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Air passenger rights

Due to Regulation 261/2004 of the European Parliament and the European Council, all passengers whose flight includes at least one arrival, departure and/or stopover at a Spanish airport, enjoy the legal rights of a passenger.

In case of violation of these rights, the passenger has the right to file a complaint, which may result in financial or other compensation. If a passenger is dissatisfied with the service during a flight, but does not have the right to file a complaint, he/she has the option to file a complaint or a suggestion.

If you do not file a complaint and/or a complaint about the service provided, it will not be possible to verify and improve the quality of the service provided, as it will not be possible to inform the persons/entities responsible. Consequently, you will lose the opportunity to obtain any compensation.

The right for placing a complaint may result from the following cases

The following is a list of the most frequent cases in which a passenger has the right to complain and which are generally lodged with airline offices, airports or other travel-related entities (travel agencies, tour operators, etc.) Certain conditions must be met for complaints to be accepted. Please note that the situations described below may occur unintentionally, e.g. due to force majeure, in which case any claims will be excluded.

  • An insufficient, unclear or neutral response, or the rejection of the response.
  • Refusal to board due to overbooking, delay or cancellation of the flight.
  • Denial of the right to file a complaint.
  • Incidents relating to the air ticket, its issue or change of air class.
  • Delay in the departure or arrival of the flight.
  • Lack of assistance in the event of delayed departure.
  • Loss of the plane or flight connection.
  • Damage or loss of baggage.
  • Discrimination against disabled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility.
  • Lack of security at the airport or on board the aircraft.
  • Lack of services at the airport or on the aircraft.
  • Accidents and/or injuries.
  • ...more cases.

Passengers affected by cancellations can turn to specialized claims services and obtain financial compensation for the cancelled or delayed flight.

Passenger with a delayed or cancelled flight
Passenger with a delayed or cancelled flight at an airport

Before making a complaint, you should make sure that you are entitled to do so, in accordance with the conditions of each case. Passengers are obliged to know their rights if they want to make a complaint. In this case, they can ask at any airport in Spain for a document describing their rights, including some advice on how to act. Otherwise, do not hesitate to contact the Spanish Aviation Safety Agency (AESA).

How to file a complaint

Please do not leave the airport or the area where the incident has occurred without informing yourself previously about the procedure of filing a complaint (means, channel, period of time, proofs, etc.). Some complaints have to be done on-site, while others can be dealt with within a reasonable time period by normal mail or internet.

For this reason, depending on the entity concerned, you may dispose of sheets of complaint at the check-in counters of the airlines, at the information desks of the airport or in the airport shops. You may also download and print them if it is not necessary to present the complaint on-site.

Please be very precise when you describe the incident and keep all the related documents, even if you think it is not necessary. You may need the documentation again in case you do not receive an answer within the agreed period of time or maybe you are not happy with the answer, and want to lodge an appeal before the courts or contact with the National Aviation Agency AESA (case of appeal against the airline).

Additional information

Due to the complexity and the constant evolution of the regulations and the laws, the information given herewith may not be complete, incorrect, incomplete or not yet updated. Therefore it is within your responsibility to do everything in your power in order to gather the necessary information.

Please find more information (details of each case, compensations, regulations, directions and phone numbers, etc.) at , in the sections about passenger rights.