I. Regulation (EC) No 261/2004
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 applies. If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, ask at the check-in counter or boarding gate for the text stating your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance. Click here to download the corresponding PDF.
II. Compensation in case of an accident
Passengers travelling with a European Union airline will receive full compensation in the case of an accident regardless of where it happens, and also up-front payments if needed to help with immediate economic hardship.
- There is no limit on the financial liability of a European Union airline to compensate for the death, wounding or any other bodily injury to a passenger.
- The airline shall make an advance payment to help with immediate economic hardship, not later than 15 days after the person entitled to compensation has been identified. This advance payment shall not be less than 16.000 SDRs per passenger in the event of death.
- To encourage the rapid resolution of smaller claims up to 113.100 SDRs, European Union airlines may only limit or exclude their liability if the damage was caused (in whole or in part) by the negligence of the injured or deceased passenger
III. Enforcing passenger rights
The passenger rights above are laid down either directly by EU law or by national laws that implement EU directives.
- The first thing a passenger should do is to contact directly the airline.
- If a passenger feels that the law has not been respected, he or she could contact the relevant national body responsible for air transport or consumer protection.
- When a passenger has incurred damages because EU law has not been respected, there may be grounds for private legal action in national courts.