what to do in case of
Overbooking, Cancellations, Delays and other complaints
The EC Regulation n. 261/2004 is the regulation that governs all the rules protecting the traveler in the case of denied boarding on a plane for “overbooking” or overbooking (excess bookings compared to seats available on the plane), cancellation you hate prolonged flight delay .
The Regulation applies to both scheduled and charter flights, alone or included in an “all inclusive” tourist package (those that include accommodation, transport and other tourist services not ancillary to the first two).
The Regulation applies only to flights departing from or having as their destination an airport of a Member State subject to the provisions of the Treaty and if the flight is operated by a Community carrier.
Passengers who are entitled to protection are those who have a confirmed booking on the flight on which boarding is denied and who have presented themselves for check-in at the time indicated in writing (including electronically) by the air carrier or, in lack of this, at least 45 minutes before the departure time.
The regulation does not apply to those traveling for free or at a reduced rate not accessible to the public. However, it applies to passengers on commercial air carrier programs such as the Frequent Flyer program or tour operators.
DENIED BOARDING / OVERBOOKING
The airline, before denying boarding to the traveler for excess of bookings, is obliged to ask passengers to find any volunteers willing to abandon the flight in exchange for benefits to be agreed between the passenger concerned and the operating air carrier.
If the number of volunteers is not sufficient to allow the remaining passengers holding reservations to board, the operating air carrier may deny boarding to unwilling passengers.
In this case, the carrier is obliged to immediately pay them compensation and assist them.
Those who are denied boarding, or volunteers for them, have the right in addition to immediate financial compensation and assistance, reimbursement or restart.
- 250 EUR for all areas less than or equal to 1500 km
- 400 EUR for all intra-community routes over 1500 km and for routes between 15000 and 3500 km
- 600 EUR for all routes with not falling within a) and b)
If passengers are offered to reach their final destination by boarding an alternative flight whose arrival time is no more than * the expected arrival time of the flight originally booked, the carrier may reduce the compensation by 50%.
- * two hours, for all flights equal to or less than 1500 km
- * three hours, for all other intra-community routes over 1500 km and for all flights between 1500 and 3500 km
- * four hours, for all flights not covered by a) and b)
The compensation is paid in cash by electronic bank transfer, deposits, bank checks or, subject to agreement signed by the passenger, with travel vouchers and / or other services.
Right to assistance
The passenger has the right:
- to meals and drinks in reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation and transportation from the airport to the place of accommodation if one or more overnight stays are required (when the new flight is postponed by at least one day with respect to the scheduled departure time for the canceled flight)
- to make two telephone calls or messages via telex, fax or e-mail free of charge
- The carrier must pay particular attention to the needs of persons with reduced mobility and their carers, as well as the needs of unaccompanied children.
Right to Refund or Restart
Those denied boarding, or volunteers for them, is offered choice by the operating air carrier between:
- refund within seven days of the full price of the ticket, at the same price at which it was purchased, for parts of travel not taken or parts of travel already made if the flight in question has become useless in relation to the passenger’s initial travel schedule, and , in the case, to a return flight to the initial point of departure, as soon as possible.
- re-routing to the final destination under comparable transport conditions, as soon as possible or at a later date of your choice, depending on the availability of seats.
If the operating air carrier offers boarding on a flight to a destination airport other than the one booked but neighboring, the transfer costs from the airport of arrival to the airport for which the reservation was made or to another destination nearby, agreed with the passenger, are the responsibility of the operating air carrier.
Obligation to inform passengers about their rights
The operating air carrier ensures that a notice is posted at the check-in counter in a clearly visible and legible way for passengers containing the text: “In case of denied boarding or flight canceled or delayed for at least two hours, contact the check-in desk to obtain the text that enumerates the rights of the passenger, in particular with regard to financial compensation and assistance. “
If it denies boarding or cancels a flight, the operating air carrier shall provide each passenger involved with a written notice containing the rules on compensation and assistance pursuant to EC Regulation n. 261/2004. A similar notice is presented to passengers whose flight is delayed by at least two hours. Passengers are also provided in writing with the information they need to contact the designated national body (see.
As regards the blind or partially sighted, the provisions are applied by resorting to suitable alternative means.
CANCELLATION OF THE FLIGHT
In the event of flight cancellation, the passengers involved are offered the right to reimbursement or restart by the operating air carrier (see paragraph on Right of Refund or Restart) the right to assistance (see paragraph Right to assistance) and the pecuniary compensation is due (see paragraph above Financial compensation) unless:
- have been informed of the cancellation of the flight at least two weeks before the scheduled departure time
- have been informed between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled departure time and have been offered to depart on an alternative flight no more than two hours before the scheduled departure time and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the expected arrival time
- have been informed of the flight cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled departure time and have been offered to depart on an alternative flight no more than one hour before the scheduled departure time and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the expected arrival time
- the cancellation of the flight is due to exceptional circumstances that could not have been avoided even if the necessary measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, arise in the event of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the performance of the flight from a safety point of view, sudden failures of the flight from the point of view of safety and strikes affecting the activity of an air carrier. operating.
The burden of proof as to whether and when the passenger has been notified of the cancellation of the flight rests with the operating air carrier.
The operating air carrier must also inform of any possible transport alternatives.
It is provided assistance (see paragraph Right to assistance ) by the operating air carrier if the flight is delayed:
- of two or more hours for all flights equal to or less than 1500 km
- of three hours or more for all intra-Community flights over 1500 km and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 km
- of four or more hours for all other flights not covered by the cases a) and b)
When the flight is delayed by at least five hours the passenger is entitled reimbursement within seven days of the full price of the ticket, at the same price at which it was purchased, for parts of the journey not made or parts of travel already made if the flight in question has become useless compared to the passenger’s initial travel program and, if necessary, a return flight to the initial departure point as soon as possible.
LOWER CLASS ACCOMMODATION
If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a lower class than that corresponding to the purchased air ticket, it will refund within seven days
- 30% of the ticket price for all flights equal to or less than 1500 km
- 50% of the ticket price for for all intra-Community flights over 1500 km, excluding connections between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 km
- 75% of the price for all other flights that are not included in the cases a) and b) including links between the European territory of the Member States and the French overseas departments.
PEOPLE WITH REDUCED MOBILITY OR WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
In the event of denied boarding, flight cancellation and delays of any duration, persons with reduced mobility and their accompanying persons as well as unaccompanied children are entitled to receive assistance as soon as possible.
SUBMISSION OF COMPLAINTS TO THE NATIONAL ENFORCEMENT BODIES AND ADR AND CONSUMER PROTECTION BODIES
In order to ensure that complaint procedures are handled efficiently and to provide air carriers and other potentially affected companies with a secure legal environment, the Commission recommends that passengers be invited to submit complaints to the competent national enforcement body. of the country where the problem occurred, within a reasonable time, if they believe that an air carrier has violated their rights. Passenger complaints submitted to a national enforcement body should only be submitted after a complaint has been made to the air carrier and received an unsatisfactory response or in the absence of any response from the air carrier. The Commission recommends that the air carrier provide a response within two months and that no restrictions are imposed on the use of one of the official EU languages. However, as national enforcement bodies are not required to take coercive measures against air carriers to force them to pay compensation under the regulation, their role is to provide an informed response to complainants, in accordance with the principles of good administration, so that passengers are informed about the possibilities of redress or other actions they can take if they do not agree with the assessment of their case. Passengers have the right to decide whether to be represented by another person or body. In addition to complaints under the Regulation, if the carrier is established in the EU and participates in the ADR scheme, passengers residing in the EU can submit contractual disputes with air carriers established in the EU to alternative dispute resolution bodies ( ADR) established under the ADR Directive. If the ticket was purchased online, passengers can also submit such disputes at the online dispute resolution (ODR) platform, established under the ODR regulation, which can be accessed via the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/odr . In cases where air carriers are not required under national law to participate in procedures before ADR entities, it is desirable that they voluntarily undertake to participate in procedures affecting them and to inform their customers.