Air Passenger Rights

Air passenger rights means the right to be duly compensated in accordance with regulations when they experienced flight delayed or canceled. Every year Millions of air passengers are eligible for compensations due to flight delays, cancellations, denied boarding, overbooking.
But many of them don’t know their rights for compensation. Some know the rights but airline's rejected compensation. For this reason, it is hard for them to get their compensation, As folllowing survey less than 2% actually receive their flight compensation. The rules vary from region to region, but many passengers don’t know that they can get a compensation From Airline

What is the EC 261/2004 regulation?

EC 261/2004 is an EU law that favors the passengers in case of flight cancellation or delay. Which causes the airline to be financially liable unless an interruption occurs due to circumstances beyond airline’s control. It is a strong aviation law in Europe. EC 261/2004 is one of the most comprehensive laws when compared to other laws on passenger rights. Protect the rights of not only European travelers but also non european passengers. Passengers departing from European airports are covered by EC 261/2004. In some cases, passengers departing to Europe from non Europe area can also be guaranteed.

EC 261/2004 compensation for extraordinary operation of flight

Passengers may be compensated in the following situations
- Aircraft delay (more than 3 hours)
- Flight cancellation (more than 2 hours)
- Denied boarding

EU airline
Non-EU airline
From non EU To non EU
Not covered
Not covered
From non EU To EU
Not covered
From EU To non EU
From EU To EU
Which flights are covered by EC 261/2004 in compensation

It is very important to know whether your flight is an applicable, under EC 261/2004 regulation when it comes to flight cancellation and delay compensation. Most routes in Europe applied This includes not only the EU area, but also Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and certain national islands. (ex: Saint Martin, Madeira and Azores, French Guiana and Martinique etc) This includes many international flights als0, If a flight departs from an airport in the EU, the flight is applied. If your flight departs from another place, but the destination is in the EU, if you are boarding European airline, the coverage will apply depending on the airline. See the table below for better understanding.

No compensation : extraordinary circumstances

According to EC 261/2004, if an interruption occurs due to a “extraordinary circumstances” which is not under the control of the airline, the carrier is not required to compensate. For example, in the event of a flight cancellation, delay, you will not be entitled to compensation.

If it is one of the following:
Flight check / Flight Information
Airport employee strike
Flight check / Flight Information
Wather condition (rain, snow, strong winds)
Flight check / Flight Information
Security risk
Flight check / Flight Information
Political unstability
However, in this cases, compensation is not unconditionally impossible. The airline should have taken reasonable steps to prevent delays. For example, bad weather can be considered a special situation. However, if airline didn’t prepared and prevent the delay, it is still eligible for compensation.

Another example is strikes. Previously, airlines' strike was considered a “extraordinary circumstances” And they have no duty to compensate However, in the years since the introduction of EC 261/2004, numerous court cases related strike have been filed In the 2018 judgment of the European Court of Justice, a case was made that the airline employee strike could not be considered “extraordinary circumstances” In other words, thousands of passengers affected by airline employee strike action can now be compensated.

Non-monetary rights in accordance with EC 261/2004
Delayed time
All flights
2 hours~
internal EU flights
3 hours~
Non-internal EU flights
1500km ~3500km
3 hours~
Non-internal EU flights
4 hours~

[chart explains when passenger are eligible for Non-monetary rights]

EC 261/2004 includes other non-monetary rights related to your treatment. in addition to the monetary EU airline compensation. you may receive in case of flight cancellation or delay. Here are some of the following related

1) AIRLINE should inform passengers of their rights

All airlines must display information about their rights at the check-in counters. In other words, the customer must be notified of their right to compensation. However, the contents are absolutely not guaranteed by the airline.

2) Ticket refund or Re- routing rights

In addition to compensation for the delayed time, if the delay exceeds five hours, a full or partial refund of the original ticket should be paid to passenger and if necessary, a return flight to the point of departure is available.

3) Airline should care passenger

If there is a flight distruption and passenger should wait for a long time at the airport. The carrier must provide following below.

1. Meals and refreshments while being delayed
2. Provide phone calls, telex or fax messages and emails
3. If overnight accommodations are necessary they must provide accommodation (ex.hotel)
4. The following chart describes when passengers are eligible for the rights
[Reward Rights Criteria]

4) Upgrade and downgrade of class

If an alternative flight is provided and is placed in a higher class than your original flight’s one you have booked, the carrier will not be able to charge you an additional fee. On the other hand, if the class of the alternative flight is lower, you may receive repayments between 30% and 75% of the original price paid.

5) Additional compensation

Compensation rights under EC 261/2004 do not affect the right to request additional compensation. In other words, the compensation of the travel insurance not affected by EC 261/2004 compensation. You can receive both compensation in case of damage delayed arrival time due to flight cancellation or delay.

​EU 261/2004 ‘s time limit for compensation

[refer to airhelp data]

It is Airline’s general excuse to refuse compensation. Some airlines insist that compensation is possible within two years based on the airline's regulations. However, civil law takes precedence over airline’s regulation. So you should know the exact time limit for your case. The limitation period for compensation rights under EC 261 varies from country to country. It should be noted that the country is not determined by nationality, but by the courts of jurisdiction with respect to the location of the airline's and headquarters or the airline.