What Are Your Rights When Flying Within The EU?

Travelling between EU nations is a simple and straightforward process. Even with the UK poised to leave the European Union, it is still just as easy to travel to and within the EU from the UK; the only stipulation now is that you need to have at least 6 months left on your passport when you arrive. However, when travelling, things will occasionally go wrong. In some cases, disruption to your travel could mean that you are entitled to financial compensation. Read about your rights while flying in the EU.

How to claim compensation

With air travel, there is always the risk of something going wrong, often something that is completely beyond the control of the traveller. When this occurs, you might be able to claim compensation for your journey. The EU Air Passenger Rights Regulations are the set of EU-regulations that cover air passengers who are travelling within the EU.

EU Air Passenger Rights Regulations cover passengers travelling in the EU

Flightright is a business that can help passengers to claim compensation when they have faced serious disruption during their travels. By simply visiting their website and entering the details of your flight, you can find out if you are entitled to compensation. Better still, if you do have a valid claim then Flightright will take the case to court on your behalf. You won’t have to pay them for their services unless they secure you a pay-out.

When do my EU rights apply?

  • Your flight departs from and lands in an EU member state. It doesn’t matter whether the airline is based in the EU or not.
  • Your flight lands in an EU member state from a non-EU country and is operated by an airline who is based in the EU.
  • Your flight departs from an EU member state but lands in a non-EU state, regardless of whether the airline is based in the EU or not.
  • When you have not already received some form of compensation for issues related to the flight in question.

    Is my property covered by these regulations?

    Every traveller’s worst nightmare is to reach their destination and then realise that their baggage has become lost or damaged. The effects of this can range from being a minor inconvenience to amounting to the loss of something irreplaceable to you. So, can you claim any compensation for loss or damage to your luggage?

    A woman is shown dragging her luggage at an airport

    The EU Air Passenger Rights also cover damage to your luggage. If your flight is from the UK to another EU state, or between two other EU states, then you can take up your issue with the European Consumer Centre. If you are flying within the UK then you can make a claim against the airline. The Civil Aviation Authority has a great page about this which goes into more detail.
    Under the EU regulations, as long as the airline is responsible for damage that occurs to your property then they will be liable for the monetary value of those items. You will need to file a claim for lost or damaged luggage within 7 days. If your luggage is delayed in reaching you then you will have 21 days to file your claim.

    Questions about your rights when flying in the EU

    Can I get compensation for a 2 hour flight delay?

    By law, you are entitled to compensation for flight delays if the responsibility for this lies with the airline. If the replacement flight that the airline has offered you has affected your planned arrival by 2 hours or more, you would be entitled to compensation. Additionally, this applies for the cancellation of your flight less than 14 days before your booked departure date.

    What are my rights if airline cancels flight?

    If an airline cancels your flights, and the responsibility for this action lies with the airline and not external factors, then typically they would offer you a replacement flight close to your original arrival time, or you would be refunded accordingly based on your original booking.

    Can an airline deny boarding?

    Airlines may deny boarding in the event of overbooking. This common practice by airlines is aimed to increase ticket sales and fill up air plane seats, however there is a chance that not all passengers will make the planned departure. In the event that an airline denies you boarding, you would be entitled to a replacement flight or refund.

    What if I’m denied boarding?

    There are a number of reasons why passengers might be prevented from boarding a flight. Most commonly, passengers are prevented from boarding due to safety or security reasons. However, individual passengers might also be denied boarding if they do not present with all of the correct documents for them and their pets. If you are denied boarding because you have failed to bring the right documentation or haven’t turned up on time, you won’t be able to claim compensation. Similarly, if you have a return flight then the return ticket will not be valid unless the outbound ticket has been used. In other words, you cannot take the return flight only when you buy a return ticket.

    Air passengers can fly around the EU safe in the knowledge that they will be protected from any damage that might occur to their luggage or any severe disruption.

    However, if you have arrived on time, have all of the correct documentation and proof of your flight reservation then you may still be denied boarding due to overbooking. If this happens and you don’t voluntarily give up your seat then you are legally entitled to either receive compensation, receive a reimbursement, receive a free ticket, and receive general assistance from the airport. The European Union has a reputation for its strong consumer rights and this is evident in the rights that it grants to passengers who travel through the EU.

    Air passengers can fly around the EU safe in the knowledge that they will be protected from any damage that might occur to their luggage or any severe disruption that they face due to the airline or airport they fly with. If you think that you might be entitled to compensation for a flight you’ve had then visit the Flightright website to see if you can make a claim.

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