Air passengers | Do you know your rights?
“If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, ask at the check-in counter or boarding gate for the text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance”.
All operating air carriers are required to display at check-in the above text in a clearly legible notice according to Art. 14 of the Regulation EC 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.
What rights do you have in case of denied boarding (i.e. due to overbooking)?
Initially the airline should seek volunteers who would cede their place in exchange of certain benefits, such as catering (free meals and refreshments depending on the waiting time), hotel accommodation (if required), transportation between the airport and the hotel (if required), phone calls etc.
However, if the number of volunteers is insufficient, then the airline may be forced to deny boarding to some passengers against their will. However, these passengers are entitled to care and to a reimbursement i.e. refund of their ticket within seven (7) days or to re-routing i.e. a flight to their initial departure point or to their final destination point.
Are there any reasons for which boarding can be denied to passengers without any compensation or benefits?
Boarding may be denied for the following reasons without giving rights to compensation:
- Health reasons;
- Inadequate travel documentation;
- Passenger’s late arrival for the check-in.
What rights do you have in case of a long delay?
In the event of long delays (two hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight):
- passengers are entitled to care such as catering (i.e. free meals and refreshments depending on the waiting time), two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages or e-mail;
- in case the time of departure is postponed until the next day, passengers are entitled to hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation.
- Furthermore, the passengers may be entitled to compensation between 250 EUR and 600 EUR, unless they are informed in advance and/or it is proved that the airline is not responsible for the delay.
What rights do you have in case of a cancellation?
In case of a cancellation, the passenger is entitled to:
- Care (such as free meals and refreshments depending on the waiting time, accommodation, transportation between the airport and the accommodation place, two phone calls, fax, e-mails etc.
- Refund of their ticket within seven days for the part of the journey that has been cancelled or flight to their initial departure point or to their final destination point.
- Compensation between €250 and €600.
Please note that there are certain exemptions. Passengers are not entitled to compensation if:
- the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances (i.e. weather conditions etc.);
- the passengers have been informed at least two weeks before the flight date, or
- an alternative flight for the same route with a similar schedule to the original one was offered.
What compensation amount are you entitled to?
If you are denied boarding, your flight is delayed or cancelled, you may be entitled to compensation of EUR 250 – 600, depending on the distance of the flight:
Within the EU
- 1,500 km or less: EUR 250
- over 1,500 km: EUR 400
Between EU airport and non-EU airport
- 1,500 km or less: EUR 250
- 1,500 – 3,500 km: EUR 400
- over 3,500 km: EUR 600
How should you do in order to get the compensation?
You should follow the following steps:
- Submit an air passenger rights EU complaint form to your airline;
- If the issue is not resolved, then you can proceed with the submission of a complaint to the national enforcement body in the EU country where the incident took place or to the EU airport of your journey (i.e. point of destination) in case the incident took place in an airport outside of the EU.
What happens in case of lost or damaged luggage?
In case your checked-in luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation from the air operating carrier up to EUR 1 220 (approx.). This applies to you hand luggage, in case the airline is responsible for the damage.
However, in case the damage has been caused by a defect in the baggage itself, then you are not entitled to compensation.
- It is necessary to file your claim within seven days of receiving your luggage or twenty-one days if your luggage was delayed.
- If you consider to proceed with any other legal action, you have to do so within two years of the date your luggage arrives.
The above information is provided for general purposes only, for legal advice on a concrete case, we recommend that you contact us.