EU Regulation 261/2004
Your rights as an airline passenger
The European Commission has, since 2005, assured your rights as an airline passenger when airline companies do not meet their contractual obligations. This legislation, known as EU Regulation 261/2004, protects the rights of passengers in the case of cancellations, rerouting, delays and denied boarding.
The implementation of this regulation has in reality not been so simple. Airlines hide behind the extraordinary circumstances clause and when they do agree to pay a financial compensation, this often happens in the form of vouchers for future ticket purchases.
This goes against the rules of the EU Regulation. Airlines are obliged to offer passengers information describing their rights when faced with delays, cancellations or rerouting. This seldom happens resulting in passengers not receiving the proper care and assistance. This site gives an accurate explanation of what your rights are.
The EU Regulation 261/2004 applies to all flights within the European Union, all flights departing from the EU to a country outside the Union, regardless of country of registration of the airline, and all flights arriving in an EU country and carried out by a European airline.
In case of cancellation, rerouting, long delay or denied boarding you could be entitled to a financial compensation up to EUR 600 per passenger. In order to submit a claim you have to fill out the EU-Complaint Form and send it to the airline.