Brexit and air passengers rights

Brexit and air passengers rights have been the subject of debate for some time. Questions about passenger rights very often pop-up after the UK left the European Union, especially now that we know that the end of the transition period is approaching.

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Regulation 261

What we already know is that EU Regulation 261/04 prescribes the rights to compensation, care, assistance and valid information in case of flight cancellation or delay and boarding denial. Regulation 261 applies to EU flights and flights from an EU country to a non-EU country. In addition, it includes flights from non-EU countries to one of the EU countries, as long as the EU-registered airline operates the flight.

In addition to EU travelers, many Britons are concerned about changes when traveling to EU countries, which have always been a favorite destination for them. What worries them the most is how much Brexit will affect air traffic and whether passenger rights will change drastically. According to a recent surveys, more than 80% of Britons said they would like British airlines to abide by current EU rules on compensation for flight problems, even after the end of the transition period ending on 31 December 2020.

It was said that in the case of Brexit no deal, certain flights to and from the UK and flights by British carriers would create a kind of gap in Regulation 261, as a result of the UK leaving the European Union. But it seems that this should not be the case, as there is a new law that should fill the gaps left by Brexit in EU Regulation 261/04. The legislation of the United Kingdom accepts the EU Regulation and all rights coming from it and supplements them by covering the following for EU passengers: flights departing from outside the UK and landing in the UK, if the operating carrier is an EU registered carrier, flights that depart from outside the UK and land in the EU if the operating carrier is a British air carrier.

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Passenger rights and compensation amount

The amounts of compensation in case that the flight is under Regulation 261 would remain the same as before:

  • up to 1500 km distance from the place of departure to the final destination – compensation amount is 250 EUR
  • from 1500 km – 3500 km distance from the place of departure to the final destination – compensation amount is 400 EUR
  • over 3500 km distance from the place of departure to the final destination – compensation amount is 600 EUR

Flights departing from the United Kingdom and arriving in the EU that are not flights of airlines registered in the EU will be subject to UK user protection rules. In that case, the amounts of compensation provided for in the legislation of the United Kingdom shall apply:

  • up to 1500 km distance from the place of departure to the final destination – compensation amount is £ 220
  • from 1500 km – 3500 km distance from the place of departure to the final destination – compensation amount is £ 350
  • over 3500 km distance from the place of departure to the final destination – compensation amount is £ 520
covid - 19

The conclusion we can have from this is that as far as passenger rights are concerned, with the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, flights departing from the United Kingdom will be subject to UK user protection rules, except in the case of airlines registered in the European Union. In this case, EU passengers will continue to enjoy all the rights provided by European regulations, ie Regulation (EC) no. 261/2004. What is also very important to note is that if your flight is covered by UK law but also by Regulation 261, it is possible to claim compensation only once.

For all passengers, it is very important to be well informed about their passenger air rights before any flight, not only for the UK but also other destinations. At IATA web page, you can find the latest and valid information on possible changes to Brexit and air passengers rights. In that case, you will already know your rights and possibilities in case of any flight problems. We hope that the UK and the European Union will continue to make good decisions in the future, having in mind the air passengers rights so that they can travel as carefree and safe as before.

If you have had a problem with a flight (delay, cancellation or denied boarding) before Brexit 😊 or even in the last three years, it is important for you to know that you are entitled to compensation. If you need any help feel free to contact us at info@claimdon.com. In case you want us to represent you when claiming compensation or refund for unused airline tickets, you can find everything you need here.

All frequently asked questions during the Covid -19 situation can be found in our blog Cancelled Flights (COVID-19) and Passenger Rights: FAQ

Stay healthy and happy! 😊

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In case of a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight you can receive up to 600€ compensation.