Survey finds 5% of airline passengers know their rights

A survey from the European Consumer Centre in Ireland has shown that most passengers don't know their rights when they fly.

A survey from the European Consumer Centre in Ireland has shown that most passengers don't know their rights when they fly.

Up to 5% of all respondents to the questionnaire were able to correctly name three of their rights guaranteed under law.

Ann Neville, Manager of the European Consumer Centre (ECC), announced the results at Dublin Airport, saying: "Unfortunately, from time to time accidents happen to your luggage or your flight is delayed, and you should know your rights. If for example, your luggage is damaged or delayed you are entitled by law to compensation from the airline with some conditions.

"However, in the case of damaged luggage, a claim has to be made within seven days of delivery. In many cases, people are still on holiday when the deadline to make the claim has expired."

The research was carried out last week in Dublin Airport and surveyed outward-bound passengers.

The findings show that 51% of passengers know that if their flight is cancelled they are entitled to: information on their rights from the airline and the choice between an alternative flight or a ticket refund.

If the replacement flight is much later, they are entitled to free meals and refreshments (in accordance with waiting times). They are also entitled to transfers and accommodation when a stay of one or more nights is necessary.

Only 18% of passengers know that if they experience a long delay on their flight, they are entitled to a reimbursement of their ticket (if greater then 5 hours).

The survey also found that 35% of passengers know that if luggage is lost or delayed by the airline, the maximum amount of compensation they are entitled to is €1150 (this rate fluctuates).

The findings fit in with recent research carried out by the European Commission which shows that Irish people are less likely to make a consumer-related complaint than the average European.

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