Air passengers benefit from the protection defined by the Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council EC261/2004 of 11 February 2004 which established equal in the European Union rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers in the event of cancellation, flight delays, denied boarding or transfer to lower class. These rules apply to all carriers (traditional airlines, low-cost and charter flights), regard less of the price of a ticket, class of travel and booking class.
Most importantly - Regulation granted to passengers the right to flat - rate compensation (independent of the extent of the losses) in the case of flight cancellation or denied boarding. In October of 2012 the Court of Justice of the European Union explained that the regulation allows passengers to claim compensation also for flight delays longer than three hours. More about the rules for granting compensation we write in the tabs: delayed flight, flight cancellation, denied boarding.
The passengers are not entitled to compensation only if the air carrier can prove that the cancellation or long delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures were taken. This applies to circumstances such as bad weather, unstable political situation, or the risks associated with security considerations.
Regardless of the right to compensation when a flight is cancelled or is expected to be a significant flight delay, the passengers have the right to ensure them care while waiting at the airport. The extent of such free care includes among others: provision of meals and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation, if necessary, along with covering the cost of transportation. Most of all, the carrier must inform the passengers of delayed or cancelled flight about their rights and procedures.
Int he case of flight cancellation or denied boarding, the carrier is also obliged, according to the passenger's choice, pay the cost of the ticket (if the passenger with draws from the contract) or provide an alternative flight at the earliest possible date or time convenient for the passenger.