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Compensation for Flight Delay

A flight delay can cause a lot of stress and frustration. Endless seeming waiting times at the airport rob you of valuable vacation hours or disrupt the schedule of your business trip.

In many cases, however, EU regulations entitle you to financial compensation of up to €600 per person. It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling as an all-inclusive, individual or business trip. Check your entitlement to compensation now!

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This is how we help you enforce your claim

By purchasing an airline ticket, you have entered into a contract with the corresponding airline. The terms of the contract must be fulfilled, and the airline must take you to the desired destination. Whether it’s a flight delay, flight time change or flight cancellation, if you don’t get to your destination as planned, the airline must compensate you. From a flight delay of 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation of up to €600 per person plus care services from the airline.

Passengers friend helps you with airline problems and asserts your claims against the airline.

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The amount of compensation also depends on the flight distance.

It’s important to know that the level of compensation for flight delays varies depending on the distance of the flight.

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According to the EU Regulation on Air Passenger Rights, passengers are entitled to compensation of up to €250 for flights with a distance of up to 1,500 km. For flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km, compensation can be up to €400. For flights with a distance of more than 3,500 km, compensation can be up to €600. This regulation is intended to ensure that passengers are adequately compensated based on the length of the flight distance and the inconveniences caused by the delay

Claiming Assistance Services for Flight Delays

From a delay of just 2 hours, you have the right to receive assistance services. You should be provided with complimentary drinks and food. Additionally, you should have the opportunity to make 2 phone calls and send emails. If your flight is postponed to the next day, the airline must cover the costs of hotel accommodation and transfers until the replacement flight.

Initially, the airline is obligated to provide the services themselves. They are generally not required to pay for services provided by third parties. This means that travelers must first claim their entitlements from the airline. If the airline fails to fulfill its duty of care, you are allowed to purchase food yourself, arrange alternative transportation (flight, train journey, taxi), or book a hotel room. You can then invoice the airline for the costs incurred. However, it is important to maintain proportionality in these actions

DelayEntitlement to assistance services
From 2 hours onwardsMeals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time. Two telephone calls (or emails, fax).
From 3 hours onwardsMeals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time. Two telephone calls (or emails, fax), according to EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation, compensation ranging from €250 to €600 per person
From 4 hours onwardsMeals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time. Two telephone calls (or emails, fax). Possibly hotel accommodation
From 5 hours onwardsTravelers can cancel their flight. The airline must refund the ticket costs.

What constitutes 'extraordinary circumstances

The air passenger rights regulation does not provide a uniform definition for this. For instance, a medical emergency can cause delays at any time. In such cases, the airline may invoke extraordinary circumstances. However, a medical emergency does not apply if a flight is delayed due to the illness of a crew member, as the airline must provide replacements for such cases. These events must be distinguished from normal delays and operational procedures for passenger transport.

A small consolation: Even if the airline is not at fault, passengers are entitled to assistance services. The following table outlines what constitutes extraordinary circumstances:

Yes - airline is responsibleNo, airline is not responsible
Staff shortageSevere weather
Technical issuesAir traffic controller strike
Strike by airline staffLightning strike
Financial issues of the airlinePolitical crises
Non-compliance with personnel rest periodsNatural disasters
Bird strike
Airport and airspace closures
Border closures
Medical emergencies
Terminal technical failure

Reimbursement of consequential costs

Consequential costs include:

  • Accommodation expenses
  • Travel costs
  • Meals
  • Replacement purchases


To claim reimbursement of the costs incurred from the airline, it is important to collect all receipts. You can claim these costs in addition to compensation for flight delays. However, the airline will reject the claim without receipts.

These costs will not be reimbursed by the airline:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Taxi rides or car rental costs, if transportation by train was a viable option
  • Parking fees
  • Costs incurred for leisure activities, such as cinema, zoo, etc.
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No double compensation

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe ruled in 2019 that airlines are not obligated to cover consequential costs such as train or taxi tickets if travelers have already received compensation from the airline for a flight issue. In this case, it may be possible for incurred consequential costs to be offset against this compensation amount. According to the BGH, compensation payments are intended to cover consequential costs.

What to do in case of luggage problems?

Delayed luggage

If your suitcase doesn’t arrive, you should report the loss at the Lost & Found counter and fill out a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) form. You’ll need to present your boarding pass and baggage registration number for this.

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The Special Drawing Right (SDR/XDR) is an artificial currency used as a worldwide uniform arrangement for the equitable satisfaction of liability claims. It’s important to note: If your luggage is delayed on the return flight, you have no grounds for replacement purchases. The luggage delay and any resulting costs must be reported to the airline in writing within 21 days of receiving the luggage again

Luggage delay on a booked package holiday

Through regulations in travel law (according to § 651 BGB), you may be entitled to a reduction in the travel price due to missed holiday pleasures. We also handle luggage problems with package holidays. Reach out to your tour operator and contact us.

1. Reporting the luggage delay on-site.Report the damage immediately (max. 7 days after arrival) at the Lost & Found counter or with the airline.
2. Further report of the damage after receiving the luggage.Send another damage report with all supporting documents to the airline within 21 days of receiving the luggage.
3. Report any possible damages after receiving the luggage.If the suitcase is damaged, report the damage or partial loss to the airline within 7 days of receiving the luggage.
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Damaged luggage

If you discover upon arrival at the airport that your checked baggage or special baggage has been damaged during the flight, the airline is obligated to compensate you for the damage. The regulations for this are outlined in the Montreal Convention. The airline is also liable if the suitcase has only been partially opened or temporarily sealed with tape. Check the contents of your luggage after landing and contact your airline to report the damage.

If damage occurs to your luggage, the airline is liable up to a maximum limit of 1131 SDR (approximately €1300). A prerequisite for this is reporting the damage within 7 days of the flight date. If the damage to your luggage is due to your own fault, such as checking in a defective suitcase or not properly packing fragile items, the airline is not responsible for the damage incurred

Compensation for damaged luggage

If your luggage is damaged, you will not initially receive compensation in the form of money. In this case, natural restitution (repair) applies. The airlines will commission other companies to assess the damage and, if necessary, repair the luggage.

Lost luggage

If luggage is more than 21 days delayed, it is considered lost. The maximum compensation payment a passenger can receive is approximately 1131 SDR (about €1300). Even though lost luggage is frustrating, there is no fixed compensation.


For compensation calculation, both the suitcase and its contents are reimbursed based on their actual value. As a guideline, there is an annual depreciation rate between 10 and 30 percent. To claim the costs, you must fill out a PIR (Property Irregularity Report) form at the airport. The airport staff will explain everything else to you. As a passenger, you are required to provide evidence. Therefore, you must inform the airline of the loss of the suitcase within 21 days in any case

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Rights of travelers during a strike

Strike announcements are the nightmare news for many vacationers during peak travel times. For travelers, a strike often means they can expect either significant delays or even the cancellation of their flight. This is particularly frustrating, especially when they still need to catch their connecting flight

You should consider the following during a strike:

To ensure you receive your compensation of up to €600 per person smoothly, you can do the following at the airport:

  • Have the delay or flight cancellation due to the strike confirmed in writing by airline staff.
  • Request alternative transportation (replacement flight or train journey).
  • Keep your flight tickets or booking confirmation safe.

"A strike as an extraordinary circumstance

Whether a strike constitutes an extraordinary circumstance depends on various factors, including the nature and organization of the strike. The following types should be distinguished:

  • Strike by the airline’s own staff, such as ground and cabin crew


  • Strikes by third parties, such as strikes by security personnel or air traffic control.
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Compensation liability may be waived

If there is a flight delay or cancellation due to a strike by third parties, the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation exempts the airline from compensation liability. However, the airline must generally demonstrate that it has taken all possible measures to avoid the strike. However, besides compensation, the EU regulation also outlines additional rights of passengers, which you should insist on.

Your entitlement to compensation during a strike

Airlines are obligated to compensate travelers for flight disruptions if they are at fault. Strikes by their own staff are often the result of failed wage negotiations and are used as leverage to strengthen the bargaining position of the staff. Therefore, the airline is responsible in such cases and must compensate you for the inconvenience caused.

Claim your entitlements now! We can assist you with that. Simply fill out the form on our website – Passengers friend will immediately handle your case, and you will receive the compensation payment you are entitled to.


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Your flight was delayed, cancelled, or you were denied boarding? Then you probably have a claim for compensation of up to €600. Check your eligibility in less than 3 minutes.


If there is a flight delay of more than 3 hours, you are entitled to compensation from the airline. Depending on the distance traveled, this can be up to €600 per person.

Your rights have been protected by EU flight regulation 261/2014 since 2004. Depending on the flight distance traveled, you are entitled to compensation of up to €600 per person. In case of a delay of several hours, the airline should provide you with free food and drinks. You also have the right to have 2 free phone calls and to send emails. In case of an overnight delay, the airline must pay for the cost of an overnight stay.

We know from experience that airlines often ignore customer complaints or simply reject justified claims. With us, you have a competent partner at your side. Simply fill out the form on our website in just a few minutes and our travel law experts will immediately take over your case.

Exceptional circumstances play a major role in the enforcement of your claim. The existence of extraordinary circumstances exempts the airline from paying compensation.

A trip is called a package tour if at least 2 travel services are booked together – e.g. airline tickets and accommodation in a hotel. You can also be entitled to compensation of up to €600 per person for a package tour.

About us

Passengers friend specializes in enforcing compensation claims for flight delays, cancellations, and denied boarding. The basic idea is based on the observation that as a traveler, while you have a right to compensation under EU law, you may encounter difficulties enforcing it against the airline in reality. Passengers Friend already collaborates with over 2200 travel agencies. Together, we help you assert your rights. We will secure your compensation, or our service is completely free for you!