EU rights for air passengers

Since 2004, the rights of air passengers have been established according to the EU Commission Regulation 261/2004. This regulation protects passengers against possible delays, canceled flights and overbooking.

As for the regulation?

  • If your flight departs from an airport in the EU.
  • If your flight arrives in an EU country from a country outside the EU, and the flight is operated by a company from the EU.

In addition, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The flight is delayed more than three hours.
  • The flight was canceled shortly before departure.
  • You are denied boarding as a result of the airline overbooking the flight.
  • Your flight times changed drastically within 14 days before departure.

What are your rights if you have to wait at the airport?

The airline must offer you food, refreshments and two phone calls. If the delay is longer, the airline must also book a hotel for you, including transport to and from the airport. You usually receive compensation in the form of vouchers. If you do not receive any vouchers, you can claim the cost from the airline afterwards. 

The above conditions apply under normal circumstances and you will be entitled to compensation, except in the event of force majeure, e.g. if the delay is caused by weather, a strike by third parties (eg air traffic control) or in the event of a medical emergency landing.

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