Updated : 06/2012
Firstly, you may not be charged a higher price for a ticket because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.
Secondly, you also have rights in case things go wrong. This concerns delays, cancellations and overbooking that prevent you from boarding …
… and applies if you are:
If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelled or overbooked, you are entitled to either:
Long delays – if your flight is delayed by 5 hours or more, you are also entitled to a refund (But if you accept a refund, the airline does not have to provide any further onward travel or assistance).
Your airline must inform you about your rights and the reason for being denied boarding, or any cancellations or long delays (over 2 hours, although this may be up to 4 hours for flights in excess of 3500 Km).
You may also be entitled to refreshments, meals, communications (such as a free phone call), and, if necessary, overnight stay, depending on the flight distance and length of delay.
In addition, if you are denied boarding, your flight is cancelled or arrives more than 3 hours late on arrival at the final destination stated on your ticket, you may be entitled to compensation of €250 - 600, depending on the distance of the flight:
Within the EU
Between EU airport and non-EU airport
The distance is calculated from the airport where you were unable to board the plane – this may not be where you started your journey.
If the carrier offered you an alternative flight with a similar schedule, the compensation may be reduced by 50%.
With cancelled flights, you won't receive compensation if:
For cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances you may not have the right to compensation, the carrier must still offer you either:
Even in extraordinary circumstances, airlines must provide assistance when necessary, while you are waiting for alternative transport.
If this doesn't work, or you aren't satisfied with the reply, you can complain to the national enforcement body [222 KB] in the EU country where the incident took place.
Or, if the incident happened at an airport of departure outside the EU but involved an EU airline, you can send a complaint to the relevant national enforcement body [222 KB] in the EU country you were travelling to.
If your registered luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline, up to about €1,220
Exception – if damage is caused by an inherent defect in the baggage itself.
Hand baggage (including personal items)
The carrier is liable if it was responsible for the damage.
Make sure to file your claim within 7 days of receiving your luggage (or 21 days if your luggage was delayed).
If you wish to pursue other legal action, you must do so within 2 years of the date your luggage arrives.
If you are travelling with expensive items, you might be able – for a fee – to obtain a compensation limit higher than €1,223 by making a special advance declaration to the airline – at the latest when you check in. Though the best thing is really to take out private travel insurance.
There is no standard form for the special declaration. It is up to the airlines to choose the type of form they provide.
When you book a flight online, the total price of the ticket – including all compulsory elements such as taxes and charges – must be visible from the start, so you can compare prices across airlines and make an informed choice.
As well as the final price, at least the following information must be clearly displayed: air fare, taxes, airport charges, other charges, surcharges or fees (such as for security or fuel).
Any optional supplements must be clearly indicated and suggested on an opt-in basis only.
Complain to the national enforcement body [222 KB] in your country of residence in the EU.Still need help?
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