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The Latest News From the IAA

Aviation Regulator reminds passengers of their rights ahead of busy summer season

06 Jun 2024

What are you entitled to when your flight is disrupted – do you know your rights?

Travel smart this summer says head of aviation consumer rights 

Ahead of the busiest period of the year in Irish airports with millions of passengers expected to travel this summer, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is reminding passengers of their rights when travelling and the assistance that should be offered by the airline or airport if you are a passenger with reduced mobility. 

As Irish airports and airlines gear up for what is expected to be a very busy season, it is important that the travelling public know their rights when disruptions happen. This includes the right to food, refreshments, accommodation and up to €600 in compensation from airlines when lengthy delays and cancellations occur. 

Passengers with reduced mobility are also reminded that they can access a range of services, free of charge at all Irish and EU airports, to assist with their airport journey. This includes help with check in, getting to the gate, security screening and boarding. 

EU Regulations are in place to ensure that passengers have a trouble free air travel experience and that they are looked after when problems arise.  

Clare Mulcahy, IAA Head of Consumer Affairs commented on the challenges facing passengers: 

“When travelling by air, we want passengers to be aware of their rights. Disruptions happen and when you are faced with an extended delay or cancellation, your airline is obliged to provide meals, refreshments, accommodation and transfers. When this is not possible, we advise you to make your own arrangements and keep all receipts so that you can reclaim from the airline."

We are here to investigate cases where the airlines do not provide the passengers with what they are entitled to. We provided advice and assistance to passengers in over 3,000 cases in 2023..” 

More information on consumer protection can be found on the IAA website at

The facts

Your rights when your flight is disrupted

If your flight is delayed, your airline has a duty of care to look after you. This can include providing food and drink, as well as accommodation if you are delayed overnight. Your airline should provide you with written information about your entitlements and also provide you with care and assistance.

If your flight is cancelled you should be offered a choice of a refund or alternative travel arrangements at the earliest opportunity or an alternative date suitable for you. 

If the airline 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 airline as soon as possible thereafter (some airlines request original receipts in which case you should keep copies for your own records).


In some instances you may be entitled to compensation if the disruption is within the control of the airline and not due to extraordinary circumstances (e.g. Bad weather and Air Traffic Control Strikes). The amount will depend on the length of your flight and the length of the delay.

  • 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.

Assistance for Passengers with Reduced Mobility

If you require special assistance, it is important to give the airline 48 hours’ notice to the airline to indicate what type of assistance you need (this can usually be done online when making the booking). The airport must provide you with assistance through the airport with call points, accessibility points and making assisting you through your journey. Please read our sections on Airport Assistance, Airline Assistance and Assistance from Tour Operators for more information on the IAA website.

How the IAA can help you

You must first raise your complaint with the airline before making a complaint to the IAA. If you have complained to an airline and you are not happy with the response or have not received a response within 8 weeks of submitting your complaint you can contact the Air Passenger Rights team in the IAA.

We can investigate complaints in relation to any flight leaving Ireland. We also handle complaints regarding flights into Ireland from outside of the EU, where the flight is operated by an EU registered airline.