Wednesday, 16. April 2014
23. 11. 12. - 13:00
By Matthias Loinig
Good news for flight passengers in Austria and the rest of the EU.
Although a previous EU-Regulation already provided basic protection for air passengers, it was still considered that too many passengers were affected by denied boarding against their will, flight cancellation and flight delays.
Subsequently the European Parliament and the Council adopted a new regulation on passenger rights, the EU- Regulation 261/2004.
Austrian Times legal Correspondent answered some questions together with Mag. Teresa Zemanek for our readers:-
When does the EU- Regulation 261/2004 apply?
The Regulation 261/2004 applies to flights of any airline departing from the EU and to all flights arriving in the EU if the air carrier of the flight concerned is registered in the EU.
When are you entitled to invoke the EU- Regulation 261/2004?
Air passengers can invoke the EU- Regulation in case of denied boarding against their will, flight cancellation and flight delays.
According to the Regulation 261/2004 a flight is considered to be delayed if
- in the case of flights of 1 500 kilometers or less the flight departs 2 hours after the scheduled departure time,
- in the case of all intra-Community flights of more than 1 500 kilometers and of all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometers the flight departs 3 hours after the scheduled departure time
- in all other cases the flight departs 4 hours after the scheduled departure time.
What rights do you have?
Right to reimbursement or re-routing
In the case of denied boarding and flight cancellation all passengers have the choice between the reimbursement of the costs of the ticket, the re-routing to their final destination at the earliest opportunity and the re-routing to their final destination at a later date.
Some air carriers tend to offer passengers only one of those alternatives. However, passengers do not have to accept this offer for it is up to the passengers to choose which alternative suits them best.
If your flight is delayed by at least 5 hours, you are also entitled to claim reimbursement of the ticket.
Right to care
In any of the three cases the air carrier has the obligation to offer you meals and refreshment as well as two telephone calls or similar facilities.
In case of denied boarding or if necessary also in case of flight cancellation or flight delay you are even entitled to claim hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the hotel.
Right to compensation
In case of flight cancellation and denied boarding you are entitled to receive compensation amounting to
- € 250.- for flights under 1500 km,
- € 400.- for flights within the EU of more than 1500 km
- € 600. - for all other flights.
However in case of flight cancellation the air carrier does not have to pay compensation according to this article, if the air carrier proves that the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances.
BUT: Extraordinary circumstances do not release the air carrier from his obligation to provide assistance the Regulation concerned.
If you have further damages, you can also claim compensation for those damages. Nevertheless, the compensation may be deducted from such compensation.
Where can you claim your rights?
According to a recent decision of the ECJ (C 204/08) passengers can either claim their rights at the place of departure or at the place of arrival.
What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (17 April - 23 April)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 10 April and 16 April:
Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria
Two teenager girls who say they have left Austria to fight in Syria have trigged an international search operation from the Austrian police. The two - a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old - left identical letters behind telling their families goodbye and that "we will meet in in Paradise". The letters told of their plans to go to Syria to "fight for Islam". The parents of the girls reported that their children had gone missing last week and since then the police tracked them to Turkish city of Adana, where they had flown to from Austria - after that the police lost track of the girls. Adana is 75 miles northwest of Aleppo, a city that became a major battleground during the civil war taking place in Syria. Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger say that the police are taking the farewell letters "very seriously" and are now conducting an international search for two teenage girls who left farewell letters announcing plans to "fight for Islam" in Syria. Both girls come from families who immigrated from Bosnia but have not been fully identified by Austrian police.
Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014
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Pony And Trapped After Too Much Fresh Grass
A roly-poly pony lost its balance on an Alpine slope due to its calorie-overloaded body.
Vienna prosecutors target Ukrainian former government
Austrian officials have announced they are coordinating with Ukraine's public prosecutors over the investigation of former Ukrainian government officials accused of money-laundering and sanctions violations.
Former footballers charged over match-fixing
Austrian prosecutors have charged former footballer Dominique Taboga over allegations of match-fixing, nearly five months after his connection to the scandal was exposed.
Muslim Brotherhood leader denies move to Graz
A leader of the Islamist political group the Muslim Brotherhood has refuted claims that they are moving their headquarters from London to Graz in Austria.
House Where Hitler Born Painted Blue By Vandals
Austrian police are investigating after the house where Adolf Hitler was born was vandalised with graffiti.
Icelandic artist shoots whole film in front of live audience in Vienna
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