The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) has advised that passengers scheduled to fly into or out of Irish airports may experience some disruption as a result of projected severe weather conditions due to snow and/or ice.
Commissioner Cathy Mannion said that it is important for passengers to be aware of their rights in such circumstances. “The severe weather conditions may cause flight disruption. Passengers should check with their airline as regards the status of their flight before travelling to the airport for their own peace of mind. However, if your flight is delayed or cancelled then you have a number of options depending on the circumstances. We want all passengers to be aware of this as it may help to alleviate some of the stress and disruption that such delays can cause.”
The Commission has a website, www.flightrights.ie, that contains all the necessary information passengers will need. Where a flight is delayed or cancelled the following options apply:
In the event that your flight is cancelled then your air carrier must offer you the choice between the following:
– re-routing as soon as possible;
– re-routing at a later date at your convenience; or
– a refund.
If you choose the first option (re-routing as soon as possible) then your air carrier must provide you with care and assistance while you wait for the alternative flight. Care and assistance comprises:
– meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time;
– hotel accommodation where an overnight stay becomes necessary;
– transport between the hotel accommodation and the airport;
– two free telephone calls / access to email.
If your flight is subject to a long delay (two hours plus), your air carrier must provide you with the care and assistance described above. In addition, if your flight is delayed by more than five hours, it must offer you the choice between:
– continuing with your journey; or
– a refund of the cost of your ticket.
Please note that it is not possible for passengers to travel and avail of the full refund.
If your air carrier does not provide the care and assistance described above, passengers should make their own reasonable arrangements and retain all receipts in the process. Passengers are advised to then submit copies of these receipts to their air carrier for reimbursement.
In both situations (i.e. flight cancellations and long delays) air carriers should provide affected passengers with written notices setting out their rights and entitlements under EC Regulation 261/ 2004.