Verdict regarding flight delays


When a flight is delayed, passengers are entitled to compensation. The amount depends on two factors: the length of the delay and the flight route. The ECJ now clarified in a verdict, how the flight route has to be calculated.

The verdict shows that it is insignificant if the passengers booked a direct flight or if they have to stop at a third airport. The only factor that matters is the direct radial distance between the departure and arrival airports.

In the concrete trial, the passengers booked the connection Rome - Brussels - Hamburg, which is of course longer than a direct flight between Rome and Hamburg. The consumers would get a higher amount of compensation, if it were calculated according to the longer distance. However, the ECJ ruled against that in its new verdict. The only basis, besides the time factor, is the direct radial distance between Rome and Hamburg.

Read more about the verdict

EU-wide regulation

The Air Passenger Rights Regulation of the EU regulates that in the event of a delay of three hours or more, passengers shall be entitled to compensation of €250 for flights of 1.500 km or less and €400 for flights of more than 1.500 km between two Member States.

Find out more about your rights regarding flight delay.