Overbooked Passengers Ask German Airline To Pay €25,000 For Private Jet

Two passengers that were flying from Düsseldorf to Palma de Mallorca are seeking €25,000 from a German carrier after their flight was overbooked. The pair’s legal representative this week shared that the travelers are looking to cover the costs of a private jet that they hired to ensure that they reached their appointment in the Balearic Islands on time.

Gulfstream private jet silhouette
It must have certainly been a critical deadline if the passengers took a private jet. Photo: Getty Images

A crucial trip

View From The Wing reports on details shared by a lawyer representing the two passengers that are filing a lawsuit against the airline. Dr. Matthias Böse, a commercial legal protection specialist, said that the pair had an important appointment in Mallorca the day after the flight.

Ultimately, the customers arrived at the airport on time. However, they were informed that the flight was overbooked and were handed a standby boarding pass. The airline allegedly did not take the urgency of their engagement into account. Additionally, employees missed an opportunity to change the booking to an alternative service with another operator that was departing shortly after the flight in question.

Furthermore, as the passengers waited are the gate nervously, they didn’t notice any calls for volunteers to give up their seats. Böse highlights that this move is a requirement as per the European Union passenger rights ordinance. A callout would have likely led to leisure travelers giving up their seats to receive €250 in compensation, along with food and a hotel for the night.

Dusseldorf airport sign
Düsseldorf is the third busiest German airport by passenger numbers. Photo: Getty Images

No luck

Subsequently, once the boarding process was complete, only a single seat was available, which was not sufficient for the pair. By this time, the alternative flight had already departed. This left no way for the travellers to reach their destination on time with another scheduled operation.

So, with all remaining commercial options out of the question, the passengers made inquiries about how they could still make it to their appointment on time. The solution was to charter a plane at a price of approximately €25,000. However, the carrier refused to reimburse the charge out of court. Therefore, the customers have filed a lawsuit.

Getty passenger
There were frustrations that there were no requests for volunteers to give up their seats. Photo: Getty Images

Could the trouble have been avoided?

Böse emphasizes that his clients pointed out the urgency of their trip to the airline, and it missed several opportunities to get them there on time. Overall, the passengers feel that there were no efforts from the company to avoid the damage.

Passengers in the European Union do have some of the most robust protections when it comes to air travel. The EU261 regulation frequently provides monetary compensation for travelers when there are boarding denials, delays, and cancellations. However, it’s rather unusual for passengers to claim for the reimbursement of a private jet under this law.

What are your thoughts about the passengers seeking €25,000 to cover the cost of their private jet? Do you feel that the airline should pay this fee? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.