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10 things to know about airline passenger rights

Written by Fiona

November 19 2018

A friend was recently appealing for information about how to extract compensation from an airline. I thought I’d take a look at passenger rights.

Here are 10 things to know about know about airline passenger rights.

1 There are specific EU laws that support travellers with flight regulation compensation.

2 Many people are not aware that the law is on their side or even that passenger rights exist, including airline compensation for airlines such as Ryanair and many others. In fact, according to research, 85% of EU air passengers do not know their rights and 92% of US air passengers do not know their rights. 

3 Europe Air Passenger Rights include Regulation EC 261/2004. This is a regulation in EU law that favours the passenger and holds airlines financially accountable when air travel takes an unexpected turn that are deemed the airlines’ errors.

4 EC 261 makes airlines legally and financially responsible for flight issues, not the passenger. It could mean a claim can mean up to £550 per flight in reimbursements.

5 EC 261 requires airlines to compensate passengers in the event of denied boarding; flight cancellation; long delay of flights (three or more hours).

6 The amount of compensation passengers are entitled to depends on a lot of factors including the distance travelled and the amount of time you are delayed.

7 There is more to it than monetary compensation. EC 261 requires that airlines inform passengers of their rights. Yes, that’s right!

If you end up delayed or re-routed by airlines, such as Easyjet or Ryanair, you could be due compensation.

8 If your delay exceeds five hours, you are entitled to a full or partial refund of your original ticket and a return flight to your point of departure, if needed.

You might be entitled to refreshments.

9 You are entitled to a number of free perks, depending on your flight details. The carrier must provide you with: Meals and refreshments during the delay; access to communications, including two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, and emails; if overnight accommodation is necessary, they must provide you with a hotel room and transport to and from the airport.

Check out other hassle free tips for travelling by air.

10 If you are offered an alternative flight and placed in a higher class than the one you booked, the air carrier can’t charge you any additional payment. On the other hand, if the class of the alternative flight is lower, you can get a reimbursement of between 30% and 75% of the price you originally paid.

Make sure you know your rights so you know how and when to act if delayed on a flight in Europe.

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