Rights you (may not) know you have

Have you ever lost your luggage at the airport? Because I have. My friend and I were switching flights and when we arrived at our destination, I received a message telling me that my luggage was not delivered. We started panicking because we thought it was going to be a huge problem. But, lo and behold, when we reported the lost luggage, everything went smoothly. They even gave us “first aid kits” to survive the night and told us that our stuff would arrive first thing in the morning the following day. We were quite surprised!

All this was set up through passenger protection legislation. Did you know about it because we sure didn't.

Here's a breakdown.

If you travel by plane and your case fits one of these conditions:

  • If your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • If your flight arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline
  • If your flight departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline
  • If you have not already received benefits (compensation, re-routing, assistance from the airline) for flight related problems for this journey under the relevant law of a non-EU country...

... then you are eligible for some benefits.

If you have issues when it comes to delays, damaged luggage, mobility requirements, cancellations, overbooking, the airline must provide appropriate compensation! If the airline does not comply, you can report that to the European Consumer Centre.

You can find all the benefits that apply to all kinds of travel here.

The EU is the only area in the world where citizens are protected by a full set of passenger rights – whether they travel by air, rail, ship, bus and coach.

Here are 10 passenger rights you have no matter how you travel:

  1. Non-discrimination
  2. Access and assistance for disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility
  3. Information
  4. Choice to cancel trips due to disruption
  5. Rerouting or rebooking
  6. Assistance in the event of a long delay
  7. Compensation
  8. Carrier liability
  9. Easy complaint handling
  10. Effective enforcement of rights

To read more about the rights you have as a passenger click here.

It may not seem like the most important thing, but this sort of legislation makes our lives a whole lot easier. You never know how important it is until you're the one whose luggage is lost or whose plane gets cancelled with no way to go back home for a while...