Jump in German flight delays stokes fears of travel chaos

Jump in German flight delays stokes fears of travel chaos

airline strike
"Even the sky reaches its limits sometimes" — in late June, the German Aviation Association (BDL) apologized to passengers in full-page newspaper ads for "long waiting periods, numerous flight cancellations and irregularities" in Germany's air traffic that have plagued the country since the beginning of the year. Although the BDL said it's "working hard to improve punctuality and reliability, " the ad included a confession that is not likely to calm down unnerved travelers: It admitted that "short-term irregularities" will continue over the summer. According to passenger rights portal EUclaim, 15, 571 flights were cancelled across Germany between January and June of this year. A further 3, 778 took off more than three hours late. For the same period last year, the same figures were 8, 826 and 2, 268, respectively. Read more: Lufthansa cancels almost 900 flights As Germany's hectic summer holiday season kicks off, the country's air traffic has reached peak unreliability. With the schools from Germany's 16 states beginning their six-week summer breaks between June 25 and July 30, the next two months are bound to be chaotic. The school holidays in Germany's largest cities Berlin and Hamburg started on Thursday, while North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, is slated ....

Airlines also face multi-million dollar damage claims. EUclaim calculations show that through June 20, consumers filed compensation claims worth €480 million. Depending on the flight distance, passengers are entitled to up to €600 ($700) of compensation if their flight is delayed by at least three hours. What can affected consumers do? Billen advised customers to insist on their rights and turn to the German Conciliation Body for Public Transport (SÖP), which has been dealing with arbitration between airlines and its clients since 2013, as well as the mediation body of the Federal Office of Justice. Both services are free.
In early June, a power outage paralyzed Hamburg's Helmut-Schmid-Airport and caused thousands of delays and cancellations that affected over 30, 000 travelers Passengers are entitled to compensation if the airline is responsible for delays, rebookings or cancellations. This rule takes effect in the case of technical breakdowns or delays due to crews exceeding their working hours. .

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