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Airline Ranking 2023: These are the winners and the losers among the airlines

Not only does Germany perform poorly in the European airport delay rankings, but German airlines also stand out with delays and flight cancellations.

This is evident in the latest report from Flightright for the first half of 2023. The flight passenger rights portal highlights the leading airlines in terms of punctuality issues and flight cancellations.

Cancellation champions: 3 German airlines among the top 5

After Germany had already topped the cancellation rankings, German airlines are following up on this inglorious success: Among the five airlines with the highest percentage of flight cancellations, three come from Germany and all belong to the Lufthansa Group: Lufthansa CityLine, Eurowings and Lufthansa. The German airlines are surpassed in the cancellation rate only by British Airways, which cancelled more than 3.3 per cent of its departures. It is remarkable that the so-called low-cost airlines have been better than their reputation in this respect for a long time. In particular, easyJet (1.8 per cent) and Ryanair (0.6 per cent) cancelled significantly fewer flights in the first half of 2023 than the major airlines Lufthansa, British Airways and Air France.

Claudia Brosche, expert at Flightright, classifies the results and explains what rights air travellers have in case of flight problems. "After a chaotic flight year in 2022, air travellers had hoped for a significant improvement in the situation at German airports. However, a look at the data analyses of the last few months shows that air travellers have to struggle with long waiting times and flight cancellations this year as well. Although some of the cancellations are due to strikes at German airports - in particular a large number of Eurowings flights can be traced back to these strikes - it is also clear that internal airline processes are not yet running as they should.

 AIRLINES Stornierungen Verspaetungen Fluggesellschaften EN

The significant staff shortage also plays a major role in this. Airlines should focus more on solving these problems in order to offer passengers the service they deserve, instead of promising improvement and ultimately disappointing passengers again," says Claudia Brosche, passenger rights expert at Flightright.

20 percent of all flights are delayed

Air travellers should have a lot of patience in their luggage this year. Approximately 20 percent of all flights were delayed in the first six months of this year. The undisputed leader among the unpunctual airlines is British Airways: 37 per cent of all flights of the British airline started late. In contrast, passengers of Eurowings were able to enjoy punctual take-offs and landings. The airline, which belongs to the Lufthansa Group, was unpunctual in only 2.6 percent of all cases.

 AIRLINES Stornierungen Verspaetungen Fluggesellschaften 2 EN

German airlines pay compensation at different rates

Under EU law, air travellers are entitled to compensation of between 250 and 600 euros if they arrive at their destination more than three hours late or if their flight is cancelled less than 14 days before departure.

Claudia Brosche adds: "The amount of compensation is independent of the ticket price and is based on the Air Passenger Rights Regulation. Travellers do not suffer any disadvantages as a result of claiming compensation. Unfortunately, many still do not know about their right to compensation.

The traffic light chart lists the payment behaviour of European airlines that had to pay compensation to Flightright in the first half of 2023. The payment behaviour of the airlines can be divided into three categories: The justifiable payers, the slow payers and the payment refusers.

It is striking that the payment behaviour of German airlines varies greatly. While Eurowings shows good payment behaviour, Lufthansa and Condor are only in the midfield. This puts the German airlines almost on a par with low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, which pay in more cases in percentage terms, but more slowly than Lufthansa. "When air travellers are affected by extreme delays or flight cancellations, it can ruin the entire travel planning. It is therefore all the more important that airlines pay the legally stipulated compensation quickly and reliably. Flightright sees a clear need for improvement especially with Lufthansa - it was one of the payment refusers last year and only just made it into the group of slow payers," Brosche continues.

Flightright has pushed through tens of millions in compensation payments in the first half of 2023. A mid-range, double-digit million amount is still outstanding. Since its foundation in 2010, Flightright has already been able to enforce more than 460 million euros in compensation payments worldwide.

Enforcement of significantly higher replacement ticket costs saves holidays

"Many air travellers do not know their rights. For example, many are not aware that in the event of a flight cancellation they can buy a ticket on their own and have the new ticket costs reimbursed by the airline if it does not offer an alternative. We understand passengers' anger about airlines and shattered holiday dreams all too well, and by enforcing the cost of the new, significantly more expensive ticket, we give them back the security of a relaxed summer holiday," Brosche concludes. The Flightright ticket refund service helps with flight cancellations without replacement, so that air travellers are not left stranded with the much higher costs of a replacement flight booked at short notice. Those affected can simply enter the old and new ticket price as well as other case data via and claim their refund in a straightforward manner.

This article is from the 3/2023 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.