Cancellation: Information obligation of airline

Consumers who booked a flight via an online travel agency sometimes tell us about the following situation:


The flight got cancelled long before its planned departure. The airline informed the travel agency more than 14 days in advance. However, the agency did not - or only last-minute - forward the information to the consumer.


Who is responsible?


Is the passenger entitled to compensation for the cancellation? It is crucial whether he was informed more or less than 14 days in advance.


Up until now, the airline often made the travel agency responsible as it didn't forward the information about the cancellation to the passenger and therefore refuses to pay compensation. In the context of a legal procedure in the Netherlands, a court now asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to clarify who is responsible for the wrongdoing of a third party, like an (online) travel agency. 


Verdict of the ECJ


The ECJ decided that the crucial question is, when the passenger got informed. It is the obligation of the airline to submit the information about the cancellation.


The airline has to pay compensation, even if it informed the travel agency or another third party on time. However, the airline has the right to seek compensation from its contract partners, e.g. the travel agency, who caused the airline to fail to fulfil its obligations.


Read the press release about the ECJ's judgment in case C-302/16 under this link or by clicking on the symbol below.


Find out more about your rights in case of cancellation, delay or denied boarding in our article.


Tip: Use our free sample letters to enforce your claims against the airline!