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Meet Jana Kratochvílová: one of the Faces of the European Year of Citizens 2013 in Czech Republic!

“Take interest in your rights brought by the membership in the European Union. Otherwise you could lose interesting advantages, which follow from these rights. Not everybody will point out to your rights to you.” - Jana Kratochvílová, PR Manager



I didn’t have any idea that our country being a European Union member state has an impact on everyday situations. I think many other people in the Czech Republic do not know this at all, especially that there are certain advantages that would help them to cope with different kinds of problems. I believe that I am not the only one, to whom something similar happened. Thanks to the following experience, I discovered that it is good to take interest in these advantages and rights.

My husband and I wanted to prolong the summer, so we decided last September to book a long weekend to sunny Venice. We bought plane tickets, booked a room in a hotel and couldn’t wait to feel the salty sea breeze. On our departure date we arrived at the airport far in advance of our flight and queued at the check-in. The queue was quite long, almost to the entrance, but we didn’t want to become discouraged by this. Unfortunately, with the time running out and the queue still being the same length as it had been, our nervousness grew. Will we actually be able to catch the plane? At the time when we started to share our concerns, we heard a lady from the airplane operator searching for travellers to Venice. We felt immediate relief. We thought this lady must be kindly wanting to usher us to the check-in desk as a matter of priority…

To our surprise, the flight attendant took us to a totally different side desk, where we were served by her colleague. She asked us for our names, called somebody and mentioned to him on the phone that they finally got us. We were confused and it seemed to us that such situations happen only in movies.

Indeed, the truth was not much far from this. The situation was that the airplane was already full and there was only one seat available. We ensured the lady that I would not certainly sit on my husband’s lap. However, the stewardess dispelled our fears immediately explaining that overbooking of the flight is a mistake of the airplane operator and because we were at the airport on time, they are obliged to offer us an alternative flight – and also compensation (the amount dependent on EU legislation)!

The shock disappeared completely on the plane, after we had filled in all necessary forms for the compensation arrangements, we couldn’t resist the wonderful feeling that our holiday started not according to plan, but that the result was more than perfect. Thanks to the flight change, we had a bird’s eye view of Munich, the delay was insignificant and we received sufficient compensation!

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