Federal Court of Justice: No double compensation for air passengers in case of delay
Flat-rate compensation or individual reimbursement of costs: In case of flight delays compensation is permissible. But only one, as the BGH has decided.
Passengers can not claim double compensation for delays or cancellations. This was decided by the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (Az: X ZR 128/18 and X ZR 165/18). Compensation and compensation would have to be offset.
If a flight is delayed significantly or fails, passengers are entitled to compensation. There are two options for this: according to the EU passenger rights regulation, travelers can demand a flat-rate compensation payment of a maximum of € 600 or - according to national law - compensation, for example for an overnight stay at the hotel or for a rental car. In the view of the judges of the X. Civil Division of the Federal Court of Justice, which is responsible for travel rights, it is not permissible to claim double compensation.
The overcompensation of claims is excluded
The decision was based on two similar cases: One concerned a package holiday from Frankfurt am Main to Las Vegas in the USA, the second a flight to Windhoek in Namibia followed by a safari. In both cases, the passengers had reached their destination only one day late. The individual costs incurred as a result of the delay amounted to less than € 600, and the claimants additionally demanded payment of the lump sum. According to the BGH overcompensation of claims is excluded, the compensation would have to be offset against each other. The passengers will receive a total of 600 euros. The District Court and the Frankfurt Regional Court had dismissed the lawsuits.
Since 2015, the EU has also applied a Package Travel Directive, which clearly regulates the question of compensation. Therefore, a submission of the cases at the European Court of Justice is not necessary, it was said by the BGH.
The amount of flat-rate compensation of airlines under EU law is based on the distance of the destination and is either 250, 400 or 600 euros. The claim is due for a delay of three hours, the duration of the delay has no further influence on the sum. There is no entitlement to compensation if the delay is caused by so-called extraordinary circumstances, such as extreme weather, a bird strike or even a strike.