Queues at airports, canceled flights, missing suitcases: passengers have to be patient. However, you also have a number of rights:

This summer shows that the aviation industry has severely underestimated the consequences of the corona pandemic. If your flight is canceled at short notice and takes off with a delay, passengers have the following rights.

Damage payment

According to ADAC experts, if a flight is canceled at short notice – i.e. less than 14 days before departure – passengers can generally request a flat-rate compensation payment. According to the EU regulation, the amount depends on the flight distance: 250 euros for flights up to 1500 kilometers, 400 euros up to 3500 kilometers and 600 euros for flights of more than 3500 kilometers.

prerequisite for the claims

The departure airport of the flight is in an EU country or in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.

refund or replacement

The airline must offer so-called support services – the refund of the fare or a replacement flight. Both must not cause any additional costs for a passenger.

meals and drinks

In the event of delays, airlines must offer their passengers care services – this includes meals, telephone calls and, if the flight departs a whole day later, a hotel room. If an airline does not offer this, passengers can submit their costs for drinks and meals; they should keep the receipts for this.

lost baggage

If suitcases and bags are lost or damaged, passengers can claim compensation of up to 1430 euros. Those affected should have the loss confirmed immediately, make a packing list – if possible with purchase receipts – and document expenses such as emergency purchases. Passengers should report damage to luggage as soon as possible. A period of seven days is required.


If you want to check your claims, you can use the Flugärger app from the consumer advice centers. The app then generates an email with the claims to the airline concerned. If you do not want to argue with the airline yourself, you can hire a legal service provider who will withhold part of the compensation amount as commission.