What are my rights as an air passenger?

Today, everybody is using flying as a means of transportation, regardless of the destination or distance. It is simply more convenient. But sometimes things can happen, that inconvenience us, and this is why it is important to know what are our rights as air passengers.

Refund or alternative transport

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If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelled or overbooked, you are entitled to a alternative transport to your final destination, or having your ticket refunded. If needed you have the right to be returned free of charge to your initial departure point.

If your flight happens to be delayed by more than five hours, you are also entitled to a refund. Know that if you accept the refund, the airline has no further obligation towards you. Your airline must inform you about your rights and the reason for being denied boarding, or any cancellations or long delays.

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The airline also must provide refreshments, meals, communications, and overnight stay, depending on the flight distance and length of delay.

Financial compensation

If you are denied boarding, or if your flight is cancelled or late for more than 3 hours, you may be entitled to compensation of €250 – 600, depending on the distance of the flight.

You should know that if the airline offers you another flight with a similar schedule, this compensation my be reduced for 50 %.

You won’t receive any compensation if your flight was canceled or delayed due to extraordinary circumstances or if you were informed 2 weeks before the flight date.

Even in this case the airline still has an obligation to provide a ticket refund (in full or just the part you have not used), an alternative transport to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or rebooking at a later date of your choice.

Even in extraordinary circumstances, airlines must provide assistance.

Lost or damaged registered luggage

We all had or have heard of situations where luggage was damaged or lost. If this happens you are also entitled to compensation. If your registered luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline, up to about €1,220.”]

There is an exception to this. If your luggage was damaged due to the inherent defect in the baggage itself, you are not entitled to any compensation.

The airline is not just liable for your registered luggage but for your hand baggage and your personal items as well.

When you claim compensation, make sure to file your claim within 7 days of receiving your luggage (or 21 days if your luggage was delayed). If you are still not satisfied and wish to pursue other legal action, you must do so within 2 years of the date your luggage arrives.

You can obtain compensation higher than €1,223, if your items are expensive and exceed this limit. In this case make sure to make a special advance declaration to the airline – at the latest when you check in. If you are traveling with expensive items perhaps the best thing, and the most reliable one, is to take out private travel insurance.

Booking online – clear pricing

With internet came many advantages regarding booking flights in advance, but with convenience came dangers for the customers. Sometimes you are not well informed of the price for your ticket.

So when you book a flight online, the total price of the ticket must be visible from the start. It must include all compulsory elements such as taxes and charges. This will enable you to compare prices across airlines and make an informed choice.

With online booking the following information must be clearly displayed: air fare, taxes, airport charges, other charges, surcharges or fees (such as for security or fuel). Any optional supplements must be clearly indicated and suggested on an opt-in basis only.

To claim your rights and compensations check out www.claimflights.com and get the best deal possible from the airlines.