passengers rightsIf your flight is cancelled or is subject to a long delay, or if you are denied boarding on a flight for which you hold a valid reservation, you are entitled to certain rights in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004. The airline which carries out the irregular flight is responsible for granting you these rights.
The Regulation applies:
to passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State or departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State, if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a Community carrier, who:
- have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned; and
- present themselves in time for check- in or, if no time is indicated- not later than 45 minutes before the published departure time /except in case of cancellation/; and
- travel at a fare available to the public.
In accordance with Regulation 261/2004 a delay occurs when a flight is delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure by 2 hours for flights of up to 1500km; by 3 hours for all intra- Community flights of more than 1500km and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500km; by 4 hours for all other flights.
Depending on the circumstances when your flight is expected to have a long delay, passengers are entitled to receive care while waiting. This includes: meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time, if necessary hotel accommodation and the possibility of making two telephone calls. Care for passengers while waiting may be limited or declined if the provision of the care would itself cause further delay.
In case of more than 5 hours delay you are entitled to a refund of the cost of your ticket within seven days for the parts of the journey not made if you can prove that the flight no longer serves its initial purpose.
If in case of overbooking you are denied boarding involuntarily on a flight for which you hold a valid reservation, you are entitled to compensation and to a refund, as laid out in the previous section ‘Delay’ or you are entitled to re-routing, under comparable conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity. Subject to availability of seats, you may instead choose re-routing to your final destination at a later date of your convenience, in which case you will have to bear yourself the cost of food, accommodation and transfer.
The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the scheduled flight or the alternative flight proposed to you. The compensation shall be paid in cash or by bank transfer.
Compensations amount to:
- 250 Euro for flights up to 1500km
- 400 Euro for all intra- Community flights of more than 1500km, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500km
- 600 Euro for flights of more than 3500km
If you are voluntarily denied boarding due to overbooking, you are entitled to a refund as laid out in the previous section on ‘Delay’ or re-routing under comparable conditions, as well as to additional benefits in a bonus form by the airline.
If your flight, for which you hold a valid reservation is cancelled, you are entitled to re-routing, care or refund and compensation as laid out here above. You are not entitled to receive compensation if the cancellation is attributed to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Examples include bad weather conditions, political instability, strikes, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings, etc.
Also, there is no right to compensation when the passenger has been informed of cancellation:
- at least 14 days before the scheduled time of departure;
- between 14 and 7 days before the scheduled time of departure and the alternative flight departs no more than 2 hours before the originally scheduled time of departure and reaches the final destination less than 4 hours after the scheduled time of arrival;
- less than 7 days before the scheduled time of departure and the alternative flight departs no more than 1 hour before the originally scheduled time of departure and reaches the final destination less than 2 hours after the scheduled time of arrival.
General Directorate Civil Aviation Administration
Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Bulgaria
9, Diakon Ignatii Str.
tel.: +359 2 937 10 47
fax.: +359 980 53 37
More information and a list of the national authorities responsible for enforcing these rights are available at: http://apr.europa.eu