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Passenger Airline Rights

Your Rights as an Airline Passenger

The vast majority of clients staying in one of our rental villas in Playa Blanca choose to book their own flights direct.

Usually, their journeys are problem free, however, in the event of any delay or cancellation, it is important to be aware of your rights and – where applicable – your entitlement to compensation payments.

How Will Brexit Affect Passenger Airline Rights?

Currently, Brexit will have no impact on the rights of passengers visiting Lanzarote from the UK.

EU regulation EC261, which governs passenger airline rights, is currently written into UK law. So your rights remain unaffected. Which means you are entitled to the same assistance and compensation as before.

Flight Cancellation

If your flight is cancelled and you have been notified at least two weeks before you were due to fly, you are entitled to compensation.

If the flight is cancelled within the two weeks before you were due to fly and an alternative flight to your destination is offered to you, you are not entitled to compensation – even if the route by which you get there is different from that originally purchased. If, however, the airline is unable to take you to your destination, you are entitled to compensation.

In the unlikely event that a flight is cancelled due to a security threat, the airline does not necessarily have to pay compensation to passengers.


In the event that the airline has overbooked the flight and cannot provide you with a seat, it will ask passengers to voluntarily give up their places for an agreed amount of compensation. Should you still be denied the opportunity to board the flight you have booked because of overbooking, you are entitled to compensation as well. The amount of compensation you will receive is determined by the distance of the flight.

Delayed Service

Delayed flights will not automatically result in a compensation payment. However, the airline should provide a range of services, depending on the severity of the delay.

For short haul flights, a delay of over two hours should trigger the following services:

  • Food and drink in proportion to the time waited
  • Hotel accommodation if the delay is overnight
  • Transport to the accommodation from the airport in the event of an overnight stay
  • Two phone calls, faxes, emails for free

 For longer flights, a delay of four hours is necessary before the airline is obliged to provide these.

Downgrade Service

For passengers who find that their flight has been downgraded, in other words, changed from first or business class to economy, they are also entitled to compensation. The amount offered in compensation should be between 30 and 75 percent of the ticket value and will also depend on the length of the flight.

Compensation Amounts

Compensation is paid according

250 Euros for any flight that is up to 1,500 kilometres

400 Euros for any flight within the European Community of over 1,500 kilometres and for flights to other destinations between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres distance.

Flights from the UK or Eire to Lanzarote fall into this category

600 Euros for all other flights

Compensation payment may be made in a number of ways – either in cash, to a nominated bank account, by cheque or bank transfer. Travel vouchers or other services may only be used as compensation if the passenger agrees to accept these

How to Make a Complaint

If you think you are entitled to compensation for an overbooking, excessive delay or flight cancellation, your first port of call is to contact the airline you bought the ticket with.

If for any reason, you feel that you have not had your complaint dealt with effectively, you can also contact the following:

NIDirect Government Services

European Consumer Centre