Air Passenger Rights (Regulation 261/2004)

In February 2005 a new European 'Passenger Rights' law was introduced. The aim of this law was to establish common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers which air carriers are obliged to comply with if certain situations arise. These situations are:

- Flight cancellations;
- long flight delays;
- instances of denied boarding; and
- instance of downgrading.

Each country within the European Union (EU) was required to designate an authority responsible for its enforcement within that jurisdiction. The Civil Aviation Administration is the national enforcement body (NEB) for Republic of Bulgaria. A list of the other NEB's throughout the EU can be found here:  To find out who the appropriate enforcement body is 261_national_enforcement_bodies.pdf 2004

So who does this law apply to?

This law applies to all passengers departing from airports within the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).

It also applies to all passengers departing from 'third countries' i.e. countries that are not part of the EU or EEA provided those flights:
- arrive into airports located within the EU/ EEA; and
- are operated by air carriers which are licensed within the EU/ EEA (unless they have already received compensation or assistance in that third country).

Is there anyone to whom does the law does not apply?

Yes. The law does not apply to passengers travelling either free of charge or at a reduced fare which is not available to the general public. It also will not apply to passengers who: 
- do not have a confirmed reservation:
- do not have the correct travel documentation for their journey e.g. visas etc:
- do not arrive at the boarding gate in good time for their flight:
- pose safety or security concerns for the air carrier.