Air passenger rights regulation in the EU
Since 2004, EU regulation 261/2004 has given passengers more protection in legal matters and compensation payments. Among other things, the regulation is about compensating passengers for denied boarding, flight cancellation or flight delay up to an amount of 600 euros.
You can find out on this page whether and how the regulation for passengers applies to you!
Does the Air Passenger Rights Regulation apply to you?
Then the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation applies
- Passengers with a valid flight ticket and booking confirmation.
- Flights that start in the EU or are operated by an airline based in the EU and land in the EU.
Then the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation does not apply
- Flights that were purchased free of charge or at a reduced rate, which the public cannot purchase directly or indirectly.
- Passengers who do not show up for check-in on time. As a rule, you have to be at the check-in 45 minutes before departure. Cancellation is excluded.
What is the amount of the compensation?
Short distance up to 1,500 km
Compensation = € 250
Medium distance up to 3,500 km
Compensation = € 400
Langstrecke ab 3.500 km
Compensation = € 600
Caution! If the airline offers you vouchers, which are usually of little value, you are still entitled to compensation.
When can you receive compensation according to EU regulation 261/2004?
According to the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation, certain requirements must be met in order to be entitled to compensation.
The most important requirements are:
Your flight must either start in the EU or the airline is based in the EU and your flight lands within the EU.
Your flight must not be more than 3 years ago.
If these requirements are met, you are entitled to compensation in the following cases:
- Flight delay: Your flight arrives at the destination airport 3 or more hours late.
- Overbooking: The airline has overbooked your flight and you cannot get a seat on board.
- Missed connection flight: You arrive at your final destination 3 or more hours late because you missed your connecting flight due to a delay.
- Cancellation: The airline did not inform you of the cancellation of the flight at least 14 days in advance.
What benefits are you entitled to in the event of long waiting times at the airport?
You are entitled to additional benefits if your flight is delayed and you are exposed to long waiting times at the airport.
Short distance up to 1500 km
From a waiting time of 2 hours or in the event of cancellation: free drinks, snacks, emails, fax and two phone calls.
Medium distance up to 3500 km
From 3 hours of waiting time or in the event of cancellation: free drinks, meals, emails, fax and two phone calls.
Long distance from 3500 km
From 4 hours of waiting time or cancellation: free drinks, meals, emails, fax and two phone calls.
What do you have to consider in exceptional circumstances?
If the airline itself is not responsible for the flight delay, there is no entitlement to compensation. This is the case when exceptional circumstances are the main cause when your flight is delayed.
- Security risks
- Air traffic control strike
- Birds in the engine
- Heavy storms
- Closure of the airport or airspace
- Political events
These circumstances don’t count if the airline could have avoided the problem.
Here you can view the EU regulation on air passenger rights 2004/261.