by EU law if your flight is delayed or cancelled. These rights are designed to ensure that you are adequately compensated for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of flight disruptions. Here is an overview of what you can expect.

Delayed Flights

If your flight is delayed, you may be entitled to care and assistance from the airline. This can include free meals and refreshments, free access to communication (e.g., phone calls or emails), and free hotel accommodation if necessary. The exact type of assistance you are entitled to will depend on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight.

Cancelled Flights

If your flight is cancelled, you have the right to choose between a full refund of the ticket price or rerouting to your final destination. In some cases, the airline may offer you a replacement flight, but you are not obligated to accept this option. If you opt for a refund, the airline must provide it without undue delay and, in any case, no later than seven days after the cancellation.

Compensation for Delayed or Cancelled Flights

In addition to the assistance and compensation outlined above, you may also be entitled to compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled. The amount of compensation you are entitled to will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the length of the delay. Generally, if the flight is delayed for more than three hours, you may be entitled to compensation of up to 600 euros, although this will depend on the distance of the flight and other factors.

How do I complain or get compensated?

Know your rights before talking to the airline or tour operator. Ensure that you keep a record of all conversations.

You can contact your country's European Consumer Centre, which can assist you with cross-border flights, or a national consumer center for domestic trips if you are not satisfied with the airline's response.

A formal EU airline complaint form can be filled out if you believe your airline owes you compensation.

In conclusion, if you are affected by a delayed or cancelled flight in Germany, it is important to be aware of your rights as an airline passenger. You are entitled to care and assistance from the airline, as well as compensation in some cases. To ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to, it is advisable to keep all relevant documentation and to contact the airline as soon as possible.

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