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Air travel to the Black Forest: What you should know about your rights

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What refunds are there on flights?

The Black Forest is one of Germany's most popular holiday regions and a destination for many travelers looking to visit the scenic area. However, if you are planning to travel to the Black Forest by plane, unforeseen situations such as flight delays or cancellations may arise. In this case, it is important to be aware of air passenger rights and what compensation or reimbursement you can claim. In this article you will find some tips and information about your rights as a passenger.

What reasons can a delay or cancellation have?

Flight delays or cancellations can have various reasons. The reason is important to any claims in the flight refund to assert. If it is the airline's fault, the chances are higher than with external influences.

Probably the most common reason for delays or cancellations is the weather conditions. Dense fog, storms, ice or strong winds delay take-off and landing, especially in the winter months or on flights across the Atlantic. These delays in the flight schedule can have far-reaching consequences for other flights. Because if the specified slot for takeoff / landing is not adhered to, a new one must be found.

Likewise, the passengers or the flight/ground staff can be the reasons for delays. Strikes, overbooked flights, short-notice changes of aircraft or unrest on board are just a few examples.

Are there differences between short, medium and long-haul flights?

no The decisive factor for air passenger rights is above all whether the flight will take off and land in the EU.

If this is the case, the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation No. 261/2004 applies. It contains the most important regulations for compensation in the event of delays, cancellations or overbooking.

In the event of a delay, the type and amount of compensation depends primarily on the duration of the delay, but also on the distance of the flight. In case of a delay of 3 hours or more at the arrival point, the chances of a compensation of 250 to 600 euros are good!

If the flight is cancelled, the right to a full refund of the flight price usually applies. Depending on the destination, an alternative transport to the destination is possible - usually in the form of a rebooking on a later flight of the airline.

If the flight departs or lands outside the EU, this policy does not apply and passengers are dependent on the conditions of the respective airline. Around 120 countries have also signed up to the Montreal Convention. This protects the rights and claims for compensation of international passengers. It also applies to a maximum of €1.300 per passenger for lost or damaged luggage.

As with the EU regulation, the distance of the flight, the length of the delay and external circumstances play a role in the amount of compensation or reimbursement. The agreement applies to all flights that take off or land in an accession country - for example the USA and Australia. The limitation period for claims is 2 years. Flat-rate compensation is not provided.

If the newly booked flight does not leave until the next day, passengers are entitled to hotel accommodation and vouchers for re-routing using alternative means of transport.

How do I get my airfare refunded?

As a first step, you should already be aware of the conditions of the respective airline when booking. Current/upcoming strikes are to be considered as well as the quality of the service. After all, you want yours Vacation .

In the event of a cancellation or drastic delay, all evidence and statements should first be recorded. Whether photos, documents issued at the airport or protocols - all of this can be used as evidence for a refund of the ticket price in subsequent contact with the airline. This contact is usually made by telephone, e-mail or via a specific contact form. In this, the key data of the flight (booking number, flight data), the guest and the reason for the request are queried.

When applying, it is important to be quick and accurate. There are often deadlines for reimbursement of flight costs. It also matters whether affected passengers request a refund or compensation.

Now the tedious part begins. Unfortunately, many airlines are literally inundated with applications, which increases the processing time. Regular contact with the airline is required here to check the current status of the request.

EU air passenger rights seem clear. However, a refund is rarely approved directly. Instead, airlines try to evade their responsibility by pointing out force majeure (strikes) or extraordinary circumstances (natural disasters).

Many passengers are therefore happy to enlist the help of experts or lawyers in order to receive their reimbursement without much effort.

Image courtesy of Stefan Asal - Datacreate Asal