EU passenger rights: traveling without worries

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EU passenger rights: traveling without worries

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When traveling in Europe, you should remember your rights, which are protected by the European Union, in case something goes wrong on vacation. Transport companies operating in the EU are obliged to provide passengers with food, accommodation, or reimbursement in the event of flight delays or cancellations. This applies to any type of transport: plane, train, bus, or water transport. Also, transport companies should pay special attention to passengers with limited mobility and people with disabilities - such persons have the right to free assistance.


In addition, transport companies do not have the right to charge passengers an additional cost due to the nationality of the passengers or the location of the purchase of the ticket.


Air transportation


These rules are valid if the flight takes place within the EU or departs from a country that is part of the Union. This system does not apply if flights are canceled or delayed due to extraordinary circumstances: bad weather conditions, political instability in the country of departure or arrival, security risks, etc.


If you are denied boarding, the airline must provide you with free assistance. It can be drinks, food, or accommodation. You should also be given the option to choose between reimbursement or rerouting. The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the scheduled flight and ranges from 250 to 600 euros.


If your flight is canceled, you are entitled to assistance, reimbursement, rerouting, or return. In the event of a flight delay, the conditions depend on the delay's duration and the flight's distance.


Passengers whose flights were canceled at short notice or delayed for more than 3 hours are entitled to the above amount of compensation, but with certain limitations.


Railway transportation


The rules are valid for rail travel within the European Union.


If your train is canceled or delayed, the carrier must provide you with real-time information about your rights and responsibilities, be it food, accommodation, or monetary compensation.


Bus transportation


The rules apply to regular long-distance routes that start or finish in an EU country. In case of delay or cancellation, the transport company must provide passengers with meals and accommodation.


Water transport


These rules apply to ferries and cruise ships if the journey starts or ends in a port in one of the EU countries.


If your crossing is delayed or canceled, you must be provided with meals and accommodation. If the arrival is delayed for more than an hour, the passenger has the right to monetary compensation.


More detailed information about the rights of passengers of all types of transport can be found on the Your Europe website. You can also download the Passenger Rights app to your Android or iOS smartphone.


To feel safe on any trip, don't forget to take care of health insurance, which also covers the risks of lost luggage and flight delays.