Follow up costs
for flight problems
In order to compensate passengers for the inconvenience caused by a flight problem, it is not sufficient for airlines to simply pay compensation. Travelers are also entitled to various benefits in kind in the event of a flight problem. The airline has a duty of care towards you. Even an extraordinary circumstance does not release the airline from this duty of care.
Travelers have these rights in the event of a flight delay
If the departure is delayed by at least 2 hours, the airline is obliged to provide travelers with free drinks and meals appropriate to the waiting time. If the onward journey is not possible until the following day, the airline must also pay for an overnight stay in a hotel. The same applies to the costs of the transfer between the hotel and the airport. The airline is initially obliged to provide the service itself. In principle, it does not have to pay for third-party services. This means that travelers must first claim their entitlements from the airline. If the airline does not fulfill its obligation to provide care, you may buy your own meals, book substitute transportation (flight, train ride, cab) or even a hotel room. You can then charge the airline for the costs incurred. However, the principle of proportionality must be observed.
Follow-up costs are understood to be:
- Accommodation costs
- Travel expenses
- Replacement purchases
In order to be able to claim the costs you have incurred from the airline, it is important that you collect all receipts. You can have the costs reimbursed in addition to the flight delay compensation. However, without receipts, the airline will reject the claim.
These costs are not reimbursed by the airline:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Cab fares or rental car costs if, for example transportation by train would have been possible
- Parking fees
- Costs incurred for leisure activities, e.g. cinema, zoo, etc.
No double compensation
In 2019, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe ruled that airlines are not obliged to pay for subsequent costs such as train or cab tickets if travelers have already received compensation from the airline for a flight problem. In this case, it may be that subsequent costs incurred are offset against this sum. According to the BGH, the purpose of a compensation payment is to cover consequential costs.
As you may have noticed, it is often not easy for travelers to enforce compensation against the airline in the event of a flight delay. Despite the Air Passenger Rights Ordinance and the associated strengthening of air passenger rights, airlines still try everything possible to avoid paying compensation.