Fabian Demicoli

Air Passenger Rights

 The European Commission recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of passenger rights for those travelling by air and by rail.

Passenger rights have acquired more prominence after the great boom in air travel that has occurred since the 1990's. Though progress has been achieved in safeguarding air passenger rights in recent years, noticeably through regulations that ensure common rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers in a number of situations, not everyone is aware of his or her rights when it comes to travelling. Under EU rules, people with reduced mobility and or disability are protected from being discriminated against during reservation and boarding.


When a flight is disrupted passengers are entitled to:

  • Receive information from airlines on their rights, on the situation as it evolves, cancellations and length of delays;
  • Choose between reimbursement of ticket price or be re-routed to the final destination;
  • Receive appropriate care such as refreshments, meals, accommodation or transportation to and from the airport as appropriate, while awaiting re-routing or in the case of long delays;

When a flight is overbooked airlines are obliged to first seek volunteers ready to give up their seat reservation in exchange for certain benefits and passengers may be entitled to compensation of between €250 and €600, depending on the length of the flight;

If a flight is cancelled passengers are also entitled to the same compensation as that offered to passengers denied boarding unless they are informed at least 14 days prior to the flight.

The information campaign is being carried in all 23 official EU languages and information leaflets will be made available to the public at airports and train stations. Travellers can also visit the website http://ec.europa.eu/passenger-rights that provides all the information about their rights. The Commission is also providing tv stations across the EU a short video-clip about the rights of passengers with limited mobility or that are disabled.

Source: MEUSACnews

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