European Regulation 261/2004: everything you need to know about your rights in the event of cancelled or delayed flights

 

European Regulation 261/2004 is a law that establishes the rights of passengers in the event of overbooking, cancellation or delay of flights operated by European airlines or having a European airport as their destination or origin. This law guarantees assistance (food, drink, telephone communications, accommodation) in the event of a long wait, the possibility of opting for a refund or a new flight, and compensation in the event of denied boarding or flight cancellation. On this page, we will provide you with all the information you need to know your rights as a passenger and how to deal with the situation in the event of cancelled or delayed flights. We will also provide you with case studies and useful tips on how to best handle the situation.

What is European Regulation 261/2004

European Regulation 261/2004 is a European law that establishes the rights of passengers in the event of overbooking, cancellation or delay of flights operated by European airlines or having a European airport as their destination or origin. This law was introduced to protect passengers from unpleasant situations and to ensure that they are compensated for any damages suffered.

The regulation states that in the event of flight cancellation, passengers have the right to choose between a refund of their ticket or a replacement flight to their destination. In the event of a delay of at least three hours, passengers are entitled to assistance (food, drinks, telephone calls, accommodation) and, in some cases, even compensation. In case of overbooking, passengers are entitled to assistance and, in some cases, also to compensation.

European Regulation 261/2004 applies to flights operated by European airlines or having a European airport as their destination or origin, regardless of the nationality of the passenger or the place of departure of the flight. It also applies to flights operated by non-EU airlines with origin or destination in Europe. It is important to note that the regulation does not apply to non-EU domestic flights and non-EU scheduled flights that make a stop in Europe without continuing their journey to another destination.

What to do in case of cancelled or delayed flights

In the event of cancelled or delayed flights, passengers are entitled to certain benefits and remedies under European Regulation 261/2004. Here are some actions passengers can take to assert their rights:

Request assistance: In case of a delay of at least three hours, passengers are entitled to assistance (food, drinks, telephone communication, accommodation) provided by the airline.

Request a refund or replacement flight: In the event of flight cancellation, passengers are entitled to choose between a refund of their ticket or a replacement flight to their destination.

Claiming compensation: In the event of flight cancellation or denied boarding, passengers are entitled to compensation unless the cancellation is due to exceptional circumstances beyond the airline's control.

Requesting information: In case of cancelled or delayed flights, passengers are entitled to be informed of the situation and their options in a timely manner.

Keep evidence: It is important to keep all documents related to the flight (tickets, receipts, etc.) and to take note of any costs incurred in connection with the cancelled or delayed flight (e.g. costs for accommodation or alternative transport).

Making a formal request: In case of cancelled or delayed flights, passengers can make a formal request to the airline for assistance, reimbursement or compensation. If the airline is negative or if you do not know how to proceed, passengers can contact our services to help you handle the claim. We offer a comprehensive service that includes preparing the documentation and handling the paperwork necessary to obtain reimbursement or compensation under European Regulation 261/2004 in a timely manner and at no cost to you.

Case Examples

European Regulation 261/2004 grants specific rights to passengers in the event of overbooking, cancellation or delay of flights. Here are some examples of concrete cases where passengers have asserted their rights under the regulation:

A passenger who was delayed for 8 hours received assistance under the regulation (food, drinks, telephone communication, accommodation) and then received compensation of €600.

A group of passengers whose flight was cancelled opted for a replacement flight to their destination and received a refund of their original ticket.

A passenger who was denied boarding due to overbooking received assistance as required by the regulation (food, drinks, telephone communication) and then received compensation of EUR 600.

These examples show how European Regulation 261/2004 grants specific rights to passengers in the event of overbooking, cancellation or delay of flights, and how passengers can assert their rights and obtain assistance, reimbursement or compensation. It is important to note that these are only a few examples and that each case may present specific circumstances that may affect the application of the regulation. If you do not know whether you are entitled to compensation, you can use our online verification tool to find out immediately whether you are entitled to a refund or compensation. Our tool is easy to use and will provide you with an immediate answer.

Conclusion

In conclusion, European Regulation 261/2004 grants specific rights to passengers in the event of overbooking, cancellation or delay of flights. It is important to be aware of these rights and to know how to assert them in order to obtain the assistance, reimbursement or compensation due. With our useful tips and online verification tool, passengers can handle the situation in the best possible way and get the compensation they are entitled to. If you have any doubts or difficulties in obtaining compensation, do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. We will help you assert your rights under European Regulation 261/2004.

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