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

You may be entitled to compensation if you arrive at your destination 3 hours or more after your scheduled arrival time. The amount of compensation payable depends on the distance of your flight. If your flight is classed as:

  • short haul, the amount payable is €250 per person.
  • medium haul, the amount payable is €400 per person.
  • long haul, the amount payable is €600 per person.

However the amount payable may be reduced by 50% if you arrive at your destination less than 4 four hours after the scheduled arrival time.

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.

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I have been told that my flight is now operating at a different time than when I originally made the booking.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.

What should I do if my baggage / luggage / bag has been delayed, damaged or lost?

Baggage complaints are usually governed by the Montreal Convention. There is no designated body in Ireland for that Convention.

You should first contact your air carrier directly to resolve your complaint.

  • For further advice in relation to complaints against air carriers registered in Ireland, you may consider contacting the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC). Their website is
  • In cases where the air carrier is based in another EU country or Norway or Iceland, we suggest you contact the European Consumer Centre Ireland (ECC). Their website is 

In both cases, you need to submit your complaint as soon as possible, since the Montreal Convention requires they be made within a certain timeframe. Please do not send complaints to this Office, since we have no powers to assist you.

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.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised against all travel to a particular country due to a natural disaster. I am due to go on holiday soon to this country. If I cancel my flight am I due a full refund?

A full refund will only be due if your air carrier cancels the flight and you have not already cancelled your flight. If it does not, then you would be bound by the conditions agreed to at the time of booking. In most cases airlines will be aware of a travel advisory and will offer refunds. Otherwise, if you have travel insurance, you may be able to claim from your insurer.

I was due to travel from Dublin to Moscow via London with all my flights on the same ticket. On arrival in London it was announced that the Moscow flight was cancelled. As a result I missed an important engagement in Moscow 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 Dublin. 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.

How can I pursue my cancellation/ delay complaint with my air carrier? Must I go through the national enforcement body (NEB)?

There are several possible ways in which you can pursue your complaint:

  • you can engage directly with your air carrier;
  • you can bring a claim against your air carrier in the Small Claims Court (the following link provides information about this process:
  • you can submit a claim against your air carrier using the European Small Claims Procedure (the following link provides information about this process
  • you can forward your complaint to the competent NEB and ask that they investigate it for you.

Sometimes complaints are made up of items which fall within the scope of the law this Office enforces and items that don’t fall within that law. In those situations passengers might have to adopt a 2-step approach to resolving their complaint.

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. Currently the limit is approximately €1,350.00.