To make the best out of an annoying situation, we are going to take a look at the EU air passenger rights.
We prepared a quick guide with some enlightening information and the necessary links for you, in case something goes wrong.
But before we start off, let's get one big question out of the way:
What about UK to the EU flights?
Well from 1 January 2021, EU rules on air passenger rights DO NOT APPLY to cases of denied boarding, cancellations or delays to flights from the UK to the EU if your flight was operated by a UK carrier or another non-EU carrier. HOWEVER, rules continue to apply from said date if your flight from the UK to the EU was operated by an EU carrier (unless you received compensation or benefits under UK law).
Your flight was cancelled.Your flight is cancelled when
- your original flight schedule is abandoned and you are transferred to another flights
- your flight took off but was forced to return to the airport of departure
- your flights arrives at an airport which is not the final destination on your ticket (except for rer-routing and if other destination was agreed by you, then it's considered a delay
If your flight is cancelled you have the right to choose between reimbursement, re-routing or return. If the flight was cancelled and you were informed less than 14 day prior you have a right to compensation in most cases
Your flight was delayed
Depending on the duration of the delay and the distance of the flight, you have the right to assistance, reimbursement and a return flight.
With a delay of more than 3 hours you are entitled to a compensation in most cases.
You were denied boarding / Your flight was overbooked
If you were denied boarding by the airline due to overbooking or for operational reasons and you don't voluntarily give up your seat, you have the right to compensation, the right to choose reimbursement, re-routing or rebooking later, and assistence by the airline
Upgrading & Downgrading
If you were upgraded, the airline cannot ask for any additional payment.
If you are downgraded you are entitled to reimbursement of a percentage of the price of your ticket, depending on the distance.
30% - flights of 1 500 km or less
50% - flights within the EU of more than 1 500 km, (except flights between the EU and French overseas departments) and all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 km
75% - flights not falling under (a) or (b), including flights between the EU and French overseas departments
If you have 2 or more connecting flights, you will only be reimbursed on the downgraded flight, not the entire journey.
You missed your connecting flight
If you miss a connecting flight and arrive at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours you have a right to compensation most of the time. The flights need to be booked as part of a single reservation.
Your luggage was lost, damaged or delayed
If your checked-in luggage was lost, damaged or delayed the airline is liable, if responsible, and you're entitled to a compensation up to 1,300€.
If your hand luggage was damaged, the airline is liable, if responsible.
Want more information?
The 'Your Europe' website offers a lot of information, help and advice on EU rights for EU nationals. A great starting point for any questions related to the European Union.
In case you have some problems we didn't highlight, here's an overview of the sections we've used.
1. Air passenger rights
This website is your golden ticket when it comes to delayed and cancelled flights. And it's easy to use as well!
In the 'What went wrong?', you choose your problem, click 'Next' and a new world of possibilities opens for you.
The problem is explained and if this situation applies to you and your flight, you can find out all about your rights and what to do about it. The matching links to your requests are available as well.
Even if nothing has happened yet, it's still a great source to inform yourself beforehand.
The second useful section 'How to claim your rights?' will guide you through the process and provide you as well with all the necessary links.
2. Air passenger rights FAQ
Sounds like the same thing, but it isn't. On this part of the site you'll find the most frequently asked questions and a short YES or NO answer. It allows you to quickly search for your problem and also provides you with necessary links.