Rebooking a flight - What you need to know | Flightright

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Flight rebooking by passengers and airlines: costs and compensation

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Rebooking a flight – who hasn’t experienced this? Imagine the following scenario: The long-awaited annual holiday is approaching, and you can hardly wait to finally take off for the south by plane. But then something throws a spanner in the works. For example, your child falls ill, and you have to see a doctor before you go on holiday just to be on the safe side. Or perhaps you are not responsible, and instead, the airline has made a mistake, which is why you cannot take your flight on time. In both cases, there is no alternative to rebooking the flight. But what does this mean for you as a passenger? In the following, we will have a closer look at the costs involved in rebooking and the compensation you can expect. 

Rebooking a flight – in brief

  • Rebooking a flight: Flight number and flight time change.
  • Both you as a passenger and the airline can rebook a flight.
  • If you rebook a flight yourself, you will usually have to pay a fee.
  • The fees for a rebooking by the passenger are set by the airlines.
  • Whether a rebooking is possible also depends on the fare/ticket class booked.
  • If the airline rebooks a flight, you may be entitled to compensation.

When is a rebooking?

There are many reasons why it may be necessary to rebook a flight. Even if the circumstance is anything but pleasant, rebooking a flight is usually quite simple. But even if you can easily rebook a flight, this does not mean that the rebooking is cheap. Quite the opposite. Often the airline demands a horrendous additional payment when you rebook a flight. This only changes if the airline itself is responsible for the fact that the flight had to be rebooked. 

Example:

Your flight has the flight number LH 4234. If only the flight time changes, but you still take off on the same aircraft, the flight number does not change. The situation is different if the flight time changes, and you also have to take a different aircraft. In this case, your plane will also have a different flight number. 

What are the reasons for rebooking?

There can be many reasons that lead to a rebooking. It does not always have to be the airlines that are to blame for a flight having to be rebooked. Passengers themselves can just as easily be responsible for the fact that they have to make arrangements for another flight. In the case of airlines, it is usually flight cancellations that lead to forced rebooking. But so-called overbookings can also be the cause of the problem. In this case, too many seats were booked on the plane. The result is that the plane does not have enough space for the passengers. Consequently, some people have to take another plane. In this case, the airline takes care of the rebooking. For the affected customers, there is usually an attractive compensation. The experts at Flightright will be happy to explain how you can secure this.

Flight rebooking by the passenger

Not all flight rebooking is the same. But what types of rebooking are there? On the one hand, rebooking is possible for travellers themselves. In this case, it is often personal reasons such as illness or a sudden appointment that make it necessary to change the flight. To make a rebook, you need the reservation code or booking code. This is the basis of the ticket you have booked. Whether the ticket number changes as part of the rebooking depends on whether it is a completely new flight or your flight is simply delayed to such an extent that it has to take off at a later time. 

If the passenger’s name changes, this is usually not a problem either. However, you often have to expect additional costs here as well. But how often can you rebook a flight? There is no upper limit here, at least in theory. As a result of the corona pandemic and the associated problems in air traffic, many airlines have changed their guidelines a little in this regard. You can rebook a flight by simply asking the travel agency, airline or flight portal. Sometimes the whole thing is even free of charge if you have decided on a special fare in advance. We have listed the most important options for making changes in connection with a rebooking. 

1. Changes to the flight date or travel time

In the context of rebooking, you can change both the flight date and the travel time. This means that you can, for example, depart on the same travel time on a different day. Of course, it is also possible to change the date and time or just a later departure on the same day. To do this, you must contact the office where you booked the ticket.

2. Name corrections/passenger name changes.

You can also make a name correction or change as part of a rebooking. However, this is sometimes not as straightforward as simply rescheduling the flight. To change the name, you have to contact the airline directly. Sometimes they can simply change the name of the passenger. If the airline does not allow this, the ticket must be cancelled and rebooked, which involves cancellation costs. 

3. Changes of departure or destination airport

It may be possible for you to depart from a different location or to land somewhere else. In these cases, too, airlines usually allow a change by rebooking. 

4. Transfer the ticket to another passenger.

You may not be able to take a flight for personal or health reasons. In this case, it may be an effective solution to have the flight rebooked to another person. If you opted for an appropriate fare when you originally booked your ticket, you can also have the flight rebooked to another person. If this is not possible, it can unfortunately be expensive. After all, this results in a cancellation, so new costs such as cancellation fees are incurred.

What are the costs for a flight rebooking by the passenger?

As a passenger, you too can rebook a flight. But how much does it cost to change a flight reservation? Is it possible to rebook a flight online or do you have to do it at the counter? Are there any additional costs or fees? How much it costs to change a flight and what other regulations apply varies from airline to airline. We have listed the costs for well-known airlines. 

Rebooking costs for selected airlines

Rebooking a flight is usually possible without any problems. However, you should be aware that rebooking a flight can incur costs. Below you can take a look at the costs incurred by the airlines. 

1. Rebooking a Lufthansa flight 

You can also rebook your flight with Lufthansa. The costs incurred by Lufthansa for rebooking a flight depend above all on the category you have chosen. While rebooking in Economy Class costs 70 euros, you can rebook in Business Class free of charge. However, this only applies to flights within Germany. If you fly internationally, you have to pay up to 140 euros, depending on the booking category. 

2. Rebook a British Airways flight  

You can also rebook a flight with British Airways, but you will have to reckon with additional costs. Rebooking is possible up to 24 hours before departure and costs between 80 and 180 euros. 

3. Rebook Air France flight 

Of course, the French airline Air France also charges additional costs for rebooking the flight. Rebooking fees can range from 50 to 150 euros. However, it should be noted that Air France does not always allow rebooking. If you fly in the Economy Light category, you do not have the rebooking option. With Economy Standard, on the other hand, you pay between 50 and 150 euros. 

4. Rebook Condor flight 

The costs incurred when rebooking a flight with Condor again depend on the fare you have chosen. For example, travellers in the Light fare do not have to rebook at all. Only in the Classic fare can you rebook at a cost of between 50 and 70 euros. If you choose the Flex option, you can even rebook three times free of charge. 

5. Rebook an Eurowings flight 

You can also rebook your flight with Eurowings. Eurowings also offers the possibility of rebooking a flight at no cost. This is possible if you choose the Flex option. You can then make use of your right to cancel or rebook free of charge up to 40 minutes before departure. If you are unable to meet the time window, you can also rebook after departure but on the same calendar day. In this case, a fee of 75 euros will be charged.

6. Turkish Airlines flight change 

If you want to rebook with Turkish Airlines, you also have to reckon with costs. The Turkish airline charges 50 euros as standard for the Economy category. In the Economy Flexible fare, the rebooking is even free of charge. 

7. Rebooking a Ryanair flight 

With Ryanair, you can also rebook the flight for an additional cost. This will cost you a fee of between 35 and 95 euros. If the fare for the new ticket is more expensive, you will also have to pay the difference. If you want to change the passenger’s name, you have to dig deeper into your pocket. You will have to pay at least 115 euros. 

8. EasyJet flight rebooking 

If you want to rebook your flight with EasyJet, you have to reckon with additional costs. If you rebook more than 60 days before departure, you will pay a flat rate of 21 euros. If you do not meet this deadline, it will cost you 43 euros. In addition to the flat-rate fee, you will have to pay the difference to the new ticket value. 

Flight rebooking by the airline

Rebooking is of course also possible by the airlines. This is not only possible if a flight has to be cancelled for certain reasons. Overbookings can also lead to travellers having to be rebooked. The consequences are often annoying. Missed connecting flights can quickly ruin the holiday mood. But thanks to the Air Passenger Rights Regulation, you do not have to put up with this. You are entitled to compensation.

Have you experienced a flight delay/cancellation?

According to the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation, the amount of compensation is calculated according to the flight route (distance):

Short distance up to 1500 kmMedium distance up to 3500 kmLong distance from 3500 km
e.g. London – Edinburghe.g. London – Athense.g. London – Tokyo
250€400€600€

Till when is the airline allowed to rebook?

2 weeks or earlier before the scheduled departure date:
If the rebooking is two weeks to seven days before the departure date, the landing time of the alternative flight may be a maximum of two hours earlier or four hours later. If less than seven days, the landing time may be a maximum of one hour earlier or two hours later. Anything more than this will give rise to a claim for compensation.

2 weeks to 7 days before the scheduled departure:
The landing time at the destination airport may be a maximum of two hours earlier or a maximum of four hours late. 

Seven days or less before the scheduled departure time:
In this case, the landing time at the destination airport may be a maximum of one hour earlier or a maximum of two hours late. 

Are flight rebookings allowed at all?

Should airlines decide to rebook, there can be many reasons for this. One common reason is overbooking. In this case, the aircraft does not offer enough space for all passengers. As a result, some passengers have to take another flight. There is involuntary rebooking, but also voluntary rebooking. An involuntary rebooking is, for example, when you find out in advance of your flight departure that you have been rebooked on another flight. In this case, you are entitled to compensation if the rebooking takes place 14 days or less before departure. This is a result of the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation. If, on the other hand, the rebooking takes longer, you can decide whether you want to accept the rebooking or have the ticket price reimbursed. 

What should be considered in the case of voluntary denied boarding?

In the event of denied boarding at short notice, the EU Passenger Rights Regulation provides for a right to compensation. This expires the moment a passenger declares that he or she waives compensation. To create incentives for waiving the right to compensation, airlines often offer a bonus in these cases. Whether you accept this is ultimately up to you. What is certain, however, is that the compensation to which you are entitled in the event of a last-minute rebooking is usually higher than the bonus. You forfeit your right to compensation the moment you voluntarily accept the rebooking.

What should be considered in the event of an involuntary rebooking?

If you are rebooked involuntarily, it depends on how long before the flight departure the rebooking took place. If the rebooking takes place more than 14 days before departure, you are not entitled to compensation, but you can claim back your ticket costs if the new flight offered does not meet your wishes. If, on the other hand, the rebooking took place between 14 and seven days before departure, the scheduled landing time of the alternative flight may not be more than two hours before or four hours after the originally scheduled landing time. Compensation is due if the two or four hours are exceeded. For flights of less than seven days, the landing time may only be a maximum of one hour earlier or a maximum of two hours later. Anything over this will also give rise to a claim for compensation.  

Deadlines for flight rebooking: Which deadlines apply? 

Of course, airlines are not allowed to rebook flights on a whim. Rather, they must adhere to certain deadlines and other general conditions. Otherwise, the passengers affected will be entitled to compensation under the EU Passenger Rights Regulation. What deadlines apply to flight changes? How many days in advance do I have to be informed? We have compiled an overview for you.

Notification before departureLanding time of the alternative flightCompensation payment
Over 14 daysDoesn’t matterNo
7–14 days beforeMaximum 2 hours before
or
Maximum 4 hours late
No
7–14 days beforeOver 2 hours before
or
over 4 hours later
Yes
Less than 7 days beforeMaximum 1 hour before
or
maximum 2 h later
No
Less than 7 days beforeOver 1 hour before
or
over 2 h later
Yes
Deadlines for flight rebooking

Conditions for compensation in the event of a rebooking

If you want to enforce your compensation claim, certain conditions must be met. For example, you must have been at the check-in desk (online check-in) at the airport on time. This is because the check-in time is of great importance for subsequent consideration. If you do not show up at the check-in desk on time, you may be partly to blame for the denied boarding. It is also important to keep the documents related to the flight booking. In particular, the confirmed booking is essential. You should also not voluntarily agree to be denied boarding with the airline. Otherwise, you will lose your right to compensation. 

Rebooking a flight – Federal Supreme Court 

Should an involuntary denied boarding or rebooking occur, passengers are entitled to compensation of between EUR 250 and EUR 600. The amount is stipulated in the Air Passenger Rights Ordinance and depends on the flight route. But the airline can also easily avoid this risk. Some airlines now sell extremely cheap tickets that do not offer the possibility of rebooking or cancellation. Travellers are then left with the costs. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has declared this procedure to be legal and justified it with the low ticket price. 

Rebooking a flight:  Entitlement to meals, hotel and similar

If the rebooking means that you have to stay at the airport for a longer period, your airline is obliged to provide you with meals. That is, they must either provide you with food and drink or corresponding meal vouchers. If the new flight does not take off until the next day, you may also be entitled to the costs of an overnight stay in a hotel.

Compensation for flight rebooking – How to proceed

Step 1: Check your claimStep 2: Enforce your rightStep 3: Receive money
Enter the flight number and dateWe write to the airlineWe keep you informed at all times
It only takes 2 minutes to enterWe enforce the claim for youWe forward the money to you immediately
We check whether a claim existsIf necessary, we will go to courtUsually 20 to 30% commission plus VAT in case of success
Feedback after 24 hours at the latestFor you without costs and riskNo compensation, no fee
An easy and sure way to get your compensation

Steps:

  • Enter the flight number and date.
  • The entry takes only 2 minutes.
  • We will check if there is a claim.
  • Feedback after 24 hours at the latest.
  • We write to the airline.
  • We enforce the claim for you.
  • If necessary, we will go to court.
  • For you, without costs and without risk.
  • We always keep you informed.
  • We forward the money to you immediately.
  • Usually 20 to 30% commission plus VAT in case of success.
  • No compensation, no fee.
  • Relaxed and safe to compensation.

How can Flightright help you?

You are stuck at the airport because of a flight delay? Your flight has been canceled, or you have been removed from the passenger list? In each of the situations described, you have a right to compensation as an air passenger.

Tip: Flightright helps you enforce your air passenger rights! With us, you can check your claims free of charge in two minutes. ✔️Easy, ✔️fast & without ✔️risk

According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. You can claim up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.

As experts on the subject of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline! Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket reimbursements

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