Passenger Rights

  • Next to your desire for Better Trips!

Travelling by airplane

  • Firstly, you may not be charged a higher price for a ticket because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.

    Secondly, you also have rights in case things go wrong. This concerns delays, cancellations and overbooking that prevent you from boarding

    And applies if you are:

    • departing from any airport situated in the EU, or
    • arriving in the EU with an EU carrier or one from Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.
  • If you are denied boarding or your flight is cancelledor overbooked, you are entitled to either:

    • transport to your final destination using comparable alternative means, or
    • having your ticket refunded and, where relevant, being returned free of charge to your initial departure point.

    Long delays- if your flight is delayed by 5 hours or more, you are also entitled to a refund (But if you accept a refund, the airline does not have to provide any further onward travel or assistance).

    Your airline must inform you about your rights and the reason for being denied boarding, or any cancellations or long delays (over 2 hours, although this may be up to 4 hours for flights in excess of 3500 Km).

  • You may also be entitled to refreshments, meals, communications (such as a free phone call), and, if necessary, overnight stay, depending on the flight distance and length of delay.

  • In addition, if you are denied boarding, your flight is cancelled or arrives more than 3 hours late on arrival at the final destination stated on your ticket, you may be entitled to compensation of €250 - 600, depending on the distance of the flight:

    Within the EU

    • 1,500 km or less - €250
    • over 1,500 km - €400

    Between EU airport and non-EU airport

    • 1,500 km or less - €250
    • 1,500 - 3,500 km - €400
    • over 3,500 km - €600

     If the carrier offered you an alternative flight with a similar schedule, the compensation may be reduced by 50%.

    With cancelled flights, you won't receive compensation if:

    • the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances for example due to bad weather, or
    • you were informed 2 weeks before the scheduled flight date, or
    • you were offered an alternative for the same route with a similar schedule to the original one.

     For cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances you may not have the right to compensation, the carrier must still offer you either:

    • a ticket refund (in full or just the part you have not used)
    • alternative transport to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or
    • rebooking at a later date of your choice (subject to seat availability).

    Even in extraordinary circumstances, airlines must provide assistance when necessary, while you are waiting for alternative transport.

  • Submit an air passenger rights EU complaint form to your airline - and make sure you keep a copy for yourself.

    If this doesn't work, or you aren't satisfied with the reply, you can complain to the national enforcement body in the EU country where the incident took place.

    Or, if the incident happened at an airport of departure outside the EU but involved an EU airline, you can send a complaint to the relevant national enforcement body in the EU country you were travelling to.

  • Checked-in luggage

    If your registered luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline, up to about €1,220

    Exception - if damage is caused by an inherent defect in the baggage itself.

    Hand baggage (including personal items)

    The carrier is liable if it was responsible for the damage.

     Make sure to file your claim within 7 days of receiving your luggage (or 21 days if your luggage was delayed).

    If you wish to pursue other legal action, you must do so within 2 years of the date your luggage arrives.

    If you are travelling with expensive items, you might be able - for a fee - to obtain a compensation limit higher than €1,223 by making a special advance declaration to the airline - at the latest when you check in. Though the best thing is really to take out private travel insurance.

    There is no standard form for the special declaration. It is up to the airlines to choose the type of form they provide.

  • When you book a flight online, the total price of the ticket - including all compulsory elements such as taxes and charges - must be visible from the start, so you can compare prices across airlines and make an informed choice.

    As well as the final price, at least the following information must be clearly displayed: air fare, taxes, airport charges, other charges, surcharges or fees (such as for security or fuel).

    Any optional supplements must be clearly indicated and suggested on an opt-in basis only.

Travelling by ship

  • Did you know that you have certain rights when you are on a journey by ship in the EU?

    Firstly you may not be charged a higher price for a ticket because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.

    Secondly, you also have rights in case things go wrong. This concerns delays and cancellations that prevent you from boarding

    And applies if you are:

    • leaving a port in the EU with any carrier
    • arriving in a port in the EU with any carrier

     These rules do not apply to:

    • ships that can carry fewer than 13 passengers
    • ships that have no more than 3 members of crew
    • ships that cover a distance of less than 500 meters, one way
    • most sorts of historical ships
    • excursion and sightseeing ships – if they do not have accommodation facilities, or if the overnight stay does not exceed 2 nights on board.
  • If the service is cancelled or delayed, you always have the right to adequate and timely information about what is happening while you are waiting.

    If the service is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 90 minutes, you will be offered a choice:

    • Either you can get a refund for your ticket and where necessary a free return journey back to your initial departure point – for instance if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip
    • or you can be transported, under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity and at no extra cost.

    If your trip's departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes, in most cases you are also entitled to:

    • meals and refreshments – proportionate to the waiting time
    • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight

    If your trip's arrival at destination is delayed by more than 1 hour, you are entitled to compensation. Depending of the length of the delay, the compensation is either 25% or 50% of the ticket price.

    You will not receive compensation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters.

    Complaints

    If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the carrier within 2 months of the date on which the event happened. The carrier must react within 1 month and give you a final reply 2 months after receiving the complaint.

    If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body.

  • If you are injured in an accident at sea, you are entitled to compensation from the carrier or its insurer. In the event of death, compensation can be claimed by your successors.

    You also have a right to compensation by the carrier if your luggage, vehicles or other belongings are lost or damaged in an accident at sea.

    If you have reduced mobility, compensation for loss of or damage to wheelchairs or other such equipment will cover the full cost of replacement or repair.

    You have a right to receive an advance payment from the carrier to cover immediate needs in case of injury or death caused by:

    • Shipwreck
    • Capsizing
    • Collision
    • Stranding of the ship
    • Explosion or fire on the ship
    • Defect in the ship

    Complaints

    You can submit a claim for compensation for any loss or damage during an accident at sea to a court in the country:

    • where the carrier has its main place of business or permanent residence, or
    • where your place of departure or destination is, or
    • where you permanently live – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country's jurisdiction, or
    • where the travel contract was concluded – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country's jurisdiction.

    If your luggage is lost or damaged, you must inform the carrier in writing. You should ideally do this either by the time you leave the ship, or by the time the luggage is eventually delivered. At the very latest, you must inform the carrier within 15 days of disembarkation or delivery, otherwise, you will lose your right to compensation.

    In general, you must bring your claim to the courts within 2 years of the incident – although the starting point for this period can differ, depending on the nature of the loss or damage.

Travelling by train

  • When buying a rail ticket, you may not be charged a higher price because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.

    Your rights as a railway passenger generally apply to all rail journeys and services within the EU.

     European countries can decide whether or not these rights also apply to domestic trains (urban, suburban, regional, etc.) and international trains that start or finish their journey outside the EU.

  • If your train is cancelled or delayed, you always have the right to adequate information about what is happening while you are waiting.

    If you are told you will arrive at your final destination with a delay of at least 1 hour, you are entitled to:

    • cancel your travel plans and request an immediate refund of the cost of your ticket (sometimes in full, sometimes only for the part of the journey not made). You may also be entitled to a return journey to your initial departure point, if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip, or
    • be transported to your final destination at the earliest opportunity (or a later date of your choosing). This includes alternative transport when the train is blocked and the service is suspended.
    • meals and refreshments (proportionate to the waiting time)
    • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight

    If you decide to continue your journey as planned or to accept alternative transport to your destination, you may be entitled to compensation of:

    • 25% of the ticket fare, if the train is between 1 and 2 hours late.
    • 50% of the fare, if the train is more than 2 hours late.

    You will not receive compensation if:

    • you were informed of a delay before you bought your ticket

    If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the railway company, which must reply within 1 month.

    If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in your country.

  • If your registered luggage is lost or damaged during your trip, you have a right to compensation, unless it was inadequately packed, unfit for transport or had a special nature.

    Compensation amounts

    • Up to €1,300 per piece of registered luggage – if you can prove the value of its contents.
    • €330 per piece if you can't prove the value.

    If a passenger is killed or injured in a train accident, they (or their dependants) are entitled to compensation for lost or damaged hand luggage (registered or not) up to a maximum of €1,500.

  • If a passenger is injured or killed in a train accident, they (or their dependants) are entitled to compensation, with an advance payment within 15 days of the accident to cover their (or their dependants') immediate needs.

    In the event of death, this advance payment is at least €21,000 per person.

Travelling with reduced mobility

  • If you have reduced mobility, you should still have access to air travel like anyone else.

    You are also entitled to assistance, free of charge, getting on and off the plane, during the flight and in airports before and after the flight.

    To get the best assistance, contact the airline, ticket seller or tour operator at least 48 hours before your trip and explain what kinds of assistance you require. They will also advise on your wheelchair or mobility device and, where applicable, their batteries.

    You can't be denied boarding because of your reduced mobility, unless the aircraft is physically too small or there are security concerns.

    Airlines do not have to provide help with eating or taking medication during a flight. If you need this type of help, for example during a longer flight, airlines might request that you be accompanied by another person.

    If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should tell the airport authorities or the airline concerned.

    If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in the country where the incident happened.

    Guidelines for people with reduced mobility when travelling by air

  • If you have reduced mobility, you should still have access to train travel like anyone else. And you should easily be able to get hold of information on accessibility of trains from the railway company.

    You are also entitled to assistance, free of charge, getting on and off and changing trains, on board and at the station before and after your journey.

    To get the best assistance, contact the railway company, ticket seller or tour operator at least 48 hours before your trip and explain what assistance you require.

    You can't be denied boarding because of your reduced mobility, unless this is strictly necessary to comply with the company's access rules.

    If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should tell the station authorities or the railway company concerned.

    If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in the country where the incident happened.

     EU countries can exempt trains from these requirements - domestic trains that stay in the same country and international trains that start or finish their journey outside the EU. For further information on this you can contact the national enforcement bodies

  • If you have reduced mobility, you should still have access to travel by ship like anyone else.

    You are also entitled to assistance, free of charge, getting on or off a ship, changing ships, on board and at the port.

    To make sure you get the best assistance, you must tell the carrier, ticket seller or tour operator at least 48 hours before your trip, and explain what kinds of assistance you require.

    Even if you have not done this, the carrier and terminal operator still has to make all reasonable efforts to help you to board, disembark and travel on a ship.

    If you have special needs in terms of accommodation, seating, assistance, or if you need to bring medical equipment, tell the ticket seller when you make the reservation.

    Carriers can ask that you are accompanied by another person if necessary for safety reasons, or because of the way the ship or the port infrastructure are designed. This companion will travel for free.

    If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should tell the port authorities or the carrier concerned.

    If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in the country where the incident happened.