Lufthansa is a popular German airline with its corporate headquarters in Cologne and its main operations base at Frankfurt Airport. Its other hubs include Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Vienna and Zurich. From there, the airline serves more than 200 cities in 78 countries around the world, mainly in Europe, North America and Asia.
Lufthansa transported 145.2 million passengers in 2019, a number that keeps growing each year. According to recent data, nearly 77 percent of them arrived on time. That’s a decent on-time performance, but it still leaves many passengers hanging. If you’ve recently flown with this major German carrier and experienced problems, you may be entitled to Lufthansa compensation for your troubles. Start here to discover if you’re eligible for Lufthansa flight delay compensation, flight cancellation compensation or other accommodations.
First things first: How much Lufthansa delay compensation could you be eligible for? The answer depends on the length of your flight and the length of your delay:
Overall, if you’ve been delayed for 3 hours or more, you may be able to file a Lufthansa claim for compensation. Keep in mind that eligibility is based on your arrival time, not your departure time. This means that if you will arrive – or would have arrived – at your destination at least 3 hours later than planned, you can claim compensation. On the other hand, if your flight leaves your origin airport 3 hours later than it was originally supposed to, but still arrives at your destination less than 3 hours late, you may not be able to make a claim.
If your flight is cutting it close to 3 hours, you may wonder what exactly qualifies as your arrival time. The European courts have ruled that a plane has “arrived” when it opens at least one of its doors. If you’re sitting on the tarmac but all doors are closed, you haven’t yet arrived by the standards of EU 261. Be sure you keep a close eye on your plane’s doors and record your official arrival time for later.
There are a few more important guidelines to be aware of when it comes to Lufthansa delayed flight compensation. If your flight is delayed more than 5 hours, you don’t have to take the rescheduled flight. The airline must then arrange alternate transportation or fly you back to your origin point. The value of these accommodations does not count toward the total compensation you are owed under EU 261.
Delayed flights cause massive travel disruptions – you’re never sure when you’ll be able to get on the next flight out. Cancelled flights can have similar repercussions, especially if your flight is cancelled at the last minute. If the airline cancelled your flight with less than 14 days’ notice, you could be entitled to Lufthansa compensation depending on the length of your flight:
However, if the airline cancels your flight with more than 14 days’ notice, you’ll most likely have plenty of time to reschedule and won’t be eligible to make a Lufthansa compensation claim. You’re also not covered under EU 261 if you choose to cancel your own flight, for example, for health reasons or because of a change of plans. You may still be able to reschedule your flight or obtain a refund, but you most likely won’t get additional compensation.
If the airline is responsible and has given you less than 14 days’ notice, under EU 261 they must put you on the next available flight or refund your original ticket price at no additional cost. If they offer to re-route you at the earliest availability, you’re not obligated to accept the new ticket. You can still ask for refund instead.
Did you know that airlines purposefully overbook many flights? In order to ensure they fill as many seats as possible, airlines try to anticipate how many passengers are going to cancel, depending on the route’s popularity and frequency. They then sell more tickets than there are available seats on the plane. That way, they maximize profitability even when passengers don’t show up, because those seats are still filled.
But this can also result in passengers being bumped from flights for which they have a confirmed seat. What if that’s you? Being bumped can cause huge travel delays, especially if it causes you to miss a connecting flight. That’s why, under EU 261, you may be entitled to Lufthansa compensation for overbooked flights, which are almost always the fault of the airline.
If you’re denied boarding for a reason that is not the fault of the airline, for example, if you’re inebriated or you appear to be sick, you probably won’t be able to make a Lufthansa claim for compensation under EU 261. These determinations are left up to the crew – so make sure you don’t drink too much before your flight! You can also be denied boarding if you don’t have the right documents, like a valid passport and visa. Always check with your destination country to see what you need before you travel.
Whether or not the issues with your flight are the fault of the airline is an essential piece of the puzzle that determines whether you get Lufthansa delay compensation. That’s because under EU 261, the airline only owes compensation if the reason for the delayed or cancelled flight was within its control.
If the reason for the delay or cancellation is outside the airline’s control, it’s considered “extraordinary circumstances.” Under the law, airlines don’t have to provide compensation in situations.
Still think you may be entitled to Lufthansa compensation? Take a look at the following checklist, which lists the final criteria to take into consideration:
Sometimes it can seem like there are a lot of different standards you must meet in order to claim Lufthansa delay compensation. But you also have passenger rights that apply regardless of the reason for the delay. Know your rights, and know what to do while you’re in the airport to help you take control of the situation.
While EU 261 is meant to hold airlines accountable for their part in travel problems, delays and cancellations are sometimes inevitable. Whether your flight has been cancelled outright or delayed for an unknown amount of time, it’s important to know your rights and to stay alert for updates so that you can claim all the Lufthansa compensation you deserve.
First, get to your gate early so you’ll be the first to know about any delays. If you see staff whispering or a lot of people running around, you’ll know something is up. Ask questions and stay on top of your flight status. Learn the staff’s names and tell them yours. Don’t be pushy, but be friendly. They’ll be likely to prioritize you if something does go wrong.
What if the worst happens, and your flight is delayed or cancelled? You’re already first in line if you’ve followed our first advice. But Lufthansa delay compensation also includes vouchers from the airline intended to make your more comfortable as you wait:
If the airline doesn’t provide you with vouchers, be sure to save your receipts. You may be able to add the expenses on to your Lufthansa compensation claim. It’s a lot to take in. That’s why companies like TravelRefund are here to help. We’ll help you determine your eligibility and let you know the next steps to take.
Claiming Lufthansa compensation is easy when you have the right people on your side. All you need to do is ensure you have your booking confirmation, boarding pass and any receipts for expenses you incurred as you waited in the airport. Make a claim right on our website and we’ll review the facts as soon as possible. From there, we’ll take care of everything.
Airlines sometimes try to delay the process or give false reasons why they weren’t responsible for your delay or cancellation. There can be multiple appeals for each claim. We know that most travellers are busy – and the airlines do, too. They may be hoping you will forget about your claim or give up. That’s why having a professional like TravelRefund working for you is helpful.
We don’t get paid unless you win your case – and that means we’ll fight for you every step of the way. We take care of every aspect of communication regarding your Lufthansa compensation, and we’ll always try to get to the bottom of the reason for your delay or cancellation. We’ll even go to court if we need to. And if we don’t win, you don’t owe us anything.
You have nothing to lose by contacting us today. Get your questions answered and see how we can help you get the money you’re owed under EU 261.