- Be aware of your rights and know how to use them EU Regulation #261 is a law on air passenger rights that all EU member states must abide by from 2004. It states that all passengers can get financial compensation if their flight is cancelled or overbooked. Moreover, in October 2012 the EU’s court of Justice (EUCJ) ruled that passengers whose flight arrives three hours late or more are also entitled to financial compensation unless the delay is owing to extraordinary circumstances beyond the airline's control such as strike or bad weather. The overall objective of the ruling was to improve passenger protection rights across Europe and to harmonize the law among EU member states. Now, Ryanair competes in the Republic of Ireland on the same conditions that Lufthansa has in Germany. Since this law was implemented in the year of 2005, a lot of breakthrough judgements against airlines in the EUCJ have taken place, and they have dramatically changed the state of affairs on air passenger rights.
- When does this law apply? The law on air passenger rights may be tangled. Sometimes it seems contradictory. That's why it is difficult to understand, when you have the right to compensation and what kind of compensation should be granted. Moreover, airlines try to suppress this information despite the fact that they are legally obligated to inform passengers of these rights. It leads to a deadlock. As a result less than 1% of air passengers after such situation receive the compensation that should be rightfully theirs! Our objective is to make to it easier for you to understand your rights when your flight is delayed, canceled or overbooked.
- Where does this law apply?
Since EC 261 is a European law, it may only be applied to EU airspace. Nevertheless, you don't have to be a citizen of the European Union to claim compensation. Your flight should depart from any airport in the EU (any airline) or arrive at any airport in EU (or from/to Iceland, Norway or Switzerland). For a reference see the table below:
Airline and origin EU Airline Non-EU Airline From outside the EU to outside the EU No No From outside the EU to inside the EU Yes No From inside the EU to outside the EU Yes Yes From inside the EU to inside the EU Yes Yes