The coronavirus is still spreading across the EU, affecting our lives in many ways. National governments have taken different restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus and to protect lives. The situation is changing fast and so is the response by the individual EU Member States. Below you will find some links to relevant official sources of information.

Covid-19 and travel advice pages on EU Member states and (other European countries) websites

Austria (Liechtenstein)
Belgium Lithuania
Czech Republic Luxembourg
Denmark Malta
Estonia Netherlands
Finland (Norway)
France Poland
Germany Portugal
Greece Slovakia
Hungary Slovenia
(Iceland) Spain
Italy Sweden
Latvia (Switzerland)




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Download the app 'Re-open EU' informing about various measures in place, including on quarantine and testing requirements for travellers, the EU Digital COVID certificate etc.

EU Press releases

 

European Commission

Digital Green Certificate page (so-called 'Covid passport')

Travel during Corona page

Re-open EU (a tool to check travel restrictions of the departure and destination country)

European Parliament

The EU's response to the corona virus

Council of the European Union

Overview of the latest meetings regarding Covid-19

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Situation updates

 

 

The UK has left the EU

As of 1 January 2021, the level of protection of passengers travelling between the EU and the United Kingdom will be affected, as the UK will be a third country.

This means that EU air passenger rights will continue to apply to flights operated from the UK to the EU by an EU airline, or to flights operated from the EU to the UK, whether operated by an EU or a UK airline. They will not however apply to UK-operated flights from the UK to the EU.

Nonetheless, the Agreement provides that both Parties will guarantee that effective measures are put in place to protect access to information for passengers, passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility, reimbursement and compensation, and the efficient handling of complaints.

Source: European Commission Press corner

 

Further information

EU-UK (draft) Trade & Cooperation Agreement


10 June 2016 the European Commission released new interpretive guidelines that aims to explain more clearly a number of provisions contained in the Regulation, in particular in the light of the Court’s case law so that the current rules can be more effectively and consistently enforced. These guidelines are intended to tackle the issues most frequently raised by national enforcement bodies, passengers and their associations, the European Parliament and industry representatives. They replace previous information such as frequently asked questions and related answers, etc. published on the Commission’s website.

They do not seek to cover all provisions in an exhaustive manner, nor do they create any new legal provisions. It should also be noted that interpretative guidelinesare without prejudice to the interpretation of Union law provided by the Court. These guidelines also relate to Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 of 9 October 1997 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents as amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council and to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (the Montreal Convention).

Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 serves a twofold purpose: firstly, aligning EU legislation on air carriers’ liability in respect of passengers and their baggage with the provisions of the Montreal Convention, to which the EU is one of the contracting parties, and secondly, extending the application of the Convention’s rules to air services provided within the territory of a Member State. These interpretative guidelines should help to ensure better application and enforcement of the Regulation.

Full text of the guidelines

Source: European Commission

Council Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 defines and harmonises the obligations of Community air carriers as regards the nature and limits of their liability in the event of accidents to passengers. The Regulation applies to damage sustained in the event of death, wounding or any other bodily injury to a passenger if the accident in question took place on board an aircraft or during any of the embarking or disembarking operations. The liability of an air carrier (air transport undertaking) for damage sustained by a passenger or a passenger's baggage in the event of an accident cannot be subject to any financial limit defined by law, convention or contract. The carrier can be discharged of his liability only by proving that the damage was caused by the negligence of the injured or deceased passenger. The Community air carrier is obliged to pay the victims or those entitled to compensation an advance proportional to the damage sustained not later than 15 days after identification of the victim.

Community air carriers must inform passengers of the provisions relating to their liability in the event of accident and the compensation of victims, in particular by including them in the conditions of carriage.

Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 brings the Community arrangements fully into line with the new international rules (Montreal Convention). The aim is to harmonise liability limits and legal defences in respect of European carriers, irrespective of the route (internal, intra-Community, international) on which the accident occurs. A new Convention unifying certain rules relating to international carriage by air was signed in Montreal on 28 May 1999, setting new global rules on liability in the event of accidents in international air transport. This Convention provides for a regime of unlimited liability in the event of the death or injury of air passengers and lays down a number of additional provisions.

Accordingly, Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 has been amended to bring it into line with the provisions of the Montreal Convention, by setting up a uniform system of air transport liability. The obligation of insurance is to be understood as requiring that a Community air carrier must be insured up to a level that is adequate to ensure that all persons entitled to compensation receive the full amount to which they are entitled in accordance with the Regulation.

Air carriers must provide each passenger with a written indication of:

  • the applicable limit, for the flight in question, on the carrier's liability in respect of death or injury;
  • the applicable limit, for the flight in question, on the carrier's liability when baggage is destroyed, lost or damaged;
  • the applicable limit, for the flight in question, on the carrier's liability in respect of damage occasioned by delay.

Air carriers' liability in respect of passengers and their baggage relates to:

  • compensation in the event of death or injury: no financial limit is set. However, there is a first tier of strict carrier liability for damages of up to 100 000 SDRs (special drawing rights, as defined by the International Monetary Fund, i.e. around 135 000 euros), in respect of which the air carrier cannot contest claims for compensation. In excess of that amount, a second tier of liability is based on the presumed fault of the carrier, which the latter may avoid only by proving that it was not at fault (the burden of proof is on the carrier);
  • advance payments: the air carrier must make an advance payment to cover immediate economic needs, with 15 days from the identification of the person entitled to compensation. In the event of death, this advance payment must not be less than 16 000 SDRs;
  • Passenger delays: the air carrier is liable (unless it took all reasonable measures) and must pay passengers up to 4 150 SDRs in the event of a delay. Liability for baggage delay is limited to 1 000 SDRs;
  • destroyed, lost or damaged baggage: in the event of damage, delay, loss or destruction of baggage, the passenger concerned must complain to the air carrier in writing.

Any action in court to claim damages must be brought within two years from the date of arrival of the aircraft, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived.

Source: EUR-Lex

Europe has one of the best aviation safety records in the world thanks to the effective implementation of high standards. Working in close cooperation with safety authorities in Member States, other countries and international aviation organisations, the European Union strives to raise these standards across the world. However, some airlines still operate in conditions which fall below essential and internationally recognised safety levels.

To improve safety further, the European Commission – in close consultation with the aviation safety authorities of all Member States – has decided to ban certain airlines from operating in European airspace, because they are found to be unsafe and/or they are not sufficiently overseen by their authorities.

To consult the list of banned airlines, you can download the document.

Source: European Commission

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Regulation 261/2004 applies to all flights within the EU, and flights to the EU by any EU airline. It does not apply to flights arriving the EU from outside the EU, that are operated by a non-EU airline.

The new Montreal Convention of 1999 introduced a uniform legal framework to govern air carrier liability in the event of damage caused to passengers, baggage or goods during international journeys.

At Community level, and to ensure a uniform system, Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 imposes unlimited liability on Community air carriers in the event of death or injury to passengers. This Regulation was amended by Regulation (EC) No 889/2002, which applied the rules of the Montreal Convention to all flights, whether domestic or international, operated by Community air carriers.

The new agreement introduces a new comprehensive legal framework, the most important contributions of which are as follows:

  • uniform liability limits for loss of, damage to, or destruction of, baggage and for damage occasioned by delay, which apply to all travel on Community carriers, will ensure simple and clear rules for both passengers and airlines and enable passengers to recognise when additional insurance is necessary.
  • 'baggage', unless otherwise specified, shall mean both checked and unchecked baggage with the meaning of Article 17(4) of the Montreal Convention;
  • the liability of a Community air carrier in respect of passengers and their baggage shall be governed by all provisions of the Montreal Convention relevant to such liability.
  • the supplementary sum which, in accordance with Article 22(2) of the Montreal Convention, may be demanded by a Community air carrier when a passenger makes a special declaration of interest in delivery of their baggage at destination, shall be based on a tariff which is related to the additional costs involved in transporting and insuring the baggage concerned over and above those for baggage valued at or below the liability limit. The tariff shall be made available to passengers on request.
  • all air carriers shall, when selling carriage by air in the Community, ensure that a summary of the main provisions governing liability for passengers and their baggage, including deadlines for filing an action for compensation and the possibility of making a special declaration for baggage, is made available to passengers at all points of sale, including sale by telephone and via the Internet.
  • the applicable limit for that flight on the carrier's liability in respect of destruction, loss of or damage to baggage and a warning that baggage greater in value than this figure should be brought to the airline's attention at check-in or fully insured by the passenger prior to travel.

In case of baggage delay, the air carrier is liable for damage unless it took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures. The liability for baggage delay is limited to 1000 SDRs (~€1,220).

Destruction, loss or damage to baggage

The air carrier is liable for destruction, loss or damage to baggage up to 1000 SDRs (approximate amount in local currency). In the case of checked baggage, it is liable even if not at fault, unless the baggage was defective. In the case of unchecked baggage, the carrier is liable only if at fault.

Higher limits for baggage

A passenger can benefit from a higher liability limit by making a special declaration at the latest at check-in and by paying a supplementary fee.

Complaints on baggage

If the baggage is damaged, delayed, lost or destroyed, the passenger must write and complain to the air carrier as soon as possible. In the case of damage to checked baggage, the passenger must write and complain within seven days, and in the case of delay within 21 days, in both cases from the date on which the baggage was placed at the passenger's disposal.

Time limit for action

Any action in court to claim damages must be brought within two years from the date of arrival of the aircraft, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived.

Source: EUR-Lex

How to complain

 

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 is part of a general plan to reinforce passenger rights on all forms of transport. Persons placed at a disadvantage by reduced mobility, whether caused by disability, age or another factor, should have opportunities for air travel comparable to those of other citizens. The Regulation on the rights of persons with reduced mobility when using air transport prohibits operators from refusing reservation or boarding to persons because of their disability*.

There are certain exceptions and derogations, however, particularly for justified safety reasons established by law. An air carrier may refuse to accept a reservation from or to embark a person with reduced mobility or request that a travelling person with reduced mobility must be accompanied by another person, in order to meet applicable safety requirements duly established by law or if the size of the aircraft makes it physically impossible to embark that person.

Within five working days of refusing a reservation or embarkation or requiring a person with reduced mobility to be accompanied, the air carrier must inform in writing the person concerned of its reasons for doing so.

Persons with reduced mobility are entitled to receive assistance free of charge in airports (on departure, arrival and during transit) and on board aircrafts (for example, the transport of wheelchairs and the carriage of guide dogs for the blind). The managing bodies of airports should provide this assistance and fund the services by levying charges on airlines.

*"Disabled person" or "person with reduced mobility": any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to any physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers.

Source: European Commission

How to complain

EU rules say that passengers are entitled to receive compensation for problems with air travel. If the flight is overbooked or cancelled, the passenger is entitled to financial compensation. Airlines are always obliged to offer assistance.

Air travellers should be compensated when faced with problems

The EU has set minimum standards for air passenger rights to compensation and assistance in the event of overbooking, cancellation or long delay of flights. The rules apply to all flights, including charter flights and package holidays, starting from an EU airport. Both European airlines and airlines from other parts of the world covered.

The rules also apply where the flight takes place from third countries into an EU airport. In that case, however, requires that the flight is conducted by a European airline and that there are no local rules on compensation in the country of origin. The rules do not apply to overseas airlines flying to Europe from other parts of the world.

The right to financial compensation for overbooking and cancellations

At overbooking, the airline must first ask for passengers who are voluntarily willing to give up their reservations for a compensation, the carrier and the passenger may agree upon. Are there not enough volunteers the airline is obliged to financially compensate those who are denied boarding against their will. The amount of compensation depends on the distance.

  • EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less:
  • EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres
  • EUR 600 for all other flights.

The compensation shall be paid in cash, at the passenger's bank account, by bank transfer or by check. If the passenger accepts it, compensation may consist of travel vouchers or other services.

Note: Vouchers or other services may have a time restriction and may only be valid at a particular airline!

When downgraded, e.g. when a passenger receives a seat on the plane corresponding to a lower class of service than that of the reservation, the airline should reimburse between 30 and 75 percent of the ticket price, depending on flight length.

Financial compensation is also paid to passengers of a flight that is cancelled and has not been informed at least two weeks prior to travel. Travellers who are notified within the two weeks, are not entitled to compensation if the airline can offer a re-routing to the destination which is similar to the cancelled flight.

If the flight is cancelled because of extraordinary circumstances, such as security threats, the airline may not pay compensation.

The right to assistance in the event of overbooking, cancellations and delays

Travellers who are victims of overbooking or cancellations should in addition to the financial compensation receive assistance. The right to assistance also applies to passengers who face long delays. Depending on how long the delay, the right to assistance varies depending on the distance, from at least two hours for short flights to at least four hours for longer.

The right to assistance means that the carrier should, for free, offer:

  • Meals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time
  • Hotel accommodation for overnight stay if necessary
  • Transport between accommodation and airport
  • Two free telephone calls or to send two telex, fax or e-mail messages.

Package tours are also covered by EU law

There are EU rules that provide protection when buying travel packages, vacation packages and the like. It applies to all packages purchased in the EU, even if the trip goes to a destination outside the EU.
The directive includes the following:

  • You travel itinerary should clearly state the destination, route and transport. This information is binding on the organizer. Before the trip the organizer should inform you in writing regarding times and locations for stopovers and connections
  • Consumers have the right to transfer their booking to another person.
  • Airlines may change the price if this is expressly stated in the conditions.
  • The tour operator is responsible for any breach of its terms. For example, the organizer shall act on the passenger's behalf against the airline.

EU rules on compensation and assistance for passengers facing denied boarding, cancellation or long delay also applies to package holidays. However, It only applies if the package holiday is interrupted because of a cancellation.

Enforcing your rights

If you believe that you have a valid complaint against an airline regarding denied boarding, downgrading, cancellation or long delay, you should first contact the air carrier that operated the flight or the tour operator.

How to complain

A package requires the following two conditions to be met: the service provided must cover a period of more than twenty-four hours and must be sold at an inclusive price. Any brochure made available to the consumer must indicate clearly and accurately:
 

  • the price;
  • the destination,
  • the itinerary and the means of transport used;
  • the type of accommodation;
  • the meal plan;
  • the passport and visa requirements;
  • the health formalities;
  • the timetable for payment;
  • the deadline for informing the consumer in the event of cancellation.
     

The information contained in the brochure is binding on the organiser. Before the contract is concluded, the organiser is required to provide, in writing, certain information on passports, visas (periods for obtaining them) and health formalities.

Before the start of the journey, the organiser must supply in writing:
 

  • the times and places of intermediate stops and transport connections as well as details of the place to be occupied by the traveller;
  • the name, address and telephone number of the organiser's local representative or, failing that, an emergency telephone number;
  • certain additional details in the case of journeys involving minors;
  • information on optional contracts covering insurance or assistance.

 

The terms laid down by the Directive are to be set out in writing in the contract. The consumer may transfer his or her booking to another person. The prices stipulated in the contract may not be changed unless the contract expressly provides for the possibility. In such a case, only variations in transportation costs, dues, taxes or fees chargeable and exchange rates may be reflected in the price. If the organiser alters the contract significantly, the consumer may either withdraw from the contract without penalty or accept a rider to the contract.

If the consumer withdraws from the contract or if the organiser cancels the package, the consumer is entitled either to take an alternative package or to be reimbursed the sums paid. Where appropriate, the consumer is entitled to be compensated for non-performance of the contract.

The organiser is responsible for the failure to perform or the improper performance of the contract, except where the consumer is at fault or for reasons of force majeure.

Source: European Commission

 

How to complain

 

Article 10 Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

1. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class higher than that for which the ticket was purchased, it may not request any supplementary payment.
2. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, it shall within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), reimburse

(a) 30 % of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less, or

(b) 50 % of the price of the ticket for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, except flights between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres, or

(c) 75 % of the price of the ticket for all flights not falling under (a) or (b), including flights between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments.

How to complain

Air passengers can only take liquids with them in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 milliliters each. These containers should be packed in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger. Passengers are only allowed bringing liquids in small quantities or if these are really needed during the journey for example medicines or baby food. All other liquids have to be packed in the checked baggage.

These rules apply to all passengers departing from airports in the EU whatever their destination. At security checkpoints, you and your hand luggage must be checked for liquids in addition to other prohibited articles.

However, the new rules do not limit the liquids that you can buy at shops located beyond the point where you show your boarding pass or on board an aircraft operated by an EU airline. The new rules apply from Monday, 6 November 2006 at all airports in the EU and in Norway, Iceland and
Switzerland until further notice.

So what are considered liquids?

Liquids include :

  • water and other drinks, soups, syrups
  • creams, lotions and oils
  • perfumes
  • sprays
  • gels, including hair and shower gels
  • contents of pressurised containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants
  • pastes, including toothpaste
  • liquid-solid mixtures
  • mascara
  • any other item of similar consistenc

When you are packing

You are only allowed to take small quantities of liquids in your hand luggage. These liquids must be in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 millilitres each. You must pack these containers in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger.

Airport security

To help screeners detect liquids, you must :

  • present all liquids carried to the screeners at security checkpoints for examination;
  • take off your jacket and/or coat, belt etc. They will be screened separately whilst you are screened;
  • remove laptop computers and other large electrical devices from your hand luggage. They will be screened separately whilst you are screened.

You can still

  • pack liquids in bags that you check in – the new rules only affect hand luggage;
  • carry in your hand luggage medicines and dietary requirements, including baby foods, for use during the trip. You may be asked for proof that they are needed;
  • buy liquids such as drinks and perfumes either in an EU airport shop when located beyond the:
    • point where you show your boarding pass or on board an aircraft operated by an EU airline.
    • If they are sold in a special sealed bag, do not open it before you are screened – otherwise the contents may be confiscated at the checkpoint. (If you transfer at an EU airport, do not open the bag before screening at your airport of transfer, or at the last one if you transfer more than once).

All these liquids are additional to the quantities in the resealable plastic bag mentioned above.

If you have any doubts, please ask your airline or travel agent in advance of travel.

Duty free liquids purchased from any airport or airline may be carried as hand luggage as long as the item and the receipt remain sealed inside the security bag (with a red border) provided at the time of purchase. You may not open the security bag until arrival at your final destination. However, security officers may need to open the bag and the bottles for screening. If this happens, and you have a connecting flight at another airport, tell the security officer so the liquids can be re-sealed in a new security bag.

Any sharp objects that might be used as weapons are not allowed in the aircraft cabin. These could be everyday objects such as corkscrews knives and scissors of a certain size, which should be packed in your hold luggage.

Limits on the size of cabin baggage and the number of items you are allowed to take on board are set by the airlines so check with your airline before you travel.

Explosives and inflammable items - fireworks or aerosol spray paint for example, and other inflammable and toxic substances such as acids - are prohibited on flights. They may not be carried in either cabin or checked baggage.

No weapons of any kind are allowed on board the aircraft.

Source: European Commission Mobility & Transport

When an air carrier reasonably expects to deny boarding on a flight, it first calls for volunteers to surrender their reservations in exchange for certain benefits. If an insufficient number of volunteers come forward to allow the remaining passengers to board the flight, the air carrier may then deny boarding to passengers against their will, in which case it must compensate them.

Air carriers give priority to persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them. In the event of denied boarding, the passengers concerned have the right to:

  • reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination;
  • care (refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails);

compensation totalling;

  • EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;
  • EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres
  • EUR 600 for all other flights.

This Regulation is applicable to all worldwide airlines when departure takes place within the EU and, in the case of flights from outside the EU to a destination within the EU, only to airlines licensed in a Member State of the EU.

How to complain


Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

The Regulation introduces a three-tier system:

  • in the event of long delays (two hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight), passengers must in every case be offered free meals and refreshments plus two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails;
  • if the time of departure is deferred until the next day, passengers must also be offered hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation;

when the delay is five hours or longer, passengers may opt for reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure.

Important rulings

The 4 September, 2014 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on a definition for arriving at a destination. Articles 2, 5 and 7 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91, must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of ‘arrival time’, which is used to determine the length of the delay to which passengers on a flight have been subject, refers to the time at which at least one of the doors of the aircraft is opened, the assumption being that, at that moment, the passengers are permitted to leave the aircraft.

In a ruling, November 2009, the Court of Justice of the European Union changed the interpretation of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 regarding flight delays, to include cash compensation similar to flight cancellations if the delay is three hours or longer at the destination. However, this unless the airline can prove that the delay was caused by ‘extraordinary’ circumstances.

 Before the ruling cash compensation was only rewarded for cancelled flights but not for delays. 
Flight delays prior to the ruling gave the passenger the right to assistance free of charge as mentioned above. These rights still apply to the air passengers when faced with a delay.

This Regulation is applicable to all worldwide airlines when departure takes place within the EU and, in the case of flights from outside the EU to a destination within the EU, only to airlines licensed in a Member State of the EU.

How to complain


Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

Regulation 261/2004 applies to all flights within the EU, and flights to the EU by any EU airline. It does not apply to flights arriving in EU from outside the EU, that are operated by a non-EU airline. Below are suggestions of free contact points in case you need further assistance.

 

European Consumer Centre (ECC)

A European Consumer Centre (ECC) supported by the European Commission exists in every EU country as well as in Iceland and Norway. The centres are there to help travellers who have difficulties in having their rights respected, such as the right to be reimbursed or re-routed to the final destination and right to obtain meals and accommodation. Follow the link for full contact details for ECCs for all countries and links to national websites.

 

National Enforcement Bodies

The EU rules oblige Member States to nominate or create “national enforcement bodies”, whose role is to verify that transport operators are treating all passengers in accordance with their rights. Passengers who believe they have not been treated correctly should contact the body in the country where the incident took place. Contact the National Enforcement Body for your specific mode of transport.

 

The European Commission’s preliminary screening service

Please note that the European Commission’s preliminary screening service provides citizens with general information about their rights under EU law when travelling and about how to proceed if they wish to log a complaint. The Commission services do not handle complaints themselves, which must be submitted to the air carrier and to the competent authority in the country where the incident took place.

 

Europe Direct

The Europe Direct central information service helps you find answers to your questions about the European Union. It offers information on all sorts of subjects related to the EU including your rights and opportunities as an EU citizen and how to take advantage of them. It can provide direct responses to general inquiries and, if you have more detailed questions, signpost you to the best source of information and advice at EU, national, regional and local levels.

When is a flight cancelled?

A cancelled flight is when your original flight:

  • is cancelled and you are moved to another scheduled flight,
  • or your flight took off but had to return to departure airport and you are moved to another scheduled flight,
  • or your flight is not arriving at the indicated final destination on your ticket, unless you agreed on re-routing to the original arrival airport or any airport serving the same town, city or region. In this case it is considered as a delay and not a cancellation.

You won't receive compensation if:

  • the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances for example due to bad weather, or
  • you were informed 2 weeks before the scheduled flight date, or
  • you were offered an alternative for the same route with a similar schedule to the original one. 

In the event of flight cancellation the passengers have the right to:

  • reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination;
  • care (refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails);

compensation totalling:

  • EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;
  • EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometers, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres.
  • EUR 600 for all other flights.

If the carrier offered you an alternative flight with a similar schedule, the compensation may be reduced by 50%.

For cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances you may not have the right to compensation, the carrier must still offer you either:

  • a ticket refund (in full or just the part you have not used)
  • alternative transport to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or
  • rebooking at a later date of your choice (subject to seat availability).

Even in extraordinary circumstances, airlines must provide assistance when necessary, while you are waiting for alternative transport.

This Regulation is applicable to all worldwide airlines when departure takes place within the EU and, in the case of flights from outside the EU to a destination within the EU, only to airlines licensed in a Member State of the EU.

How to complain

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

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Your rights - A summary

You might be entitled to receive compensation for problems with air travel. If the flight is overbooked or cancelled, the passenger is entitled to financial compensation.
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