Common Questions about flights

Issues and cases that do not fall within the scope of Regulation 261 and Regulation 1107 shall not be subject to review by the DG CAA.

My flight was delayed. Am I entitled to financial compensation?

You may be entitled to compensation if you arrive at your destination more than three hours late because of a flight delay. However your air carrier will be exempted from paying this compensation in certain situations. 

What else am I entitled to if my flight is delayed?

If your flight is delayed by certain prescribed timeframes then your air carrier is obliged to take care of you. They should provide you with meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting period, access to a telephone, computer or fax, hotel accommodation where necessary and transport between the airport and the hotel. In addition, if the delay is more than 5 hours long and you no longer wish to travel you are entitled to a full refund.

My flight was delayed by 12 hours but the air carrier said that they could not provide meals and refreshments. Instead they told me to keep my receipts. What should I do now?

If your flight is delayed for a long time then your air carrier must take care of you. They should provide you with meals and refreshments, access to a telephone, computer or fax, hotel accommodation where necessary and transport between the airport and the hotel. If the air carrier fails to provide this care and you are forced to make your own reasonable arrangements, then you should keep all your receipts. You should then submit copies of these receipts to your air carrier as soon as possible thereafter (some air carriers request original receipts in which case you should keep copies for your own records).

I have been told that my flight is now operating at a different time than when I originally made the booking. The airline says this is because of a "schedule change". Am I due a refund or compensation?

There are no specific laws governing schedule changes, although the air carrier's terms and conditions will usually refer to them. You will usually only be entitled to a refund where the schedule change is greater than two hours. There is no right to compensation in the case of schedule changes.

My flight has been cancelled. I have been offered an alternative flight to a different airport in the city I am travelling to. Who will pay for my expenses in getting to the original airport (my car is parked there)?

Where a town, city or region is served by several airports and your air carrier offers to re-route you to a different one, it must bear the cost of your transport from that alternative airport to the original one. If you do not specifically need to go to the original airport, your air carrier may instead agree to pay for you to be transported to a nearby destination.

After cancelling my flight my air carrier told me that the soonest they could re-route me was the following morning. This was unsuitable for me so I booked another flight with a different airline. What refund am I entitled to?

You are only entitled to a refund for the unused (cancelled) flight from the original airline. Furthermore the original air carrier has no liability for any expenses you incur whilst waiting for your new flight.

I have cancelled my own flight. Am I due a refund of the full price paid or just the taxes and charges element?

If you cancel your reservation, you are bound by the terms and conditions agreed at the time of booking/purchase. Some tickets are fully refundable (i.e. you get back the ‘fare' plus any ‘taxes and charges') while others, particularly ‘low-fare' tickets, are usually non-refundable except for the ‘taxes and charges' element. Claims for all refunds - including refunds of the taxes and charges only - should be made directly to the air carrier as soon as possible. Some air carriers charge an administration fee for carrying out these refunds.

I was due to travel from Sofia to New York via Amsterdam with all my flights on the same ticket. On arrival in Amsterdam it was announced that the New York flight was cancelled. As a result I missed an important engagement in New York and now have no reason to go there. What are my entitlements?

You are entitled to a refund of the full cost of your ticket together with a return flight to Sofia. You are also entitled to meals, refreshments and hotel accommodation as necessary whilst waiting for that return flight as well as 2 telephone calls, emails or faxes. You may also be entitled to compensation unless the air carrier can prove that the cancellation was the result of extraordinary circumstances.

My connecting flights were booked separately. If my first flight is cancelled am I entitled to a refund for my other flight(s)?

No. Bookings made separately are regarded as separate contracts and under the terms of the Regulation a refund will only be due for the cancelled flight. However if the bookings were all made with the same air carrier you may receive a refund at their discretion.

My leg is broken and will be in a cast when I am due to travel. But this is only temporary disability so will I be entitled to assistance at the airport and onboard the aircraft?

Yes. The law defines 'disabled persons' and 'persons with reduced mobility' very broadly. Essentially any person with a disability or an impairment - regardless of whether it is permanent or temporary - is entitled to assistance when travelling through the airport and onboard their flight. Remember that to be guaranteed this assistance, you must notify your air carrier of your needs at least 48hrs before you are due to depart. 

I am a wheelchair user and I just booked a last minute flight to Spain 30 minutes ago. It is due to depart in 4hrs time. I told my air carrier that I needed assistance at the airport and onboard the aircraft. Can I be guaranteed that I will receive it?

No. The law says that assistance is only guaranteed when at least 48hrs notice of your requirements are given to the air carrier. However even where less (or no) notice is given, your air carrier and the airports are required to make reasonable efforts to help you.

When I arrived at my destination, I discovered that my wheelchair had been badly damaged. I don't know if this happened when it was being loaded onto the aircraft or during the flight. Am I entitled to anything?

Yes. You are entitled to a temporary replacement though this replacement may not be the same as your own wheelchair. You are also entitled to compensation though there is a limit as to how much this will be.