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Air travel

These pages contain advice for situations where a flight operated by a foreign airline is cancelled or delayed. We also tell you about the rights of people with reduced mobility and about what action to take if your luggage is delayed, lost or damaged. For information about filing complaints, see Complaints.

The EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation governs both privately booked scheduled flights and charter flights that are part of a package holiday. If your flight is delayed, you may also be entitled to a discount from your tour operator under package holiday legislation.

When you book a flight

When you book a flight, make note of the following:

  • As a rule, you cannot cancel your flight tickets. So check your flight’s terms - usually the higher the price, the better the terms as regards cancellation, for example.
  • Make sure you get the dates and names correct. If you type in your name wrong, it often costs extra to have it changed – or it may not be possible at all.
  • If you take out cancellation insurance, check its terms and conditions, too. Often it only covers cancellation in case of illness.
  • If possible, pay with your credit card.
  • Check whether the same airline operates both the outbound and inbound flight. Check the terms and conditions: if, for example, your outbound flight is cancelled, will the return flight also be cancelled?
  • If you have a stopover, check whether each leg has its own agreement – this is sometimes the case with low-cost airlines. This may affect whether the flight can be cancelled – other legs are not cancelled automatically, because each leg has its own agreement.
  • If you receive an error message in the middle of making your booking, either take a screenshot of it or use your phone camera. Do not book any new flights until you are sure whether the booking went through after all. Check whether your account has been debited and whether you received a booking confirmation. Contact the flight agent before booking any new flights. Often the booking has been successful despite the error message, and the confirmation will arrive.       
  • The ticket price does not necessarily include luggage so you should check when booking your flight whether you will be charged extra for luggage placed in the cargo hold.
Updated 22.12.2014 Print