Did you know that when you take a plane from an airport in the EU with any carrier or when you arrive in the EU on a flight operated by a carrier registered in the EU - or in Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, you are protected by EU law?
If things go wrong in relation to your flight you may be entitled to some rights.
Right to reimbursement or rerouting
If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelled or overbooked, you have the right to choose between being rerouted to your final destination, under comparable transport conditions, or having your non used ticket reimbursed and, where relevant, a return service to your first point of departure.
You also have the right of reimbursement of your non used ticket if you face a long delay of flight of 5 hours or more.
If you request reimbursement of your ticket, you give up the right to any further onward travel, assistance or re-routing from the airline company.
Your airline should always inform you about your rights and the reason for any denied boarding, cancellation, or long delay (more than 2 hours and depending on the distance of the flight).
Right to care
You may also be entitled to refreshments, meals, communications (such as a free phone call), and, if necessary, overnight stay, depending on the flight distance and the length of delay.
Right to compensation
In addition, if you are denied boarding, your flight is cancelled or arrives at its destination more than 3 hours late, you may be entitled to compensation of 250 - 600 euros, depending on the distance of the flight.
If the carrier offered you an alternative flight with a similar schedule, the compensation may be reduced by 50%.
Flights within the EU:
■1 500 km or less: 250 euros
■More than 1 500 km: 400 euros
Flights between an EU airport and a non-EU airport:
■1 500 km or less: 250 euros
■1 500 - 3 500 km: 400 euros
■More than 3 500 km: 600 euros
The distance is calculated from the airport where you were unable to board the plane, which may not be where you started your journey.
You will not receive compensation if the cancellation of your flight:
■was due to extraordinary circumstances.
■you were informed of the cancellation 2 weeks before the scheduled flight date.
Under extraordinary circumstances you may not have the right to compensation, but the carrier must offer you the choice between the reimbursement of your ticket (in full or for the part that you have not used), rerouting to the final destination at the earliest opportunity or rebooking at a later date at your choice (subject to availability of seats). Even under extraordinary circumstances, air carriers are obliged to provide assistance when necessary, while you are waiting for re-routing.
How to get reimbursement or compensation
Submit an air passenger rights EU complaint form to your airline if the air carrier does not provide you with its own complaint form. Keep a copy.
If the airline does not answer, or if you are not satisfied with the reply, you can complain to the national enforcement body in the EU country where the incident took place. Or, if the incident happened at an airport of departure outside of the EU with an EU carrier, you can lodge a complaint in the EU Member State of destination to the relevant national enforcement body.
Lost or damaged registered luggage
If your registered luggage is lost, damaged or delayed you may be entitled to compensation from the airline limited to about 1 220 euros, except when the damage is caused by an inherent defect, quality or vice of the baggage. In case of hand baggage, including personal items, the carrier is liable if the damage resulted from its fault.
Make sure to file your claim within 7 days of receiving your luggage (or 21 days if your luggage was delayed).
If you wish to pursue other legal action, you must do so within 2 years of the date your luggage arrives.
You might be able to obtain a liability limit higher than 1 223 euros by making a special declaration to the airline, at the time of check-in at the latest; this will cost you extra. If you are going to travel with expensive items, you are strongly advised to take out private travel insurance.
There is no standard form for the special declaration. It is up to the airlines to choose the type of form that they have to provide.
Online price transparency
When you book a flight online, the total price of the ticket - including all compulsory elements of the price such as the fare, taxes and charges - must be visible from the start, enabling you to compare prices across airlines and make an informed choice. In addition to the indication of the final price, a display of at least the following must be presented to you: air fare; taxes; airport charges; and other charges, surcharges or fees, such as those related to security or fuel. Any optional supplements must be clearly indicated and proposed to you on an opt-in basis.
How to report a violation of your price transparency right?
Submit a complaint to the National Enforcement body, or email firstname.lastname@example.org