Rights of the Traveler

    The Charter of Passenger Rights

    The sixth edition of the passenger rights charter has just been published.
    I recommend everyone to bring with them this small brochure that can be downloaded for free in pdf format from the page of the  ENAC  because it is essential to know our rights in the event of unpleasant events such as delays, flight cancellations or other contingencies.
    I've summarized some points below, but I still recommend downloading and reading the full version.

    The Charter in fact recognizes a series of rights to all those travelers who have been victims of three main disruptions:

    • Denied boarding
    • Delay
    • Flight cancellation


    Denied boarding.

    What is denied boarding? It is none-less-than the infamous OVERBOOKING, a practice usually used by airlines which consists in accepting reservations beyond the number of seats actually available on board the plane: in practice, given the probability that some passengers do not show up (no-show) or cancel their flight, a greater number of tickets are sold so that the seats are still occupied by more passengers.

    Everything would work wonders were it not that it happens (and quite often) that the canceled seats are less than those sold and this is pleasantly known only when the beautiful and smiling hostess at the check-in desk does not announce us. what a place for us on the plane there is.

    Well, know that this crap is neither prosecutable nor prohibited and is commonly applied not only by the beloved low cost airlines, but also by the scheduled ones.

    One thing must be said. The airline is forced to look to see if there are any volunteers willing to give up their seat in exchange for agreed benefits including monetary reimbursements and assistance. I also took advantage of this by accepting in exchange for my seat on the flight to Lisbon in the evening a flight the following morning with paid dinner and hotel, assistance and a refund of 300 euros. However, keep in mind that there are not always volunteers for whom someone does not leave (you).

    The Passenger's Charter of Rights establishes that in the event of Overbooking the passenger has the right to:

    • reimbursement or alternative flight (as per art.8)
    • Assistance (food drinks etc etc) (as per art.9)
    • Monetary compensation (as per art.7)


    Flight delay

    4 types of delay are defined:

    •     > = 2 hours for all routes up to 1.500 km
    •     > = 3 hours for all intercommunity routes over 1.500 km and for all others between 1.500 and 3.500 km
    •     > = 4 hours for all other routes over 3.500 km

    In any of these cases, you are entitled to assistance.

    If, on the other hand, you are really nerdy and your flight is delayed by 5 or more hours then you are entitled to a little something more and that is to reimbursement or boarding on an alternative flight.


    Flight Cancellation

    If, on the other hand, you are world champions of bad luck, it may happen that they cancel your flight. If it happened to me I think I would cry for a week, but in any case the Charter establishes that, as in the case of overbooking, you have the right to:

    • reimbursement or alternative flight (as per art.8)
    • Assistance (food drinks etc etc) (as per art.9)
    • Monetary compensation (as per art.7)

    Beware of airlines that tend to be crafty: sometimes the flight is canceled due to exceptional cases and you don't get a penny. In the event (horns horns horns) happens, get the exceptional reason why the flight was canceled in writing because you will need it if you decide to take legal action.


    Rights of the Traveler

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