EU Passenger rights

As you set off on your holidays or a business trip, it is good to know that EU passenger rights protect you, should anything go wrong while travelling. EU rules ensure a minimum level of protection for passengers, irrespective of the mode of transport: flight, train, bus, coach or ship. Journeys can be tricky – with unexpected delays, cancellations and lost luggage. This is why MEPs helped to introduce EU rules obliging transport companies to provide travellers with meals, accommodation, reimbursement and compensation if something happens. And transport companies in the EU can no longer charge more for tickets based on nationality and location of the purchase.

EU law also guarantees special attention to passengers with reduced mobility who have the right to free assistance services.

Air passenger rights

Air passenger rights apply under certain circumstances, for example if the flight is within the EU or if it departs from the EU to a non-EU country.
If you are denied boarding, airlines should provide assistance free of charge that can include refreshments, food and accommodation. The airline must also offer you a choice between reimbursement and re-routing. In addition, passengers denied boarding are entitled to up to €600 in compensation. The amount of the compensation depends on the distance of the scheduled flight.

Flights ≤ 1 500 km Flights 1,500-3,500 km
Flights EU ≥ 1,500 km
Flights ≥ 3,500 km
€250 €400 €600

If your flight is cancelled, you have a right to assistance as well as reimbursement, re-routing or return. In the case of delays, this depends on the duration of the delay and the distance of the flight.

Travellers whose flights were cancelled at short notice or arrived more than three hours late may also be entitled to the above-mentioned amounts of compensation, but with some restrictions. It does not apply to companies offering an alternative solution or in extraordinary circumstances, such as air traffic management decisions, political instability, adverse weather conditions or security risks.

Rail passenger rights

EU rules on rail passenger rights apply when you travel by rail within the EU. If your train is cancelled or delayed, the operator must give you information on the situation in real time and provide information on your rights and obligations. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to assistance in the form of meals and refreshments, accommodation and compensation.

Find out more about new rules to strengthen rail passenger rights


Bus passenger rights

Customer rights mainly apply to regular long-distance bus and coach services that start or finish in an EU country. In case of cancellation or delays, you may be entitled to meals and accommodation.

Ship passenger rights

Rules usually apply to ferries and cruise ships (sea and river) if your journey starts or ends at an EU port. If a crossing was cancelled or departure delayed, you may be entitled to assistance in the form of meals and accommodation. If your arrival is delayed by more than one hour, you are entitled to compensation.

Detailed information on passenger rights for all types of transport is available on the Your Europe. website. You can also download the passenger rights app on your Android or iOS smartphone.