All airlines operating in the territory of EU are required to inform passengers of their rights in case of denied boarding, cancellation or prolonged flight delay.
Information regarding the safeguard of airline passengers’ rights are listed in detail in the Passenger’s Bill of Rights.
Flight Reservation - When booking a flight, passengers are entitled to information regarding: the airline, the flight schedule, type of aircraft, rates and possible restrictions that apply, and to receive a reservation code.
Passengers with reduced mobility and unaccompanied minors must state their situation during reservation and request information on the company’s method of supplying assistance services.
The transportation contract is concluded at the moment of ticket purchase; the ticket can be both electronic and/or in print. If the ticket is purchased online, the passenger is entitled to an airline receipt containing the same information as with a traditional flight ticket.
- Inefficiencies: Denied Boarding (Overbooking), Flight Cancellation, Extended Flight Delay
In case of denied boarding (overbooking), flight cancellation or prolonged flight delay, passengers are entitled to receive pecuniary compensation, reimbursement, or to board alternative flights and to receive assistance, according to the conditions stated in the Passenger’s Bill of Rights.
- Pecuniary Compensations:
- €250 for routes no more than 1,500 km (932.057 mi)
- €400 for routes within EU and superior to 1,500 km (932.057 mi); and for all routes between 1,500 km and 3,500 km (932.057 mi and 2,174.8 mi)
- €600 for routes outside the EU and superior to 3,500 km (2,174.8 mi)
Compensation can be paid in cash, through electronic bank transfers, deposits, checks or (in agreement with the passenger) in travel vouchers and/or other services.
A technical problem in the aircraft that causes the cancellation of a flight is generally included among those circumstances guaranteeing the right to pecuniary compensation (EC regulation 261/2004), unless said problem is a result of events that, given their nature or origin, are unrelated to the normal exercise of the air carrier activity and thus escape its actual control.
Passengers of delayed flights can be assimilated to the passengers of cancelled flights for purpose of application of the right to pecuniary compensation, and may, therefore, claim such compensation, which varies between €250 and €600, as foreseen in cases of flight cancellation, if flight delay causes a time loss of 3 hours or more, unless the air carrier proves that said delay was due to exceptional circumstances that could have not been avoided even if all necessary measures had been put forth, i.e. circumstances escaping the effective control of the air carrier.
- Delays and Tourist Rights
In case of flight delay of 2, 3 or 4 hours, and in relation to route length, passengers are entitled to:
- Two telephone calls (or two messages via fax or email) at the expense of the Airline,
- meals and beverages or appropriate hotel accommodation in cases where one or more overnight stays are required.
If the delay exceeds 5 hours, passengers are entitled to:
- Reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket with seven days, or;
- Embarkation on the next available flight to the passenger's destination, or on the next available flight traveling the same route on the date most convenient to the passenger.
- Liability Concerning Luggage
EU air carriers and air carriers adhering to the Montreal Convention are liable for passenger compensation of up to 1,000 SDRs (approximately €1,167), in compliance with the regulations in force, in case of delay, destruction, loss or damages to registered luggage. Airlines not adhering to the aforementioned Convention are liable for compensation of up to 17 SDRs (approximately €20) per kilogram, in case of loss or damage of registered luggage.
Claims must be presented or sent to the airline in writing, or by completing a Property Irregularity Reports (PIR) - available at luggage assistance offices, airline offices or with airport management. A forfeiture penalty is applied if claim is not made within 7 days from the date of delivery of the luggage or, in case of delivery delay, within 21 days from the date of actual delivery. When possible, it is advisable to notify the damage immediately, or it is the passenger’s responsibility to prove that the damage occurred during the flight.
- Liability Towards Individuals in Case of an Accident
In case of accident, passengers are entitled to receive a reimbursement according to the coverage limits foreseen by the Passenger’s Bill of Rights.
- Air Transportation Rights of Persons with Disabilities and with Reduced Mobility
Airlines, their agents and tour operators cannot refuse the reservation or embarkation of a person with disabilities or reduced mobility on flights to and from airports within the EU, as long as said persons hold a valid ticket and reservation.
The denied booking or boarding of persons with disabilities or reduced mobility may occur only for safety reasons or due to the size of the aircraft or of its hatches, if they render boarding and transportation impracticable.
In such cases, the reasons for denied booking or boarding must be immediately communicated to the passenger and, when required, in writing, within 5 working days of the request. Airlines are required to make the safety regulations they apply and possible restrictions known to the public.
Passengers with disabilities or restricted mobility (and one travel companion if necessary for assistance) who are denied booking or boarding are entitled to receive reimbursement or to be given alternative flight options.