If an airline delays or cancels your flight, or something goes wrong while you’re travelling, it pays to know what your rights are
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:
departing from an EU airport and operated by any airline,
arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline
Under this law, EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
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.
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.
The table below shows how this is calculated:
Length of journey
Up to 1500km
30% of the price of the ticket
50% of the price of the ticket
More than 3500km
75% of the price of the ticket
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.