EU Air Passenger Rights
Of the multitude of air passengers that travel every year from and to Europe, many travelers do not realize that The European Union has established certain air passenger rights that can protect them while in transit.
An EU flight regulations requires that all the European regulated airlines have to provide compensation to the passengers who suffer from any difficulty while traveling. Compensation may be awarded to any passengers who have suffered due to over-bookings, delays, or cancellation of their flight.
This law is applicable to all the flights that are either flying from a country within the EU or, conversely, flying to an EU country. It is also important here to note that the nationality of the airline is irrelevant when it comes to the regulations and remuneration rights, meaning you are protected even if flying from Boston, Perth, or Singapore, for example.
If you are traveling within the EU with a non-EU airline, they still have to operate under the same requirements as standard EU airlines.
For ease as well as to protect the rights of the passengers, there are certain rights offered by the European Union. Following are the rights for the delay of the flights.
Passenger Rights due to Flight Delays
For flight delays over 2 hours
For airport departure delays lasting 2 hours or more, the airline needs to offer the following assistance to all the passengers. Further, this help is under the “Rights to Care” to the passengers and includes:
- Free meals and refreshments.
- Two phone calls and fax or emails
- Hotel accommodation as well as transfer facility (Transport between the airport and hotel will also be provided by the airline, or alternatively reimbursed)
For flight delays over 3 hours
If your flight gets delayed for more than three hours, whether you miss your connecting flight or not, then you have the right to claim up to $700 from the airlines. Further, the fault for the delay must be on the side of the airlines in which you are traveling.
However, it should go without saying that you cannot make a claim if the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances like bad weather or a Tsunami because it is not under the control of the airlines.
For flight delays over 5 hours
If you are not willing to travel if the flight gets delayed for over 5 hours, you may ask for a refund of the cost of the ticket. Along with it, you will also receive a free return flight to the first point of departure. But, in case you have not arrived at your destination, you are not eligible for any compensation.
Moreover, the amount of the refund needs to be credited within seven working days. You will receive the refund amount either through cash, check, or bank transfers.
Flight Cancellation Compensation
If a passenger experiences a canceled flight or is denied boarding (getting bumped from a flight) due to an overbooked plane, they are entitled to financial reimbursement by EU law. The amount of compensation that a passenger may be awarded depends on the length of the delay, the distance that they are traveling, and which destinations they are flying between.
For example, if the customer is flying between two EU airports will be entitled to as much as EUR250 for a journey less than 1500 kilometers. Further, those passengers who are traveling more than this distance will get a reimbursement up to EUR400.
For any customer flying between an EU airport and a non-EU airport, up to EUR250 will be provided for journeys less than 1500 kilometers. For the journeys for 1500Km to 3000km, up to EUR400. For over 3500km, you will get up to EUR600.
It is important here to note that you are eligible for financial compensation when the departure or the arrival of the plane is with an EU-registered airline.
Compensation for Overbooked Flight
If you suffer from involuntarily boarding because of the overbooking of the seats, you can claim compensation up to 600€ as per the EU rule. Under the EU law, you can claim for an overbooked flight only when:
- Your flight is departing from an EU airport
- or when the arrival airport is the member state of EU or an EU regulated airline
Flightright allows the passengers to calculate the exact amount of compensation that they will get if they have experienced any delays or cancellations. Engaging in legal disputes with airlines can make people feel vulnerable, intimidated due to a lack of knowledge about flying laws.
It is important to note that traveling between different locations within Europe allows you to have several passenger rights and privileges. Further, airlines need to both leave and arrive at the originally scheduled times.
In case you experience any problem before, during, or after a flight, it is worth making a formal inquiry. You will be entitled to some form of compensation for the same.