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What are your rights if your trip is delayed or cancelled in Austria?

The Local Austria
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What are your rights if your trip is delayed or cancelled in Austria?
A Nighjet train from Vienna (Austria) to Venice (Italy) of the Austrian Federal Railways (OeBB). You can use the day coach on Nightjet trains on Austria's KlimaTicket, and pay an extra fee to reserve a sleeper.(Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Delays and cancellations can happen when you're travelling by train or plane in Austria - especially during strikes. Here's a look at your rights.


What happens if my train is delayed or cancelled?

In general, if you are affected by train delays or cancellations you have rights in Austria. 

You are entitled to receive 25 percent of the one way fare of your ÖBB ticket for delays starting from 60 minutes and 50 percent for delays starting from 120 minutes.

A view of Vienna main station.

A view of Vienna main station. Photo by Lukas S on Unsplash

However, if you use only suburban and regional transport services (Regionalzug, Regional-Express, Cityjet Xpress or S-Bahn in the timetables) and do not have a ticket that also includes main-line services, there is no entitlement for compensation in case of any delay.

According to ÖBB, if your train is cancelled or delayed by more than an hour, you have the following options:

  • You can choose not to start your journey at the place of departure and ÖBB will refund the full fare
  • You can travel on another of the rail operator's trains, if necessary via another route or with another type of transport service, if that transport service is included in your ticket
  • You can end your journey earlier and the operator will refund you the fare for the route not yet travelled
  • If the journey you started has become too complicated, you can immediately return on another of the trains or, if necessary with another type of transport service (if it's included in your ticket) to the place of departure and ÖBB will refund you the full fare.

What happens if my flight is delayed or cancelled?

First of all, EU air passenger rights apply to you if your flight is within the EU or Schengen zone (Austria is in the Schengen zone), if it arrives in the EU/Schengen zone from outside the bloc and is operated by an EU-based airline, or if it departs from the EU/ Schengen zone.

Additionally, the EU rights apply only if you have not already received benefits (including compensation, re-routing, and assistance from the airline) for this journey under the law of a non-EU country.

In case of cancellation, you have the right to choose between getting your money back, getting the next available flight, or changing the booking completely for a later date. You are also entitled to assistance free of charge, including refreshments, food, accommodation (if you are rebooked to travel the next day), transport, and communication (two telephone calls, for example). This is regardless of the reasons for cancellation.

(Image by Robert Laible from Pixabay)

If you were informed of the cancellation less than 14 days before the scheduled departure date, you also have a right to compensation, except if the cancellation was due to "extraordinary circumstances" (that usually includes strikes). 


You may also be entitled to compensation. In general, your rights and compensation will depend on the duration of the delay and the distance of the flight.

If an airline expects that your flight will be delayed beyond the scheduled departure time, you are entitled to meals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time. It starts at two hours for shorter flights (distance of 1,500 km or less), three hours or more for longer flights and a delay of four hours for all other flights.

You should make yourself known to the airline so that they can provide you with the necessary vouchers and information.


If you arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than three hours, you are entitled to compensation unless the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances.

The compensation will be €250 for short flights, €400 for longer flights and up to €600 for flights covering more than 3,500 kilometres.

It can get tricky to understand your rights when most of the things you are entitled to depend on whether or not the cancellations and delays were due to extraordinary circumstances.

According to the EU, examples of events defined as extraordinary circumstances are "air traffic management decisions, political instability, adverse weather conditions and security risks".

What about compensation for delayed flights due to strikes?

Workers' strikes - which we are seeing many of at the moment - may be considered "extraordinary circumstances" so passengers won't normally be eligible for compensation.

The website writes: "In this case (strikes) airlines are under no obligation to pay out compensation to customers. Strikes, whether they be carried out by the airport staff or the airline staff, fall under this category and as such passengers should not expect to have a valid claim."


However there are some exceptions.

For example "if your flight does not fall within the immediate strike period, but is cancelled due to the impact of the strike, it is worth checking your entitlement to compensation," explains

"For example: if all flights are taking off and landing on schedule again after the strike, but you are denied boarding, then there is a good chance that the airline will have given your seat to a passenger who was directly affected by the strike. This means that the airline would be denying you the right to board against your will, which could entitle you to compensation."

​​If the airline does not provide a satisfactory explanation, you can contact your national authority for further assistance.


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