EU regulation 261/04
Your rights as a passenger

Dear guest,

If your flight is cancelled or is subject to a long delay, or if you are denied boarding on a flight for which you hold a valid reservation, you are entitled to certain rights in accordance with the EU Regulation 261/2004. The airline which operates the irregular flight is responsible for granting you these rights.

Scope

The Regulation applies:

  • to passengers departing from an EU airport or departing from an airport outside the EU when carried by an EU carrier, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that third country,
  • only if you have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned,
  • only if you (except in case of cancellation) present yourself in time for check-in or, if no time is indicated, at least 45 minutes before the published departure time,
  • only if you travel on a ticket bought at a fare available to the public.

Delay

In accordance with the EU Regulation, a delay occurs when a flight is delayed beyond its scheduled departure time:

  • by 4 hours for flights of more than 3.500 km,
  • by 3 hours for flights between 1.500 km and 3.500 km as well as intra-Community flights of more than 1.500 km, and
  • by 2 hours for flights of up to 1.500 km.

When your flight is expected to have a long delay, passengers are entitled to receive care while waiting.

This includes: meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation if necessary, including transfer costs and the option of making two brief telephone calls or sending two short faxes or e-mails. Care for passengers while waiting may be declined if the provision of the care would itself cause further delay. You are entitled to receive compensation if you arrive at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours provided the delay is not attributable to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Examples include bad weather conditions, political instability, strikes, security risks or unexpected flight safety shortcomings.

Without prejudice to the above compensation, in case of more than 5 hours you are entitled to a refund of your ticket within seven days for the parts not used or for those parts already used if your flight no longer serves its purpose, and when relevant, a return flight to your first point of departure.

Denied boarding

If in case of overbooking you are denied boarding involuntarily on a flight for which you hold a reservation, you are entitled to care and compensation without delay and to a refund as laid out in the previous section on ‘delay’. In addition you are entitled to re-routing, under comparable conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity. Subject to availability of seats, you may instead choose re-routing to your final destination at a later date of your convenience, in which case you will have to bear yourself the cost of food, accommodation and transfer.

Compensations amount to:

  • 250 € for flights up to 1.500 km,
  • 400 € for flights between 1.500 km and 3.500 and intra-Community flights of more than 1.500 km,
  • 600 € for flights of more than 3.500 km.

If you are offered an alternative flight, the scheduled arrival time of which does not exceed 2 hours in respect of flights up to 1.500 km, 3 hours in respect of flights between 1.500k m and 3.500 km as well as intra-Community flights of more than 1.500 km, and 4 hours in respect of all other flights, the above, mentioned compensation amounts can be reduced by 50%, i.e.125 €, 200 € and 300 €.

These rights are not granted if you have been denied boarding on reasonable grounds, such as reasons of health, general or operational security, or inadequate travel documentation.

Cancellation

If your flight, for which you hold a valid reservation, is cancelled, you are entitled to re-routing, care, refund and compensation as laid out here above. You are not entitled to receive compensation if the cancellation is attributed to extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided, even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Examples include (but are not limited to) bad weather conditions, political instability, strikes, security risks, or unexpected flight safety shortcomings.

Equally, there is no right to compensation when the passenger has been informed of the cancellation:

  • at least 14 days before the schedule time of departure,
  • between 14 and 7 days before the schedule time of departure and the alternative flight departs no more than 2 hours before the originally schedule time of departure and reaches the final destination less than 4 hours after the schedule time of arrival,
  • less than 7 days before schedule time of departure and the alternative flight departs no more than 1 hour before the originally schedule time of departure and reaches final destination less than 2 hours after the schedule time of arrival.

Downgrading

If you are downgraded to a lower class than that for which the ticket was purchased, you are entitled to compensation within 7 days. The level of payment depends on the scheduled flight and the airfare paid for each segment; for distances

  • up to 1.500 km, compensation amounts to 30% of the paid airfare per segment
  • between 1.500 and 3.500 km and for flights within Europe of over 1.500 km, this is 50% of the paid airfare per segment
  • over 3.500 km, this is 75% of the paid airfare per segment.

Voice a concern

If you believe that you can raise a justified claim against Brussels Airlines based on the aforementioned conditions, please refer to our Customer Relations section under Practical Information: www.brusselsairlines.com/en-be/contact-us/concern/default.aspx

A list of the relevant authorities responsible for ensuring the legal rights of passengers can be found under the following web link: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/passengers/air/doc/2004_261_national_enforcement_bodies.pdf

Arbitration board

If your journey is a private one, you have the right to contact the “Consumer Mediation Service”, Belgium’s independent public service that intervenes in all requests for extra-judicial settlements of disputes, including flight disputes.

You can do so if you have concerns relating to:

  • denied boarding, long delays or cancellation of flights, or
  • the destruction, damage, loss or delayed transportation of baggage, or
  • breaches of duty in the transportation passengers with reduced mobility,

always provided that

  • you have already contacted Brussels Airlines about your concerns and have not received a reply within two months, or
  • you are dissatisfied with the way your concern has been handled or disagree with how your claim was processed by Brussels Airlines, and
  • your financial claim amounts to at least 10 euros and no more than 5,000 euros,
  • your concern is not already, or has not been, pending before a court or has been settled,
  • your trip is a private trip.

http://www.consumerombudsman.be/en/complaint-form

The European Commission also provides a platform for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). The platform can be found under http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/