FAQ: Air Travel Consumer Rights in the EU
What information should an airline give me if flight is delayed/cancelled or if I am denied boarding?
The airline must provide you with written notice setting out the rules for assistance. In addition, a sign must be displayed at the check-in area referring to air passenger rights. For more information see www.flightrights.ie
What are my rights if my flight is delayed?
The airline must ensure that you get to your destination. If you are delayed at least two hours you may be entitled to free meals, refreshments, and overnight accommodation in reasonable relation to the waiting time. Where the flight delay is at least five hours, and you decide not to travel with that airline, you are entitled to reimbursement of the cost of ticket of journey which you have not undertaken. A recent European Court of Justice ruling extends the right to compensation to passengers whose flight is delayed for three hours or more.
What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?
Your rights depend on when the flight was cancelled. The airline is entitled to cancel the flight up to 14 days before departure. In this situation, you are entitled to be notified, and to a full refund of all money paid. If the airline cancels the flight without prior notification, you are entitled to reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket for the parts of the journey not made, or re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity. You are also entitled to free meals, refreshments, and overnight accommodation in reasonable relation to the waiting time. In certain circumstances, you may be entitled to further financial compensation.
What are my rights if I’m denied boarding to the plane?
Where a flight is overbooked and an airline reasonably expects to deny boarding it will first call for volunteers in exchange for benefits to be agreed between the airline an the passenger. If there is an insufficient number of volunteers, the airline may deny boarding to passengers against your will. You are entitled to reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket for the parts of the journey not made, or re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity. You are also entitled to free meals, refreshments, and overnight accommodation in reasonable relation to the waiting time.
What precautions should I take if I am travelling with valuable goods?
You should carry valuable items in your hand luggage if at all possible and ensure you have adequate travel insurance. It may also be advisable to make a ‘Special Declaration of Interest’ at the airport i.e. for a fee; you can declare to the airline that you are checking in goods of a particular value. You will have the right to higher compensation amount than normal in this case if something goes wrong. You should keep all receipts.
What should I do if my luggage is delayed?
‘Delay’ means that your bag eventually arrives within 21 days of your arrival. Under the Montreal Convention, you are entitled to compensation up to a maximum of approx €1,300. While still at the airport, you should complete a PIR (Passenger Regularity Report), available from the airline, outlining the non-arrival of your luggage; this means that the airline has a record of your complaint. You should also keep a copy. If the luggage arrives within three weeks of arrival i.e. it is delayed, you should write to the airline within 21 days, seeking compensation for the delay. This deadline is very important as claims lodged with the airline after this time are generally not considered.
How is compensation for delay/damage/loss calculated?
The maximum amount of compensation (approx €1,300) is not automatically payable; it is for the consumer to prove the extent of their loss, which can of course be difficult. Airlines differ in their approach to calculating compensation within this maximum limit. Some will insist on receipts, others calculate by the checked-in weight of the luggage
Do airports/airlines have obligations towards people travelling with a disability?
Since July 2008, airlines must provide people with a disability, or with reduced mobility, with assistance free of charge if required e.g. to carry guide dogs or wheelchairs in the cabin of the plane. Airports, for their part, are obliged to provide designated ‘assistance points’ both inside and outside the terminal building. They must also provide assistance free of charge e.g. help with movement between check-in and departure gate or embarkation. For further information, see http://www.flightrights.ie/your-rights/reduced-mobility.54.html
I can’t use my booked flight as planned. Am I entitled to a refund of taxes/charges?
This will depend on the terms and conditions of the airline in question. You may be entitled to a refund of government taxes; check with the airline. You will generally have to pay an ‘administration fee’ however which may be more than the amount due.Return to top