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Your rights as a passenger

In the framework of air transportation, the applicable legal regime is constituted by the Montreal Convention of 28 May 1999 for the unification of certain rules for international carriage by air and European Regulation 261/2004 laying down common rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers in the event of overbooking and cancellation or long delay of flights.

Overbookings, cancellations and long delays cause serious disruption and inconvenience, which is why we believe that a high level of passenger protection should be ensured.

The main rights of a passenger in the event of an air transport incident are:

  • Right to be informed.
  • Right to be well cared for, with sufficient food and drink, as well as accommodation if necessary.
  • Right to get a ticket refund or an alternative transport.
  • Right to get a financial compensation.

Passengers on delayed flights may invoke the right to compensation when they bear, in relation to the flight, a loss of time equal to or greater than three hours, i.e. when they arrive at the final destination three or more hours after the originally scheduled arrival time communicated by the air carrier.

It is important to note that the magnitude of the delay is a factor that increases the likelihood of damage.

Documentation to claim in case of disruption:

  • ID Card or passport (family booklet if there are minors).
  • Reservation/confirmation of the ticket.
  • Boarding pass.
  • Expense tickets/invoices or other related documents.

The flight is considered “cancelled” when the air carrier carries passengers on another flight whose initial schedule differs from that of the flight originally planned.

Passengers on cancelled flights may request compensation as long as the airlines have not accomplished certain obligations relating to the right of information and assistance.

Regardless of how early the cancellation is reported, the airline may be released from paying compensation if it duly justifies that the cancellation was due to extraordinary causes (e.g. air traffic controller strike, adverse weather, political instability).

Documentation to claim in case of disruption:

  • ID card or passport (family booklet/birth certificate if there are minors).
  • Reservation/confirmation of the ticket.
  • Boarding pass (for cancelled flight and alternate flight if applies).
  • Expense tickets/invoices or other related documents.

Denied boarding is a refusal to carry passengers on a flight, despite having presented themselves to boarding in the required conditions, unless there are reasonable grounds for refusing boarding, such as health or safety reasons or inadequate travel documents. Denied boarding not only covers overbooking situations, but also boarding denials due to operational reasons.

Documents to claim in case of disruption:

  • ID card or passport (family booklet/birth certificate if there are minors).
  • Reservation/confirmation of the ticket.
  • Boarding pass (original and alternative flight if applies).
  • Expense tickets/invoices or other related documents.

There may be several incidents in the air transport of baggage such as the receipt of damaged baggage (or theft of belongings), the delay in the delivery of baggage (up to 21 days from the date of arrival) and the total loss of baggage (more than 21 days means the luggage is legally considered lost).

Documents to claim in case of disruption:

  • ID card or passport (family booklet/birth certificate if there are minors).
  • Flight booking and/or boarding pass.
  • Luggage label.
  • Property Irregularity Report (P.I.R.).
  • Expense tickets/invoices or other related documents.

Delay compensation

Flight distance Maximum claimable compensation
0 — 1500 km 250€
Intra-EU flights over 1500 km and other flights (non intra-EU) between 1500 and 3500 km 400€
More than 3500 km 600€

Cancellation compensation

Compensation for cancelation when alternative flight has been accepted Airline has informed of the flight cancellation
Less than 7 days in advance 7 days to 2 weeks in advance More than 2 weeks in advance
Elegible You arrive to destination with more than 2 hours delay. You arrive to destination with more than 4 hours delay. Not elegible for compensation if you've been informed in advance.
Elegible for partial compensation according to flight distance You leave < 1 hour in advance and arrive < 2 hours late. You leave < 2 hours in advance and arrive < 4 hours late.
Maximum compensation due to cancellation
Flight delay compared to original scheduled arrival time Calculated end-to-end orthodromic flight distance
Flights up to 1,500 km Intra-EU flights over 1500 km and other flights (non intra-EU) between 1500 and 3500 km Non intra-EU flights over 3,500 km
Less than 2 hours 125€ 200€ 300€
Between 2 and 3 hours 250€ 200€ 300€
Between 3 and 4 hours 250€ 400€ 300€
Mor than 4 hours 250€ 400€ 600€

* The costs of food and accommodation until you can catch the alternative flight must be assumed by the airline, being claimed if the passenger assumes them, together with the compensation if applies.

* * In case of an airline without a EC licence and a flight not taking off or landing on any territory of the European Union, the compensation to be claimed is calculated based on the specific damage suffered by the passenger, mainly attributable damages such as unattended commitments, lost working days and expenses carried out due to the cancellation of the flight. The airline may be released from compensation if it proves that it took the necessary measures to prevent the damage or that it was impossible for it to do so.

Luggage issues compensation

Type of disruption Deadline for requesting the Property Irregularity Report (P.I.R) Deadline for action Maximum claimable compensation
Damage You have up to 7 days after the landing date 2 years from the date of arrival at destination or the day the aircraft should have arrived Amount of baggage value
Luggage delivery delay You have up to 21 days after the landing date 2 years from the date of arrival at destination or the day the aircraft should have arrived Up to 1400 euros without special declaration of interest. It is calculated based on different parameters, including days of delay and incurred expenses.
Luggage loss You have up to 21 days after the landing date 2 years from the date of arrival at destination or the day the aircraft should have arrived Up to 1400 euros without special declaration of interest. It is calculated based on different circumstances, including baggage content, incurred expenses, lost while traveling to/from home.

Overbooking compensation

Acceptance by the passenger of an alternative flight provided by the airline
Flight delay compared to original scheduled arrival time Calculated end-to-end orthodromic flight distance
Flights up to 1,500 km Intra-EU flights over 1500 km and other flights (non intra-EU) between 1500 and 3500 km Non intra- EU flights over 3,500 km
Less than 2 hours 125€ 200€ 300€
Between 2 and 3 hours 250€ 200€ 300€
Between 3 and 4 hours 250€ 400€ 300€
More than 4 hours 250€ 400€ 600€

* Attendance costs are assumed by the airline, and if applicable, can be claimed if not, together with the corresponding indemnities according to the table above.

* * In case of an airline without a EC licence and a flight not taking off or landing on any territory of the European Union, the compensation to be claimed is calculated based on the specific damage suffered by the passenger, mainly attributable damages such as unattended commitments, lost working days and expenses carried out due to the suffered delay. Those expenses may be creditable with invoices or tickets.

First of all, we always try to reach an economic agreement that is satisfactory for our customers. However, if within a reasonable period of 3 months we do not receive a response from the airline or the received response is unsatisfactory, we pass the file to one of our lawyers to claim compensation through court.

At Populetic we try to get your compensation as quickly as possible, but we have to take into account factors unrelated to the internal operation of the company, such as the legal timings we have to respect in order to try to reach an agreement with the airline or the workload and speed of the assigned court.

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