The ECJ strengthens consumers’ right once again

11 May 2017

Flight cancellations always require airlines to inform the passengers and airlines must pay compensation for damages – even for bookings via travel portals.

If a passenger is informed of the cancellation of his flight less than 14 days before travel begins, EU law stipulates a compensation payment. It does not matter whether the flight was booked via the airline or a third party provider – the airline represents the source of information and has an obligation to pay. This is what the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in Luxembourg today, defending passengers’ rights once again.

In the current case, a Dutchman that had booked his trip through an online travel agency claimed for compensation after he was only informed of his flight cancellation ten days before the scheduled departure. Although the airline had informed the booking portal timely about the flight cancellation, this was belatedly passed on to the passenger.

The European Court of Justice has now decided that airlines are responsible to inform the passenger of possible flight changes. Christian Nielsen, AirHelp’s Chief Legal Officer, sees consumers’ rights being strengthened following the court ruling:

“These cases are not very frequent, but they do exist and have continued to cause confusion among travellers. With this decision, the European Court of Justice has once again highlighted and clarified the airlines’ responsibilities. I would advise anyone who is affected by delays, cancellations or overbooking in the air traffic to get in touch with us. AirHelp helps to make the rights of passengers uncomplicated and, if necessary, will fight them in court on your behalf. “

According to EU law, passengers who are affected by a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight are entitled to compensation of up to € 600. However, just under two percent of all those affected use their right. To check if you are eligible for compensation, visit