It is the normal insanity is raised at Berlin’s Tegel airport, on this Monday in October, by the factor: at the beginning of the school holidays. Long queues at the check-in the airlines, the crush at security checks, stressed-out passengers, temper personnel switches. For example, in the case of Austrian Airlines, which has in the morning a flight to Vienna on the Plan.

dozens of passengers wait for around one and a half hours before the scheduled departure at the Check-in in Terminal A, not a switch has opened. With delay it’s finally to a switch, later, a second employee with the clearance begins. A Baggage drop-off for passengers who have previously checked out on the Internet, will not be opened. The staff are to be on this day understaffed. The passengers are gathering at the security control of the Federal police in front of the Gate. In Parallel will be controlled by the passengers of a flight to Paris that is about to start at the same time. Again there is hustle and bustle, crowds and also shouting. With about an hour delay, the Austrian machine stands finally. The captain justified this with the “chaotic conditions” in TXL and apologizes for it.

consumption voucher for six euros – this is everything

everyday life in Tegel or force majeure? Dozens of passengers hit after your arrival in Vienna at the Austrian service Desk, you have missed your connecting flight. Among them the author of these lines, wanted to with his wife and child, continue to Zagreb. He is now rebooked on the evening flight to the Croatian capital, and fobbed off with a meal voucher to the value of six euros. On the question of compensation, as legal regulation in the event of delays of more than three hours actually, according to the EU passenger due, there is a business card with a po box address in Vienna.

The end of October sent in a complaint, after five weeks from the “Feedback Service” of the Austrian airline is a subsidiary of the Lufthansa answered: “I’m sorry that you were affected by a flight irregularity – please forgive me. A compensation payment is not provided for, in this case, since the reason for this delay lay in the area of influence of Austrian Airlines. (…) Finally, a request: trust you in spite of this experience on Austrian Airlines. We want to be your preferred airline,: myAustrian.”

But really, force majeure is when, as in Berlin, is not unusual – something not working? Or just an excuse, the airline to a claim for Compensation – it should not be dismissed in a particular case to at least 250 Euro?

airport: Airlines for Check-in are responsible

The airport Berlin Brandenburg GmbH will inform on a daily level-request: “In fact, the Airline, in this case, the Austrian, the right contact for your complaint or compensation claim. The entire organization of the Check-in and transfer processes at the airports are the responsibility of the relevant Airlines.” For the security control at German airports, the Federal police is responsible, says Airport spokeswoman Kathrin West hölter.

she admits: “Due to current conditions Sahabet in the air traffic, especially when traffic is heavy during the holiday season at many airports to delays.” The airports Tegel and Schönefeld would be cut off in the punctuality comparison of German airports, however, even particularly good.

EU-Claim, fighting for passenger rights

What extraordinary circumstances are exempt, the airlines of a compensation, is controversial. The organization of the EU Claim that the passengers in the enforcement of their claims helps, explains: “Our experience shows that In 80 percent of cases, the Airlines are talking to the rightful compensation, not pay.” EU Claim has access to the data of their parent company Lennoc, which collects daily more than 13 million data that is relevant around the world air traffic.

EU-Claim, spokeswoman Rebecca Horn says with a view to the special Case of Austrian flight in October from Berlin via Vienna to Zagreb, and clearly the reasons for the delay were recorded. The passengers would not have had to the delay of the feeder flight, plenty of time to reach the connecting flight – at the end of four minutes were missing.

Horn: “Whether a claim to compensation depends on which of the specified reasons was the decisive factor: If the personnel shortages at the Check-in Desk reason for the delay of the first flight, and thus for the missed connecting flight, then the passengers may be entitled to compensation, as this is the responsibility of the Airline. Should, however, be the bottlenecks in the security control crucial have been, then the Airline is not obliged to pay compensation.” In particular, the statement of the pilots, but the fact that it had given at the Check-In counter problems.

Green politicians Cramer: No case of “force majeure”

the city’s Green MEP Michael Cramer does not like to accept the Declaration of the Austrian. He says: “Basically, The passenger has with the airline a contract of carriage about A to B. If an airport has problems with the clearance, this must not be made to the Problem of the passenger.” It is a case of “force majeure spent so far”. “These card companies only too happy to escape payments.

The transport policy assumes that the example will show an example of how difficult the enforcement of rights for passengers would often be – this relates not only to passengers. He refers to a survey commissioned by the European court of auditors, have confirmed this recently. The court of auditors had not noted in a special report that many passengers of their rights are not sufficiently aware of and they would not take because of problems in the enforcement often.

Austrian criticised the infrastructure in Berlin-Tegel

Austrian airlines spokeswoman Marleen Pirchner, the problems in connection with delays in the clearance and the security controls in Tegel were known. “However, these are not Airline-specific, but depend on the state of the infrastructure and the structural conditions of the airport.” The competent departments of the Lufthansa group are in regular contact with the airport and the handling companies. Be planned measures, such as, among other things, an “optimized staffing of the control bodies, to run from January 2019 to improve the situation – also for passengers of the Austrian Airlines”.

Later, Pirchner pushes for a further explanation. Now, on this day, delays in the clearance of the aircraft. “The plane from Vienna had shown “only with a delay to its Parking position and the passenger bridge can be operated, what has been the impact of the course on the handling of the return flight to Vienna”. The fact the Austrian had “no influence”. The spokesperson for the airline explained: “the Longer waiting times at Check-in and security checks were not in this case, the primary determinant for the departure time.”

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consumer protection in air transport, passengers should be more easily compensated

Felix Hackenbruch

The spokeswoman for the airline explained: “to avoid any risk of delays on subsequent flights on the machine or connecting flights for our passengers, we can’t move our departure time freely to the rear. Therefore, we will not be able to wait a certain period of time, in addition to passengers who are on time at the Gate – for example, due to waiting times at the security check.” This, in turn, is in contradiction to the statement by the flight captain. The announced from the Cockpit, he had to wait on the passengers, whose task was to Luggage on the plane. This, again, to unload, would have lasted longer. Compensation to Austrian rejects.