Air Passenger Rights

The compensation Right applies in case of:

  • Delays of more than three hours upon arrival,
  • Cancellations, unless if you were informed more than 14 days before,
  • Flight misconnections within the same booking
  • Refusal to board (unless the blame is yours)

According to the European Union’s air passenger rights:

  • If your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • If your flight arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline
  • If your flight departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline

Flight Delay

Flight delays happen. If you’ve been on a delayed flight, you may be able to claim up to $600 flight delay compensation under a European legislation called EC 261.

How much compensation should you get for flight delay?

For flights covered by EU law EC 261, any delay longer than three hours entitles you to financial compensation. The amount of delayed flight compensation you’re entitled to depends on a couple of factors, including how long you have been delayed, and the distance of your flight. This chart breaks it down:

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As ruling 261/04 failed to clearly address many points, it is usually accepted (tacitly or forced by posterior judgements) that:

For every 2 hours delay some beverage should be offered to passengers unless it delays the boarding itself.

  • In case of misconnection the delay is measured upon the final destination and compensation is due only if all flights belong to the same booking.
  • In such case, distance is measured between first and last airport (but many people consider the total of all legs should be used, other consider the actual flown path because the law says “flight distance”).
  • Time of arrival is the time of the first opening of an aircraft (passenger) door.
  • If diverted or rerouted to another airport the passenger must be offered land or air transport to the original destination airport.
  • Technical problems are not special circumstances outside the control of the airline.

There are some exceptions. Compensation is not due if:

  • The cancellation was informed to the passenger 2 weeks or more prior to the flight.
  • The passenger was informed between 1 and 2 weeks before and was offered alternative flight departing less than 2 hours earlier or arriving no more than 4 hours later compared to the original flight.
  • The passenger was informed less than 1 week before and the airline provides a flight leaving up to 1 hour earlier and arriving no more than 2 hours later.

Flight Cancellation

In case the flight is cancelled, passengers have both these rights:

Reimbursement of the ticket price corresponding to the part of the journey that was not journeyed, as well as the part already journeyed if the purpose of the flight is no longer possible or existent or; Free rerouting(not necessarily by air route) as soon as possible or at another time if the passenger prefers, either to the final destination or to the original airport of departure.

Compensation according to the flight distance:

Alternate Text

There are some exceptions. Compensation is not due if:

  • The cancellation was informed to the passenger 2 weeks or more prior to the flight.
  • The passenger was informed between 1 and 2 weeks before and was offered alternative flight departing less than 2 hours earlier or arriving no more than 4 hours later compared to the original flight.
  • The passenger was informed less than 1 week before and the airline provides a flight leaving up to 1 hour earlier and arriving no more than 2 hours later.

Flight Misconnections

Though not included in ruling 261/04 this situation was addressed and ruled by some Court decisions, being usually accepted that: When booking, it is the airline’s responsibility to allow enough time clearance between 2 flights booked together, so compensation is due even for delays in the 1st flight less than 3 hours, provided the passenger arrives more than 3 hours late after rerouting. In such case, after rerouting, the final arrival to the last airport is used to compute distance and time delay relative to the original flight, as if all flown flights were only one. Then all other rules (see above) about flight delay apply.

Boarding Denial

Some companies sell more tickets than seats available on the aircraft, in the statistical expectation that some passengers don’t show. Companies also reroute passengers from cancelled and overbooked flights to other flights possibly exceeding seat count, resulting in denial of board. In case of boarding denial, the passenger is entitled to compensation regardless of the cause. Usually airlines request voluntary passengers to cede their seats and take a later flight, possibly offering some hotel and/or food vouchers or other incentives. Their offer is probably inferior to the compensation that will then be renounced, so usually your better option is to refuse an agreement and contact us. Then you will have the compensation, plus the replacement flight, plus food and hotel until you reach your destination.