Coronavirus: passenger rights during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Has your flight been canceled due to Covid-19? Don't want to or aren't allowed to travel? Find out about passenger rights in the EU during this exceptional time.

Passenger rights during the COVID-19 pandemic

In the last 3 months, some EU countries have introduced isolation measures - such as travel restrictions and quarantine areas - to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. These measures have a big impact on the transport sector, so make sure you know what your rights are as a passenger.

On 18 March, the European Commission presented detailed guidelines to ensure that EU passenger rights are consistently enforced and that passengers are protected in all EU countries.

What happens if the flight is canceled?

Airlines, which cancel flights, have an obligation - in all cases - to offer passengers one of three options:

- Reimbursement

- Forwarding as soon as possible / Forwarding at a later date, chosen by the passenger.

- Value voucher in quantum with the amount paid on the original ticket, which can be used for another flight schedule.

If you choose to redirect as soon as possible, keep in mind that there may be significant delays, given the limited number of flights currently operating due to national measures to limit the spread of the virus.

Do you have the right to a hotel and meals in case of cancellation?

Air carriers have an obligation - without exception - to provide free meals, soft drinks and accommodation to passengers whose flight is canceled and have chosen to be diverted as soon as possible.

Are you entitled to compensation?

Air passengers are entitled to compensation if their flight is canceled less than two weeks before the departure date, unless there are "extraordinary circumstances". This case may apply in the event of a coronavirus pandemic, if the measures taken by the public authorities prevent the normal activity of the airlines.

What if you want to cancel your trip?

If you cancel the trip on your own initiative, the refund depends on the type of ticket purchased, as specified in the terms and conditions. See the air carrier for more details.

The European Union is the only place in the world where all citizens who travel by plane, train, ship and bus are protected by a full range of passenger rights.

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