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Delayed Flight and Missed Connection: Entitled to Compensation?

Fri, 09/09/2016
Berlin Travel

Here at Get Paid When Delayed.com we love all things travel, but not when things go wrong. When we recently contacted Nina from ReiseHappen.de, a successful and inspirational German food and travel blog, we got to hear her complicated, yet not uncommon story of delayed flights, delayed baggage and airline mishaps.

Nina is an experienced traveller, but when she flew from Budapest to Berlin and on to Nuremberg, she was unexpectedly delayed which had an impact on her further travel arrangements. The delay was short; only 50 minutes of waiting in Budapest resulted in a delayed arrival time in Berlin of just 16 minutes, but this had a further consequence, Nina missed her connection flight from Berlin to Nuremberg, which had left early! AirBerlin, who she flew with, booked her onto the next flight in the morning.

EU Regulation 261/2004 establishes rules and regulations for occurrences like this one, and says that when such cases occur, the airline must provide passengers with welfare. This means food, refreshments, overnight accommodation and transfer to and from said accommodation from the airport. Nina was provided with accommodation yet when she had to fork out for a taxi to the accommodation she was smart and kept the receipt. The airline must refund her the cost of the taxi.

According to EU regulations a delay must be over three hours long in order to qualify for compensation if the flight distance is under 1500km. Nina’s delay time was only 50 minutes in Budapest, but because she missed her connection, and because both legs of her journey were with AirBerlin, the delay time can be calculated as the total delay time between her scheduled and actual arrival time at her final destination, in Nuremberg. This means that despite the short delay, Article 7 of EU 261/04 states that Nina is entitled to 250 Euros in compensation from the airline, provided the delay was not caused by extraordinary circumstances.

When she arrived in Nuremberg, a total of 11 hours and 35 minutes after her original scheduled landing time, Nina found that her luggage had not arrived. Thanks to a mishap in Berlin, it had not been checked in. In the case of delayed baggage, passengers are entitled to a refund for the cost of essential items whilst waiting for the luggage and a refund for the cost of returning to the airport when the baggage arrived. This is regulated not under EU Regulation 261/04 but under the Montreal Convention.

We heard from Nina that AirBerlin recently sent a voucher for 100 Euros. However, EU 261/04, Article 7.3 says that compensation must be paid in cash, bank transfer, bank order or bank cheque, and that an airline can only send compensation in the form of a voucher if they gain signed agreement from the passenger beforehand.

Nina is still in correspondence with AirBerlin and we look forward to hearing more from her soon about her case. Good luck Nina!