Passenger rights

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Get compensation if flights or train journeys are delayed, and get help in any EU country’s embassy abroad


I’ve arrived at the station to find that my train has been delayed by at least an hour – what do I do now? Well, it’s not all bad news – in cases like this, EU rules mean that I could be entitled to either an immediate refund if I cancel my travel plans, or alternative transport at the earliest opportunity if not. If it’s a long wait, I might also be entitled to some refreshments to keep me going.


It may not be the fastest method of transport, but bus travel can help me to discover places off the beaten track. What’s more, operators are not allowed to charge me a higher price because of my nationality or the country I’m purchasing my ticket from. So whether I buy a ticket in Dublin or Dubrovnik, bus travel remains an affordable way to see Europe.


Stuck in the airport waiting for a delayed flight? I may have to postpone topping up my vitamin D, but I could be entitled to assistance, reimbursement or a return flight in the meantime. And if my flight arrives at its destination more than 3 hours late, then in certain circumstances I may be eligible for €250, €400, or €600 compensation, based on the length of the route.


If my journey is postponed until the next day, EU rules require the transport provider to provide me with a hotel, food and drink. So no need to worry about napping at the airport or train station – I can travel the following day instead, feeling rested and refreshed.


My plane’s not going anywhere – but I still can! If my flight is cancelled, the EU may require the airline to reimburse me the price of my ticket or another flight with no additional costs. I can also travel via a different airport – or if I’m halfway through my journey, I can catch a flight back to my original airport to take off another day.


It’s the holiday of a lifetime until…my wallet and passport are stolen. And to make things worse, my country doesn’t have an embassy in this part of the world. But as a citizen of the EU, I’m entitled to help from any EU embassy or consulate if my own country isn’t represented. Wherever I am in the world, my EU citizenship means I can get support quickly and without hassle.

How it works

EU rules protect my rights in the event of delays or cancellations I might experience when travelling. Whether I choose to travel by plane, train, boat, or bus, I’m entitled to fair treatment – which includes compensation, reimbursements, rescheduling or hotel accommodation. This doesn’t apply when disruption is caused by extraordinary circumstances – such as an air traffic controllers’ strike, political instability, security risks or extreme weather. However, it does mean that for other delays, my rights are protected when I’m travelling from, within or to the EU using an EU airline. Being an EU citizen also means that, if I ever need protection or assistance abroad, and my country doesn’t have an embassy or consulate where I am, I can go to another EU country’s embassy for help.

    Did you know?

    392 billion km


    The total distance travelled by passengers on national rail networks in the EU in 2015.



    The maximum amount of compensation I am entitled to receive from my airline if my luggage is damaged, providing I submit my claim within 7 days.

    7 million


    The number of EU citizens who live or travel in a country where their Member State does not have an embassy or consulate. This number is expected to rise to 10 million by 2020.

    Only 0.15 planes in every 1,000,000 flights


    were damaged beyond repair in Europe in 2014, making it one of the safest places to fly in the world. 

    Don’t forget!


    Compensation isn’t given automatically – it’s up to me to claim it! I should submit my complaint to my air carrier and, if I don’t receive a response, I can complain to my national authority. In certain circumstances I can use alternative dispute resolution entities or a court of law to settle my dispute.

    Download the app


    Travelling soon? I can learn about my rights before I take off with just a swipe of my finger using the Passengers’ Rights app.

    Director's Video

    /euandme/file/debut-euandme-short-film-directed-dalibor-matani%C4%87-0_enDebut: an #EUandME short film directed by Dalibor Matanić

    Debut, directed by Dalibor Matanić

    A young Croatian farmer dreams of becoming a professional football star. But before pursuing his ambition on the pitch, he must first face the truth about who he really is.

    /euandme/file/debut-euandme-short-film-directed-dalibor-matani%C4%87-0_enDebut: an #EUandME short film directed by Dalibor Matanić

    /euandme/file/debut-official-euandme-trailer-0_enDebut: the official #EUandME trailer

    /euandme/file/behind-scenes-debut-euandme-short-film-0_enBehind the scenes of Debut: an #EUandMe short film

    Digital stories

    A small business can exist on a global scale

    Katarzyna Barczyk runs the family business, supplying people with organic food. 

    Thanks to EU funding, the business expanding across borders. She is a member of the Lower Silesia Congress of Women, a feminist, social media and internet expert, and an amateur runner. She has also set up her own blog, Lady Pasztet, which deals with feminist issues.

    You might want to read these

    The EU protects you when you travel and buy things abroad

    A long flight delay during a holiday to Sardinia led to unexpected expenses. However, Maria, a 32-year-old from Cyprus, received support and guidance from the European Consumer Centre, and obtained compensation from the airline.

    The Story of Filippa

    #EUandME Thanks to the EU, she was able to get compensation for a delayed flight.

    The story of Alina

    #EUandME Thanks to the EU, she was able to receive €600 compensation for a delayed flight.

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