Question from Laurent in Paris:
“I was supposed to fly from Paris to Sofia, but on my arrival at the airport I was informed that my flight was delayed by 3 1/2 hours due to technical failure. Is there any EU legislation which would protect my rights?”
Answer by Nina Koudelkova, Europe Direct Communication Officer:
“Indeed, in 2004 the European Union adopted a Regulation on Air passenger rights, which aims to protect passengers travelling within the EU or with EU-registered air carriers in case of denied boarding, flight cancellation or long delays.
“For delays longer than two hours, you are entitled to care by the airline, such as a phone call, refreshments, a meal, accommodation, or transportation to the place of accommodation and back to the airport.
“The airline company cannot deny you this assistance even under extraordinary circumstances. When the delay is at least five hours long, you can choose not to continue the journey and receive a refund of the ticket within seven days, with a free flight back to the initial point of departure, when relevant.
“If you request the reimbursement of your ticket, you give up the right to any further onward travel, assistance or re-routing from the airline company.
“Additionally, you may also be entitled to financial compensation, the amount of which depends on the distance of the flight. You will not receive compensation if the delay of your flight: – was due to extraordinary circumstances or – was less than three hours upon arrival at the final destination.
“If your flight is delayed, you need to contact the airline first. If the airline refuses to fulfill its obligations, you may contact the national enforcement body in the EU country where the incident took place. Or, if the incident happened outside the EU with an EU carrier, you can lodge a complaint in the EU Member State of destination.”
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