A Guide to your Rights when Flying
Flying off on Holiday
Check out our Plane Facts guide which highlights your rights if things go wrong
It is important to be aware of your rights:
If your flight is delayed or cancelled you are entitled to assistance and in some cases compensation. If you are denied boarding because the airline has overbooked the flight, you are entitled to compensation.
Your rights are protected by European Law (Regulation (EC) 261/2004) and are the same regardless of the airline you are travelling with.
Your rights are protected for any flight from within the European Union (EU) and on flights from a non-EU country into the EU, provided the airline is licensed in the EU.
The following assistance must be provided by the airline regardless of the cause of the delay
Your airline is required to provide you with meals and refreshments appropriate to the length of the delay and two free telephone calls or emails if you are delayed.
If you are delayed overnight, your airline is required to provide you with hotel accommodation and transport to and from the hotel.
The assistance is most likely to be in the form of a voucher for refreshments/snacks from the facilities area.
If you are delayed by more than five hours and decide not to travel, you are entitled to a refund. Refunds should be paid by the airline within seven days.
If your flight is delayed and the airline does not provide you with the assistance mentioned above:
Keep the receipts for any meals and refreshments you buy.
You should send copies (not the originals) of these receipts to the airline along with a request for a full refund.
If you made essential calls on your mobile during the delay, you should also send a copy of your bill with the calls highlighted.
Be reasonable in terms of how much you spend, as it is very unlikely that an airline will reimburse you for extravagant purchases.
Compensation (for delays)
If your flight is delayed you may be entitled to compensation. The amount will depend on the length of your flight and the length of the delay.
If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to –
A refund within seven days; or Alternative transport to your final destination. If the airline cannot fly you to your intended airport, it is allowed to fly you to another airport within the same region. The airline must then transfer you to either your intended airport or a close by location agreed with you.
You are also entitled to the same assistance offered to delayed passengers ñ overnight accommodation if necessary, meals, refreshments, phone calls and emails.
Compensation (for cancellations)
If your flight is cancelled you may be entitled to compensation. The amount will depend on the length of your flight and the impact the cancellation has in delaying your arrival to your final destination. Compensation will be paid at the following rates:
However, passengers will not be entitled to compensation if:
You are told of the cancellation at least two weeks before the departure date;
You are told of the cancellation between seven days and two weeks before the departure date and are offered alternative travel arrangements. The flight(s) must allow you to depart no more than two hours before your original departure time and get you to your final destination less than four hours after your original arrival time or
Extraordinary circumstances are events outside an airline’s control, which prevent a flight from departing as scheduled. They include:
Air traffic management decisions that prevent a flight from departing.
Please note technical problems could amount to extraordinary circumstances, but do not automatically. If in doubt, ask the airline for further information. If you are not satisfied with the airline’s response, please contact the Civil Aviation Authority.
Contact us For the full Plane Facts guide. We can even send you a copy to take on holiday with you. Telephone or email the Council.