Spotlight on Air Passenger Rights in 2020
According to the results of a 2019 European Commission Eurobarometer survey on passenger rights in the European Union, only 43% of EU citizens who travelled by air, long-distance rail, coach, ship or ferry in the previous 12 months are aware of their passenger rights under EU law.
At the time, Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean stated that,
“The European Union is the only area in be better known and easier to understand and enforced. Our rules should also provide more legal certainty to passengers and the industry. This is why the Commission proposed to modernise air and rail passenger rights. We now need Council and the European Parliament to swiftly reach agreement on them to ensure that people travelling in the EU are effectively protected.”
European Consumer Centres Network (ECC Net) and Air Passenger Rights
Across the EU, Norway, the United Kingdom and Iceland, the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net) assists consumers with comprehensive information and expert advice about consumer entitlements within the Internal Market. Over 2020 to date the ECC Net centres have assisted 22,687 consumers in relation to their air passenger rights.
Learn more about your passenger rights and how the ECC Net can help here:
Air Passenger Rights and Covid-19
Both passengers and the European transport industry were severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. International travel restrictions and national and regional lockdowns made this sector one the most severely affected, with consequences on passenger rights affected by voluntary or imposed cancellations. Overall, the ECC Net received over of 25,000 consumer travel queries related to Covid-19.
The European Union, through the European Commission, issued and clarified its guidance on the applicable passenger rights regulations and corresponding obligations for carriers here. Read the FAQ on air passenger rights here.
You can read the updates on air travel rights from ECC Ireland here:
EU Air Passengers Legislation
Read about the applicable legislation and its most recent updates here:
- EU Regulation on air passenger rights
- European Commission Interpretative Guidelines on air passenger rights
- EU Regulation on common rules for the operation of air services
- EU Regulation on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage
National Regulator in Ireland
Each EU Member State designates a national regulator to monitor and enforce air passenger rights regulations. In Ireland, this is: The Commission for Aviation Regulation aviationreg.ie, which also has a dedicated air travel consumer rights website, available at: flightrights.ie.
What is covered under EU air passengers rights legislation?
Head over the to European Commission’s legislative section to find out more about your consumer rights if:
- Your flight was cancelled
- Your flight was delayed
- You were denied boarding
- Your flight was overbooked
- Your flight was upgraded or downgraded
- You missed your connecting flight
- Your luggage was lost, damaged or delayed
How to claim your air passenger rights
If you think your rights have not been respected, there are several forms of redress you can use, in this order:
- Complain to the airline
- Complain to national authorities
- Use Alternative Dispute Resolution Entities (ADR) / Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
- Going to court
Also read this Information notice on relevant EU consumer protection, marketing and data protection law applicable to claim agencies’ activities in relation to Regulation 261/2004 on air passenger rights.
Guidance from the Irish Government: Disruption to flights due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Get help and advice
Learn more about:
- Your passenger rights and how to complain
- Get help or advice from your country’s European consumer centre
- How to claim your air passenger rights here
- How to make an effective consumer complaint here
Before your travel
Travel in confidence by using the ECC Net travel app:
Get up-to-date information on EU countries Covid-19 related travel restrictions or re-openings here: reopen.europa.eu/en
Follow our air passenger rights updates on Twitter:
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All you need to know about your air passenger rights in the EU, from #flightdelays, #flightcancellations, air schedule disruptions and more:https://t.co/mzPM0tgzie#EUconsumerrights #consumerrights #flightrights #airtravel #EccNet #airpassengers pic.twitter.com/mchRNE206u
— European Consumer Centre Ireland (@eccireland) July 3, 2020