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What Are Your EU Travel Rights?

Flight Cancellations

What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?

When a flight is cancelled, passengers are entitled to reimbursement of the full cost of their tickets for the parts of the journey not made and for the parts already made if the flight is:

  • No longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan together with, where relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity or,
  • Re-routing to their final destination at the earliest opportunity or,
  • Re-routing at the convenience of the passenger to the final destination subject to availability of seats.

In addition, passengers are entitled to meals and refreshments reasonable to the waiting time and two telephone calls or emails. If the re-routing is the day after the planned flight, passengers are also entitled to hotel accommodation where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary or where a stay additional to that intended by the passenger becomes necessary. Transport should be provided between the hotel and the airport.

Flight Delayed

What are my rights if my flight is delayed?

Passengers whose flights are delayed a certain length are entitled to monetary compensation. The amounts vary according to the distance of the flights. Passengers should receive €250 where the cancelled flight is for 1,500km or less; €400 where the cancelled intra Community flight is for more than 1,500 km or is a non intra-Community flight for 1,500 to 3,500km and €600 for all other flights.

These amounts may be reduced by 50% where passengers are offered re-routing and the arrival time is no more than four hours than the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked.

Click here to calculate flight distance

Compensation shall not be payable:

  • Where the passenger has been notified of the cancellation more than seven days before the date of departure or,
  • Where the notification is less than seven days – the passenger departs no earlier than one hour before the scheduled time and arrives no later than two hours after the scheduled time at the final destination.

Delayed, Damaged or Lost Luggage

If my luggage is delayed, lost or damaged what are my rights?

EU rules protect passengers if their baggage is delayed, lost or damaged. Affected passengers should write to their airline as soon as possible to make a claim. If a bag is not located within 21 days it should be regarded as lost and treated on that basis.

The amount of compensation varies. However if a passenger is unhappy with the proposal they are entitled to contact the European Consumer Centre. The ECC for Ireland is located in Dublin and can be contacted on 01-8797620 or visit www.eccireland.ie

The maximum amount of compensation is currently set at €1,220 provided a claim is made within 7 days.

Disability or Reduced Mobility

What are my rights if I have disability or reduced mobility when travelling?

If you have a disability or reduced mobility, you should still have access to air travel like anyone else. You are also entitled to assistance, free of charge, getting on and off the plane, during the flight and in airports before and after the flight.

To get the best assistance, contact the airline, ticket seller or tour operator at least 48 hours before your trip and explain what kind of assistance you require. They will also advise on your wheelchair or mobility device and, where applicable, their batteries.

You cannot be denied boarding because of your reduced mobility, unless the aircraft is physically too small or there are security concerns. Airlines do not have to provide help with eating or taking medication during a flight. If you need this type of help, for example during a longer flight, airlines might request that you be accompanied by another person.

If you have problems getting help while travelling, you should inform the airport authorities or the airline concerned.

Price Transparency

What are the rules on displaying the cost of flights?

When you book a flight the full cost must be displayed from the beginning. This includes the fare, taxes, surcharges and any fees. It is strictly forbidden in the EU for airlines to hide additional costs.

Roaming Charges

Can I use my mobile phone in another EU Member State?

In June 2017 the EU introduced the “Roam Like at Home” rules. This means anyone with an Irish mobile phone can use the phone in any EU Member State without any extra costs. Previously, extra charges would be incurred for receiving calls, making calls, sending text messages and even higher costs per GB of data.

The “Roam Like at Home” rules prohibit these charges. You now pay the same as you pay in Ireland. A fair usage policy exists for data usage when you have a generous data usage contract such as unlimited data.

Need embassy or consulate assistance

What help can I get if I am a victim of crime on holidays?

Every year thousands of people are victims of crime while on holidays and need help from their embassy. However, not every country has an embassy or if they do it may not be located near you. In fact, every year 7 million EU citizens travel to another country that is not represented by their national embassy.

As an EU citizen, it is not necessary to go to an Irish embassy. You can go to any EU Member State Embassy and request assistance.

Emergency

What do I do if I have an emergency and need medical help?

In every EU Member State 112 is the number to call in an emergency. In works in tandem with national emergency numbers such as 999 in Ireland. No matter what EU country you are in, the operator will be able to speak English and be able to locate where you are calling from.

Less than half of EU citizens identify 112 as the number to call in the event of emergency. It is important that everyone travelling is aware of this number including children.

Car Hire

What do I do if I have problems with car hire?

Every year 1 in 3 Irish people rent a car while on holidays. It is an industry worth in excess of €10 billion each year to the European economy. It is one of the biggest areas of complaints for the EU. Every year thousands of complaints are made – mostly concerning insurance, fuel policy and surcharges.

A lot of progress has been made to address problems such as establishing a variety of fuel options. For example: It is no longer necessary to purchase a full tank of fuel in advance. You can choose to return a car with a full tank of fuel – therefore avoiding the often higher prices charged by car rental companies for refuelling the car.

A number of car hire companies are also member of an independent body that assists consumers who have grievances with car hire providers. The European Car Rental Conciliation Service or ECRCS can help consumers resolve disputes. To find out which companies are members check out www.ecrcs.eu

Irish Passport Card

Misplaced my passport what do I do?

Did you know that last year over 5,000 Irish passports were reported lost or stolen?

The Irish Passport Card is available to all Irish Citizens who are over 18 years and hold a valid Irish Passport. The Passport card can be used by Irish citizens for travel within the EU/EEA and Switzerland and is recognised as a valid travel document by relevant national authorities.

When the Passport Card is used to travel through airports, access to E-gates is determined by local infrastructure. If necessary, the Passport Card can be manually checked by a border official.

In order to apply for your Passport Card, you must have a valid passport book. The personal details you provide must match the details exactly as they appear on your passport book.

Your passport book must have at least 3 months remaining validity.

If your current passport book is lost, stolen or damaged you must apply for a new passport book before applying for a passport card.

Passport Cards are valid for a maximum of 5 years. Where there is less than 5 years remaining on your Passport book at the time you apply for a Passport Card, the expiry date of your card will be the same as your Passport book.

To apply for a passport card visit www.dfa.ie/passportcard

European Consumer Centre

What is the European Consumer Centre?

ECC Ireland is a member of the European Consumer Centre Network which offers consumers across Europe advice on their rights when shopping in another European state. ECC-Net members co-operate closely to help settle complaints between consumers and traders based in different EU countries, Norway and Iceland. If necessary, ECC Ireland can liaise directly with a trader via its sister centre in the country of purchase.

ECC Ireland is based in Dublin and can be contacted on 01-8797620 or visit www.eccireland.ie

European Health Insurance Card

What happens if I get sick while on holidays?

There is always a chance you could fall sick or have an accident while on holiday. Having a European Health Insurance Card means that you can use public healthcare services to get any emergency treatment quickly and easily should disaster strike.

It is important to bring you EHIC with you when going on holidays. It is free and can be obtained directly from the HSE. Click here to order your European Health Insurance Card.

Prescription Medication

What do I do if I need prescription medication?

A prescription issued by a doctor in Ireland is valid in all EU countries.

There is no specific form or format for a prescription you will use in another EU country. In most cases, the prescription you would use in Ireland should already contain enough information for you to use it in another EU country. It has to contain at least the following information:

  • Patient details: surname and first name (both written in full), and date of birth
  • Date of issue of the prescription
  • Details of the prescribing doctor: surname and first name (written in full), professional qualification, direct contact details, work address (including the country), and signature (written or digital)
  • Details of the prescribed product: its common name (rather than the brand name, which may be different in another country), format (tablet, solution, etc), quantity, strength and dosage.

If you think you will need to get your prescription dispensed abroad, or if you are given a prescription abroad that you will need to get dispensed in your home country, check that the doctor has included all this information. That way you can be sure that a pharmacist in another EU country can easily understand the prescription and correctly identify the medicine you are requesting and its dose.

Prescriptions are subject to the rules of the country where they are dispensed. This means that a pharmacist will apply national rules when dispensing your medicine – for example, you may not be allowed the same number of days’ dosage.

 

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