Air Passenger Rights
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is the National Enforcement Body for EC 261/2004 which sets out the rights of Air Passengers in the event that their flight is cancelled or delayed or if they are denied boarding or downgraded.
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:
Each country within the European Union (EU) was required to designate an authority responsible for its enforcement within that jurisdiction. You can view the complete list of NEBs for this law by clicking on this link.
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
How best to make your complaint depends on what type of complaint it is…
Does it relate to a cancellation, a long flight delay or even an instance of denied boarding?
If so, then it is advisable to raise the matter with your air carrier first and foremost. If your air carrier does not resolve the complaint then you should forward it for the attention of the appropriate enforcement body. The appropriate enforcement body is the one based in the EU Member State (or Iceland, Norway or Switzerland) from where the disrupted flight was due to depart. So for example, if you booked a return flight from Dublin to Malaga and the outbound flight (i.e. the Dublin to Malaga flight) was cancelled then you should contact us. However if the return flight (i.e. the Malaga to Dublin flight) was disrupted then you should contact our Spanish equivalent: the Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (AESA).
For flights departing from outside the EU (or Iceland, Norway or Switzerland), the destination of the flight determines which authority you should contact (if any). For these flights, the legislation will only apply if the flight:
arrives into airports within the EU (or Iceland, Norway or Switzerland); and
is operated by Community-licensed carriers (e.g. Aer Lingus, Air France, Iberia etc.).
So passengers with a complaint about a delayed flight from New York to Dublin should contact us if they were for example on an Aer Lingus flight, but not if they were on an American Airlines flight (since the latter airline is not licensed in Europe).
Complaints to this office can be made using the online complaint form below.
Please ensure you enclose all relevant supporting documents, i.e. booking confirmation, copies of correspondence exchanged with your air carrier and copies of relevant receipts, with your complaint as these will be necessary to aid our investigation. Please be advised that we are currently dealing with a high volume of submissions at present. Complaints escalated to us are currently taking between five and seven months to be initiated.
If you require any assistance please contact us at +353 1 6031100.
To see the complete list of enforcement bodies for complaints relating to cancellations, delays and instances of denied boarding click here.
EU/EEA Enforcement Bodies
An up-to-date list of Enforcement Bodies for EC Regulation No. 261/ 2004 can be found here.
- Aviation Regulation Act 2001 (As amended by the State Airports Act 2004 and the Aviation Act 2006)
- Statutory Instrument No. 299 of of 2008 (PRM)
- Statutory Instrument No. 506 of 2011 (Air Passenger Rights)