What are our rights when we take a flight ?

This page presents briefly what are currently our rights of airplane passenger, as established by the European regulation. We do not present our rights established by the national regulation in a specific country.

Goal of this page is not to make a deep analysis of these rights, but to give a short presentation, in the wide panorama of regulation applied to sustainable mobility, so everyone can better understand their rights. Looking for more details ?

Looking for help to implement your rights in a specific situation ? Get in contact with a consumers association in your country.

Sources : Fnaut, Air travellers group Belgium, Wikipedia http://openclipart.org/image/800px/svg_to_png/26849/johnny_automatic_scales_of_justice.png

1. General rights

  • Delay : if delay > 3h : compensation from 125€ to 600€ (depending on flight distance). But no compensation if delay is due to an external reason (as exceptionally bad weather). If delay > 5h : right to full ticket refund. Source : Regulation 261/2004 (art. 6 and 7), jurisprudence of Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • Flight cancelled : right to refund, or to travel another day at not additional cost. Compensation from 125€ to 400€ (depending if less or more than 1500km flight, and if alternatives are proposed), but no compensation if cancellation is due to external reason (as exceptionally bad weather). Source : Regulation 261/2004 (art. 6 and 7), jurisprudence of Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • Assistance : if > 2h delay : meals and refreshments to the delay, 2 free calls or mail, and accomodation (hotel), if necessary. Source : Regulation 261/2004, art 9.
  • Information : inform passengers on their rights, and how to get compensation. This information must be provided in case of flight cancellation or flight delay > 2 hours. Source : Regulation 261/2004, art 14.
  • Luggage lost : Reclaiming procedure : fill in the form PIR (Property Irregularity Report) at the “Lost & Found” desk of the arrival airport. After 21 days, if no luggage found : written registered claim to the air company > Refund of the luggage on the basis of the value estimated of the luggage. If no answer after 6 weeks : contact the public organism responsible for civil aviation in the land of departure. See list below. Source : Charter of passengers' rights, Art. 6.1.1/2.
  • Distances : they are measured using the method of “great circles”, as here.

2. Specific situations with Easyjet

Delays : if > 1 hour but < 5 hours: you can flight another day for the same destination, within 7 days, without added costs. Or get a voucher for the value of the flight not used, inclusive return (if purchased), valid 6 monthes. Refund procedure (flight cancelled):

Passengers assistance :

  • If delay > 2 hours (> 3 hours for flights over 1500km): free voucher for a snack
  • Longer delays (as overnight) : hotel, refund of transportation airport to/from hotel, flight refund, or according to case, return flight at the first possible date.

3. Specific situations with Ryanair

If delay > 3 hours or flight cancelled : Refund, if there are no alternatives. Plus : Compensation : 250€ (400€ if flight distance > 1500km) (But compensation reduced by 50% if Ryanair proposes an alternative that makes passenger arrive no more than 2 hours after planned arrival time (3 hours for flights > 1500km). Source: http://www.ryanair.com/en/questions/what-happens-if-my-flight-is-schedule-changed-by-ryanair and http://www.ryanair.com/en/terms-and-conditions#article9-cancellationanddelays Flight cancelled (or delay > 5 hours, and passengers prefers not to travel): Refund within 7 days after refund request, inclusive return refund (if purchased) Or : flight at the next possible date, or at another date chosen by the passenger (if seats available) Attention! No refund or compensations if :

  • Problem is due to an external cause (as exceptionally bad weather).
  • Passengers are informed minimum 2 weeks before flight
  • Passengers are informed minimum 1 week before flight, and they receive an alternative that makes passengers departure less than 2 hours before and arrive less than 4 hours after planned times
  • Passengers are informed less than 1 week before flight, and they receive an alternative that makes passengers departure less than 1 hour and arrive less than 2 hours after planned times ##

Source : http://www.ryanair.com/doc/faqs/eu261-ie.pdf, "Flight cancellation". Flight refund form : http://www.ryanair.com/en/questions/contacting-customer-service > refunds Passengers assistance : Delay > 2 hours (3 hours for flights > 1500km), or cancelled flight : voucher for a snack, 2 free calls (telephone or mail), hotel (if necessary), including transportation airport to/from hotel. Ryanair payment modalities for refunds and compensations : Check or Ryanair voucher Flights inside Europe :

  • up to 1500 km: 250 euro
  • after 1500km : 400 euro

Lost luggage Ryanair on-line form : http://www.ryanairbaggage.com (informal procedure that still may be completed by PIR form).

4. National aviation authorities

In case of problem with an air operator, they become your interlocutor.

  • Austria : Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology : Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie http://www.bmvit.gv.at
  • Belgium : Federal administration for Mobility and Transport : Service public fédéral Mobilité et Transports / Federale overheidsdienst Mobiliteit en Vervoer : http://www.mobilit.fgov.be
  • Bulgaria : Directorate General Civil Aviation Administration : Главна дирекция "Гражданска въздухоплавателна администрация" http://www.caa.bg/
  • Croatia : Croatian Civil Aviation Agency : Hrvatska agencija za civilno zrakoplovstvo http://www.ccaa.hr
  • Cyprus : Department of Civil Aviation of Cyprus : Τμήμα Πολιτικής Αεροπορίας http://www.mcw.gov.cy
  • Czech Republic : Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic : Úřad pro civilní letectví Česká republika http://www.caa.cz
  • Denmark : Civil Aviation Authority Denmark : Statens Luftfartsvæsen http://www.slv.dk
  • Estonia : Estonian Civil Aviation Administration : Lennuamet http://www.ecaa.ee
  • Finland : Finnish Transport Safety Agency http://www.trafi.fi
  • France : Directorate General for Civil Aviation Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile : http://www.aviation-civile.gouv.fr
  • Germany : Luftfahrt-Bundesamt : http://www.lba.de
  • Greece : Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority : Υπηρεσία Πολιτικής Αεροπορίας : http://www.hcaa.gr
  • Ireland : Irish Aviation Authority : http://www.iaa.ie
  • Italy : Italian Civil Aviation Authority : Ente nazionale per l'aviazione civile : http://www.enac.gov.it
  • Latvia : Civil Aviation Agency of Latvia : Civilās aviācijas aģentūra http://www.caa.lv
  • Lithuania : Civil Aviation Administration of Lithuania : Civilinės aviacijos administracija http://www.caa.lt
  • Luxembourg : Directorate of Civil Aviation of Luxembourg : Direction de l’Aviation Civile http://www.dac.public.lu
  • Malta : Department of Civil Aviation of Malta : Dipartiment ta' l-Avjazzjoni Ċivili http://www.dca.gov.mt
  • Netherlands : Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate : Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT) http://www.ilent.nl/onderwerpen/transport/luchtvaart/
  • Poland : Civil Aviation Office : Urząd Lotnictwa Cywilnego http://www.ulc.gov.pl
  • Portugal : National Institute of Civil Aviation of Portugal : Instituto Nacional de Aviação Civil, I.P. http://www.inac.pt
  • Romania : Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority : Autorităţea Aeronautică Civilă Română http://www.caa.ro
  • Slovakia : Civil Aviation Authority of the Slovakia : Republic Letecký úrad Slovenskej republiky http://www.caa.sk
  • Slovenia : Civil Aviation Directorate of Slovenia : Direktorat za civilno letalstvo http://www.mzp.gov.si
  • Sweden : Swedish Transport Agency : Transportstyrelsen : http://www.transportstyrelsen.se/
  • United Kingdom : Civil Aviation Authority : http://www.caa.co.uk