The Commission for Aviation Regulation monitors and regulates the laws covering air passengers’ rights. Its website flightrights.ie gives comprehensive information on your rights and entitlements in the event that your air travel plans are disrupted.
Many airlines offer fares that may seem very cheap. Whenever you book airline tickets, whether online or from a travel agent, there can be lots of additional charges including taxes, airport charges, baggage fees, charges for paying by credit card or debit card, a charge to choose your seat or for priority boarding.
So, before you confirm your booking, always check the total cost of the flight, because it might not be quite so cheap in the end.
The final cost including all charges must be shown to you before you complete your booking. Make sure you are not being changed for anything you do not want, for example travel insurance or check-in bags.
Some short flight delays are regular and understandable. But if the delay is of a certain duration that you have entitlements. Check flightrights.ie for your entitlements if your flight has been delayed.
Your rights vary depending on when you are informed of the cancellation. Check flightrights.ie for your entitlements if your flight has been cancelled.
In certain circumstances you may receive financial compensation because of a cancelled flight, but you are not entitled to compensation if:
- The airline gave you adequate notice of the cancellation or
- The airline can prove that the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances which couldn’t have been avoided – examples include extreme weather conditions and flight safety delays
There are companies that offer to help you to claim your compensation for cancelled or delayed flights. These companies will take a share of any compensation you are owed, so be careful using them as you won’t receive the full amount you would get if you claimed the compensation yourself.
There may be other ways to recover some or all of your costs. Some travel insurance policies may have an allowance for costs caused by delays – check your policy details. Your policy may also pay out if a journey or holiday is cancelled due to flight problems.
If you booked using a credit card you should contact your credit card provider to see if you can make a claim.
If the flight is part of a package holiday, you have stronger protection under package holiday laws. Operators must refund customers for the whole holiday if trips are cancelled or they cannot get you to your destination.
Missing a flight
Whenever you book a flight, you enter into a contract with an airline. The contract’s terms and conditions spell out your rights and responsibilities. If you book a flight online, you will always be asked to indicate that you have read and accept the terms and conditions of the contract. Flightrights.ie have information on your entitlements should you miss a flight.
You may be denied boarding if your flight is overbooked. If this happens your airline must:
|Offer you an alternative flight OR refund the price of your ticket|
|Provide you with food, refreshments and reasonable access to phone/email.|
|If necessary, they must also provide you with overnight accommodation while you wait on an alternative flight as well as transport between the airport and accommodation.|
You are also entitled to compensation for your inconvenience based on the length of your intended journey:
|Length of journey||Compensation|
|Up to 1,500 km||€250|
|1,500 to 3,500 km||€400|
|Over 3,500 km||€600|
You are not entitled to compensation if you are:
- Given at least two weeks’ notice that your flight has been cancelled
- Provided with another flight at the time of the original flight
- Denied boarding but travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare that is not available to the public
- Late at check-in
- Denied boarding because airline staff believe your behaviour poses a danger to yourself or others
Where to complain
In Ireland, the Commission for Aviation Regulation is responsible for the rules on compensation and assistance to passengers.
If your flight is supposed to depart from another EU country, complain there. If you are travelling from outside the EU and your flight is operated by an EU airline, complain to the EU country where it is supposed to land.
For the name and address of the relevant authority that can assist you with your complaints, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.