Life

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Taking the sting out of travel delays

August 8th, 2022 11:50 AM

If your delayed flight is covered by the law, free meals must be offered depending on how long the waiting time is. Hotel accommodation must also be offered free where an overnight stay becomes necessary. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Share this article

What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?

Where your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a choice of:

• Refund of the cost of your ticket within seven days or

• Re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or

• Re-routing at a later date at your convenience, subject to availability of seats

You may also be entitled to compensation.

Are there situations where I am not entitled to any compensation?

You are not entitled to compensation if:

• You have received at least two weeks’ notice of the cancellation; or

• You have received between two weeks and seven days’ notice but you have been offered an alternative flight departing no more than two hours before your original departure time and arriving at your final destination less than four hours after your original scheduled time of arrival; or

• You have received less than seven days’ notice but you have been offered an alternative flight departing no more than one hour before your original departure time and arriving at your final destination less than two hours after your original scheduled time of arrival.

• If the airline can prove that the cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance which could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures had been taken, no compensation is payable.

Can you give some examples of extraordinary circumstances?

Extraordinary circumstances could include any of the following 

• Weather conditions

• Air traffic control restrictions

• Security risks and

• Industrial disputes that affect the operation of the flight

How is compensation calculated?

A number of factors are taken into consideration when calculating compensation. It will vary depending on whether you opted for a refund of the cost of your ticket or you opted to be re-routed

It is based on factors such as the length of the flight you were booked on if you are getting a refund and the length of delay past your original planned arrival time, if you were re-routed. 

What are my rights if my flight is delayed?

Whether a delayed flight comes within the terms of the law depends upon the distance of the route involved and the length of the delay. The following flights are covered by the law:

• Delays of two hours or more in the case of flights of 1500 km or less

• Delays of three hours or more in the case of all flights within the EU of more than 1500 km, and of all other flights between 1500 and 3500 km

• Delays of four hours or more in the case of all other flights

If your delayed flight is covered by the law, free meals and refreshments must be offered depending on how long the waiting time is. Hotel accommodation must also be offered free of charge where an overnight stay becomes necessary, as well as transport between the hotel and the airport. 

Can I get a refund if my flight is delayed?

If the flight is delayed at least five hours, you must be offered a refund of your ticket instead of flying. A refund is a full refund of the ticket for the part or parts of the journey you have not made and for the part or parts you already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose to your original travel plan. When relevant, it also includes a return flight to your first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity.

If the airline can prove that the delay was caused by an extraordinary circumstance which could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures had been taken, no compensation is payable.

How do I make a complaint?

If you have a complaint about a cancellation, long flight delay or an instance of denied boarding, you should complain to the airline first.

If your airline does not resolve your complaint, you should send it to the appropriate national enforcement body. Each member state is responsible for departures from airports within its territory and arrivals into such airports from third countries on EU/EEA-licensed carriers.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation is the national enforcement body in Ireland. It deals with complaints arising from flights departing from Irish airports or those arriving at an Irish airport from outside the EU/EEA on an EUEEA-licensed carrier. You can make a complaint online. 

If you have a complaint about a flight returning to Ireland from the EU/EEA, you contact the national enforcement body in the EU/EEA state your flight departed from.

For example, if you booked a return flight from Dublin to Malaga and the outbound flight (ie the Dublin to Malaga flight) was cancelled then you should contact the Commission for Aviation Regulation. However if the return flight (i.e. the Malaga to Dublin flight) was disrupted then you should contact the Spanish equivalent, the Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (AESA).

Find more information on your rights and how to make a complaint on www.flightrights.ie. You can also find all the common questions about passenger rights in case of flight cancellation, delay or other areas.

 

For further information call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in West Cork on 0818 07 8390. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you. The offices are staffed from 10am-5pm from Monday to Thursday and on Friday from 10am-4pm. 

Alternatively you can email [email protected] or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie

Tags used in this article

Share this article


Related content

Subscribe

to our mailing list for the latest news and sport:

Thank You!

You have successfully been subscribed to SouthernStar newsletter!

Form submitting... Thank you for waiting.