Under EU law, you have significant rights on many flights to, from or within the European Union. This page will help you understand when the law applies and what you are entitled to if your flight doesn’t go as planned.
To be covered by EU law, your flight must be either:
Under this law, EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
See the full country list
If you book with one airline but fly with another (a ‘codeshare flight’) then it’s the nationality of the airline operating the flight that counts.
There have been a number of changes to the law over the last few years due to cases being heard in the European Court. The European Commission has published
guidelines to clarify the existing rules and ensure they are consistently applied across the EU.
If your flight isn’t covered by EU law, you may still be entitled to assistance.
The length of your flight determines many of your rights, so it’s a good idea to check which category your flight falls into:
The distance is sometimes shown on your flight confirmation. Alternatively, you can
check it online.
If your flight is delayed, EU law says your airline must provide food, drink and accommodation. See specific information about:
If your flight has been cancelled, your airline must offer you the choice of a refund or alternative flight. See specific information about:
If an airline has overbooked a flight or uses a smaller plane than it planned, it sometimes asks or forces passengers to give up their seat. This is called being ‘bumped’ or denied boarding.
Your rights when bumped from a flight
If your airline downgrades you to a lower class than the one you booked (for instance, economy instead of business), you are entitled to reimbursement of a percentage of the price for the flight on which you were downgraded.
The table below shows how this is calculated:
Your rights when downgraded
If your journey involves more than one flight and you have a through ticket (a single ticket which covers more than one flight), your airline may have to look after you if you miss your connection.
Your rights when you miss a connection
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