At 30 airports in Europe, passengers can learn which obligations air carriers are obliged meet when a flight is cancelled or delayed or what amount of financial compensation one can ask for when luggage is damaged. This information is provided by the workers of the European Consumer Centres’ Network within a campaign called Air Passenger Rights Day which is also held at the Prague Airport today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event takes place also at the airports for example in Paris, Rome, Vienna or Warsaw.
“When a flight is significantly delayed or cancelled, the passenger has the right for free-of-charge assistance, i.e. refreshments appropriate to the waiting time and for accommodation for one or more nights in case of need. The care shall be provided by the operating air carrier or the tour operator,” says Tomáš Večl, the Director of the European Consumer Centre Czech Republic which together with the European Commission and the Civil Aviation Authority prepared the today’s campaign at the departure hall of Terminal 2 of the Prague Airport.
It is important to stress that the carrier is also obliged to provide the above mentioned free-of-charge help in cases when a flight delay or cancellation is caused by force majeure, i.e. weather, strike and so forth. “If the carrier due to any reason shall not provide the above mentioned care, the passenger can subsequently ask for reimbursement of the real costs, providing all appropriate receipts at best,” says Tomáš Večl.
If the flight cancellation or delay is not caused by force majeure, the passenger shall have the right also for financial compensation ranging from 250 to 600 EUR (according to the flight distance and the provided substitute flight). Passengers who are denied to board on the plane due to overbooking of the respective flight shall have the right for financial compensation.
The passenger also has the right for financial compensation when his luggage is damaged, lost or delayed during transportation. He can claim up to about 35.000 CZK at the carrier. “When luggage is delayed and the passenger needs to buy necessary elementary things, we recommend keeping receipts of such purchase in order to be able to subsequently prove the real damage,” explains Tomáš Večl.
The wide information action called the Air Passenger Rights Day was held last year for the first time. Besides information on passengers’ rights, the ECC employees also offer brochures with information on consumer rights when renting cars and on how to claim goods purchased in other EU countries.
When experiencing problems with enforcement of their rights at air carriers from other EU countries, passengers can ask the European Consumer Centres’ Network for free-of-charge help.
Other information on air passenger rights can be found on the website of the European Consumer Centre Czech Republic by the Czech Trade Inspection Authority www.evropskyspotrebitel.cz, the European Commission http://ec.europa.eu/passenger-rights and the Civil Aviation Authority www.ucl.cz.