Passenger rights


** FILE ** In this Nov. 21, 2007 file photo, travelers line up to get their luggage in the Southwest Airlines baggage claim at the San Jose International airport in San Jose, Calif. It's time to think of the inside of your carry-on suitcase as real estate: Make the most of what you've got, keep it functional and make neatness count. The carry-on bag could be the solution to some of the summer travel season's likely woes, including checked baggage fees on American Airlines and possibly other carriers, but it also has the potential to cause headaches. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

If the luggage is lost, damaged or it is delayed, you may have the right to compensation. Even so, the airlines may not be considered responsible if they took all the reasonable measures for avoiding the prejudices or, if these measures were impossible to be taken. In case of damage to the luggage, you must file a complaint with the airline within seven days since the receipt of your luggage. In case of delayed luggage, this period is maximum 21 days.

2.Disabled persons / persons with reduced mobility

Wheelchair in airport

Under EU regulations, the disabled persons and /or with reduced mobility are protected against discrimination during reservation and boarding. They are also entitled to receive assistance at the airports (on departure, on arrival and in transit) and aboard the airplanes. In order to facilitate the provision of assistance, it is recommended to send a prior notification regarding your needs.

3.Denied boarding

When passengers are denied boarding, the airlines are obliged to first seek volunteers to give up their reservation in exchange for certain benefits. In addition, the air carrier must also offer the volunteers the choice between a full refund and re-routing.  You may be entitled to compensation depending on the distance of the flight and the delays experienced before being re-routed. Where volunteers choose re-routing, the airline must also provide assistance if necessary for example: food, access to telephone, hotel accommodation for one or more nights, as the case may be, and transport from the airport to the place of accommodation.

4.Flight cancellation

You may be entitled to an identical compensation to that offered when you are denied boarding, unless you were informed of the flight cancellation at least 14 days before the flight or you were re-routed at hours close to the initial flight schedule or if an airline may prove that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances. In addition, the airline must offer you the choice between

– reimbursement of your ticket within seven days;

– re-routing to your final destination under similar conditions;

– and, if necessary, care (phone call, refreshments, food, accommodation, transport to the place of accommodation).

5.Long delays

You are entitled to care by the airline (phone calls, refreshments, food, accommodation, transport to the place of accommodation), if the delay is:

  • – two hours or more for flights of maximum 1,500 km;
  • – three hours or more for the longer flights within the European Union or for other flights of between 1,500 and 3,500 km;
  • – four hours or more for the flights of over 3,500 km outside the European Union.

If the delay is more than five hours and you decide not to continue your journey, you are also entitled to have your ticket reimbursed and be flown back to where you originally started your journey. If you reach your final destination with a delay of three hours or more, you may be entitled to an identical compensation to that offered when your flight gets cancelled, unless the airline can prove that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances. Additionally, the airlines can be held liable for damages resulting from delays.

6.Identity of the airline

You must be informed in advance about which airline is operating your flight. Airlines found not to be safe are banned or restricted within the European Union.

Their list may be found at:

7.Package holidays

The organizers and retailers of package holidays are obliged to provide precise and complete information about booked package holidays. They are obliged to comply with the contractual terms and to protect the passengers in the event of insolvency. The tour operators must give accurate information on the holiday booked, to comply with the contractual obligations and to protect the passengers in case of the organizer’s insolvency.

8.Price transparency

According to EU legislation, when you purchase a ticket for flights departing from EU airports, the applicable conditions should be made clear to you. The final price to be paid should be indicated at all times and it should include the applicable air fare, as well as all applicable taxes, charges, additional charges and other fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication.  It should also show you the breakdown between the fare taxes and, finally, other fares, charges, additional charges, additional fares and fees. The optional price supplements should be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of any booking process, and your acceptance of them should be on an “op-in” basis.

9.What should you do if you believe your passenger rights have been infringed?

If you consider that your rights under air passenger rights legislation have been breached:

  • – You should first contact the airline of – for issues related to persons with reduced mobility – the airport.
  • – If you are not satisfied with their response, you can file a complaint with a National Enforcement Body (NEB).

NOTE: Complaints should in principle be filed in the country where the incident took place.

For more details, go to the website of the European Commission