Passenger rights and responsibilities within the European Union borders are regulated by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council from 11th February 2004. The document established conditions and procedures of obtaining assistance and compensations from the airlines.
The flight operator has the right to deny boarding to any passengers not following any of the points included in the airline regulations and/or posing a threat to security, i.e.
- the passenger is under the influence of alcohol
- the passenger attempts boarding with forbidden items or poses a threat to other passengers or the aircraft
If the passenger does not follow the appropriate regulations of the airline’s terms and conditions, denial of boarding will occur with no right to any kind of compensation.
What is overbooking?
Overbooking is an airline practice in which more tickets are sold than there are seats available on a given aircraft. Airlines base their overbooking limits on detailed research of the occupancy rates and information about the percentage of passengers not present for boarding. Thanks to this the probability of being denied boarding is low.
In case such situation occurs, it is the airline’s responsibility to find volunteers who would agree to give up their booked seat and fly the next possible connection. In case no volunteers are found the airlines chooses the passengers themselves. The airline is obliged to issue appropriate compensation, the value of which will depend on the route and can equal from 250 to 600 EUR. If there are no more flights on a given day, the airline provides accommodation and possible transportation as well.
In any case of being denied boarding, where the airline is responsible, in accordance with regulation UE 261/2004 it is the airline’s duty to inform the passenger in written form about the procedures of obtaining compensation and assistance.
The best protection against being denied boarding, regardless of whether it is because of the passenger or airline’s fault, is purchasing an appropriate insurance policy.
In any case of being denied boarding, the basis for the possibility of obtaining any kind of compensation is being on time for boarding.
In case of a cancelled or rescheduled flight or in case of the airline ceasing to operate a route, the airline is obliged to find an alternative connection for the passenger or make a full refund of the flight cost.
Food and accommodation
The operator is also obliged to provide food and accommodation if the alternative connection is scheduled in the following days, unless the airline reserves the right to derogate from this obligation in the terms and conditions accepted by the passenger at the time of purchasing the flight.
If the customer chooses to obtain a refund, the airline is obliged to issue one within 7 days from receiving the claim for reimbursement.
Passengers have the right to obtain compensation equalling between 250 and 600 EUR, depending on the route and on the condition that the passenger is at the departure gate on time.
Substantial flight delay
Depending on the length of the scheduled flight, if the delay exceeds between 2 and 4 hours, the airline is obliged to cover the costs of food, hotel accommodation or other services. The customer must have arrived at the departure gate on time in order for any compensation claim to be valid.
In case of the delay exceeding 5 hours the passenger has the right to request a full ticket price refund as well as appropriate compensation from the airlines.
When can I claim compensation?
You must remember that the possibility of requesting any compensation does not depend on a delayed take off, but a delayed arrival at the destination. Moreover, passengers do not have the right to compensation if the delay is due to external factors, e.g. severe weather conditions.
Before departure it is worth considering purchasing travel insurance, which will protect you against unexpected expenses occurring in case of a flight delay or cancellation.
Baggage loss or damage during the flight
The airlines are responsible for the loss or damage of our checked-in baggage. Check what you can request in case of baggage loss or damage by the airlines.