When the departure of a flight is postponed, it is usually quite annoying for the holidaymakers. After all, they lose part of their holiday time at their destination – in some circumstances, package holidaymakers can demand a compensation payment for announced changes in flight times.
The reason is that the airlines must expressly inform the passengers about any changes in flight times – two weeks before the scheduled departure time. Otherwise, those affected are entitled to compensation in accordance with the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation. The District Court of Nuremberg has decided accordingly.
In the case under negotiation, a man and his family wanted to fly from Nuremberg to Rhodes at the beginning of August. The flight was postponed from early in the morning to late in the evening – but the man only learned about it a few days before departure when he wanted to reserve seats on the booking page.
The plaintiff was of the opinion that he was not informed in time and demanded himself and his family a compensation payment in the amount of 1600 euro – thus for the more than 1500 kilometers long distance in each case 400 euro per person.
The judges agreed with him. The fact is that contacting the travel agency or tour operator is not enough for the flight provider – since neither of them is the passenger. Nor is it sufficient that the passenger learned of the changed flight time on the airline’s booking page – the information was available to the general public there but was not addressed directly to the individual passenger.
Instead, the airline must inform passengers expressly and in time – i.e. within a period of two weeks – of any changes in flight times.