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The European Union Single Market for air travel greatly benefits air passengers by improving the quality of air carrier services and giving passengers a wider choice of airlines and flight options. Moreover, where air passengers face long delays or flight cancellations, experience difficulties in retrieving their luggage or are not happy with the quality of service provided by airlines, enhanced consumer protections are in place. 

EU* Air Passenger Rights

These apply when:

  • Your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • Your flight arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline
  • Your flight departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • You have not already received benefits (compensation, re-routing, assistance from the airline) for flight related problems for this journey under the relevant law of a non-EU country.
EU means the 27 EU countries (including Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands) as well as IcelandNorway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It does not include the Faeroe Islands, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

When booking a flight it is important to review, understand and agree to all charges included in the airfare price. It is advisable that air passengers always check the Terms and Conditions or flight ticket agreements in order to become aware of relevant restrictions and procedures associated with the journey.

Should problems arise, such as a flight being cancelled or delayed for any reason, or you are denied boarding, you have significant entitlements and protections under the applicable European Union consumer rights legislation. The legislation covers: 

Your Air Passenger Rights

Flight delays, cancellations,denied boarding

If you depart from an EU airport, or arriving in the EU flying with an air carrier based in the EU,  UK, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, and your air journey is disrupted, you have significant rights and entitlements under EU law.

Regulation (EC) 261/2004 established common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers, which air carriers are obliged to comply with in the event of flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding.  Accordingly, you have the right to be informed of the circumstances of your journey in a timely manner before, during and after the travel and about your entitlements in case of disruption. Depending on the situation you may be entitled to receive assistance, be offered the option of continuing your trip or seeking a refund of your ticket.

The air carrier shall ensure that at check-in a clearly legible notice containing the following text is displayed in a manner clearly visible to passengers: “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.” In addition, an airline denying boarding or cancelling a flight should provide each passenger with a written notice setting out the rules for compensation and assistance. It should also provide each passenger affected by a delay of at least two hours with an equivalent notice.

Read about your air travel consumer rights in more detail here: 

Read a quick overview of your air travel entitlements here: Flight Rights Calculator.

Lost, delayed or damaged luggage

Under the Montreal Convention, you can claim compensation of up to 1,288 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) if your checked baggage fails to arrive on time or is damaged. Although, air carriers differ in their approach to offering compensation, you may be required to prove the extent of the loss, e.g. with receipts or invoices. Click here to find out more about your rights for delayed or damaged luggage.

 

Air Fare Price Transparency

Applying full price transparency is an obligation under Air Services Regulation (Regulation 1008/2008/EC), which requires that the published price shall include the fare and all applicable taxes, charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication. Accordingly, if you book a flight online, the final price must be available from the initial page enabling you to compare prices across airlines and make an informed choice. In case of optional price supplements, they have to be indicated in a clear and transparent manner.

All passengers have the right to equal access to airfares without any discrimination based on their nationality or their place of residence.

 

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