Passenger Rights

Last updated 22/10/2019
EU Regulation 261/2004 establishes that airline passengers have specific rights in case of denied boarding, cancellation and long delays.

About Passengers Rights

Last updated 22/10/2019
If your claim for compensation has been denied by the airline, and you are not satisfied with the answer, you can forward a complaint to the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority.

What flights are covered by the Regulation?

In order for a flight to be covered by the Regulation, it either has to be a flight departing from an EU airport or a flight departing a non-EU airport, with an EU airport as the destination, if the carrier is an EU carrier.

A flight from Denmark to Turkey, for example, with any airline, is covered by the Regulation. A flight from Turkey to Copenhagen with an EU airline will also be covered by the Regulation. However, a flight from Turkey to Copenhagen, on a Turkish airline, is not covered.

The Regulation applies, regardless whether the flight in question is a charter flight, a standard route or part of a package tour.

When do my rights apply?

If a flight is covered by the Regulation, you, as a passenger, have rights in the following instances: Denied boarding, cancellation and delay.

Passengers are denied boarding on a flight where the passenger has a confirmed reservation and is present at check-in and boarding, at the required time. Any and all travel documents must be presented to the air carrier upon request.

A planned flight, which is not carried out and the delay in arrival is three hours or more.
Delay in arrival/departure of 2-4 hours depending on the length of the flight.

Which complaints can the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority handle?

The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority handle complaints concerning flights that depart Danish airports, and flights that depart a non-EU country with a direct flight to a Danish airport, where the operator is an EU carrier.

Complaints that have to be handled by other enforcement bodies

The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority does not handle complaints concerning the following instances:

 

  • Flights departing other EU countries
  • Flights departing a non EU country with another EU country, as the destination.

 

Instances where the Regulation does not apply

 

  • Flights departing a non EU country towards an EU country with a non EU carrier
  • Baggage delay, damage to baggage and/or passenger injuries or death.
  • Liabilities stemming from the contract between passenger and airline, including consequential damages (for instance loss of earnings).
  • Refund request related to accommodation (such as prepaid hotel) and other tourist related services.

 

The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority cannot handle complaints concerning these instances.

 

Complaints concerning baggage may be directed to Consumer Centre Europe.

How to Forward a Complaint

Last updated 22/10/2019
You can free of charge forward a complain to the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, if you are not satisfied with the decision from the airline.
In order to handle your complaint, the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority requires a copy of your correspondence with the airline, a copy of the ticket or boarding pass for all the passengers in the complaint. If you do not forward the required documentation along with your complaint, the handling time may be longer, and can mean that the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority will be unable to handle your complaint.

If you are seeking compensation on behalf of travel companions, remember to attach power of attorneys.


How will the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority handle your complaint?

The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority will evaluate your complaint in accordance with Regulation (EC) 261/2004, which defines passenger rights, including the right to compensation in case of cancelled or delayed flights and denied boarding.

The evaluation will result in a decision, which will be forwarded to you and the airline. If the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority finds that you are entitled to compensation, the airline has four weeks in which to pay compensation.

If you do not hear from the airline within the four weeks, you may inform the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority. The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority will then evaluate whether sanctions are a possibility in your case, and if the case can be transferred to the prosecution.

The estimated handling time for a complaint is five months, unless underway; the need arises, to obtain further information or documentation, either from you or the airline, which may prolong the handling time.

If the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority finds that you are not entitled to compensation, or if you disagree with the decision made by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, you may file a case with the civil courts.
Power of attorney

Power of attorney

Power of attorney for complaint for an infringement of Regulation (EC) 261/2004

Register Complaint

Last updated 25/10/2019
If you have experienced a delay, a cancellation or you have been denied boarding, you may be entitled to compensation from the airline.

Firstly, you must complain directly to the airline. However, if you are not satisfied with their reply; you can forward a complaint to the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority.

In order to process your complaint, please have the following documents ready when submitting a complaint:

 

  • A copy of the correspondence with the airline
  • A copy of the travel documents (boarding pass or ticket) for all the passengers listed in the complaint.
  • Power of attorney for travel companions
  • Receipts for expenses incurred due to lack of care (if any)

Denied Boarding, Cancellation and Delay

Last updated 25/10/2019
The rights that passengers have depend upon whether the complaint concerns denied boarding, cancellation or long delays. The EU Regulation concerns passenger rights relating to the operating carrier not travel or ticket agents.

Denied Boarding

Passengers may voluntarily give up their confirmed reservation or be denied boarding against their will when flights are overbooked. When voluntarily giving up a confirmed reservation, passengers are entitled to financial compensation based upon an agreement between the passenger and the airline. Furthermore, the airline has to offer a refund of the ticket price, or rebook the passenger in accordance with the rules outlined in the Regulation.

In cases where passengers are denied boarding against their will, the airline has to compensate the passenger(s) (see section concerning compensation), and offer a refund of the ticket price or rebook the passenger in accordance with the Regulation, as well as offer meals and refreshments that are reasonable when compared to the time, which the passenger is expected to wait, hotel stay if it is necessary, and transport to and from the hotel, two telephone calls, telex, fax or e-mails.

Cancellation

In case of cancelled flights, the airline has to offer a refund of the ticket price or rebook the passenger(s) in accordance with the Regulation. Furthermore, the airline has to offer meals, refreshments that are reasonable (alcohol not included), when compared to the time, which the passenger is expected to wait, hotel stay if it is necessary, as well as transport to and from the hotel, two telephone calls, telex, fax or e-mails and offer compensation (see section concerning compensation) unless the cancellation is announced to the passenger(s) within the Regulation determined times and terms or the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances.

Delay

Rights concerning delay depend upon the duration of the delay. The airline has to offer meals and refreshments (alcohol not included) as well as two free phone calls, telex, fax or e-mails, hotel stay if this is deemed necessary, transport between airport and hotel accommodation if an overnight stay is necessary.

Furthermore, if the delay is not caused by extraordinary circumstances the air carrier must, upon request, pay compensation in accordance with the Regulation.

If the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances, the air carrier may refer to this, and refuse compensation.

In order to be entitled to compensation, the delay in arrival must be 3 hours or more after the scheduled time of arrival.

Compensation

Last updated 25/10/2019
Passengers may be entitled to compensation in case of involuntary denied boarding, cancellation and in cases of arrival delay of at least 3 hours.

The amount depends upon the distance the flight has, or will, or was planned to cover and the delay's length.

Compensation amounts

  • 250€ for flights under 1500 kilometers
  • 400€ for flights within the EU covering more than 1500 kilometers and for all flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers
  • 600€ for all flights that do not fall into the categories above.

 

In case of cancellation and delay the right to compensation may be repealed if the airline can prove that the delay or cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances, which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

Circumstances such as these can occur in cases of political instability, weather conditions that are incompatible with the execution of the flight in question, safety hazards, unforeseen security issues, or strikes that affect the performance of the airline.

Air carriers may in some cases reduce the compensation by 50 % if the passenger is rerouted to their final destination, and the delay in arrival is 2-4 hours after the originally scheduled time of arrival, at their final destination, depending on the length of the flight.

Regulation

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council

Regulation on establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91

Valid from

11/02/2004

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3), in the light of the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 1 December 2003.

Other Complaint Authorities

Last updated 25/10/2019
The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority does not handle complaints concerning consequential damages that are the result of cancellations, delays or denied boarding.
Neither does the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority handle complaints concerning baggage transport, passenger injuries or death. 
Complaints concerning these matters may in some instances be directed to Pakkerejse-Ankenævnet, if the flight was part of a package tour, Consumer Centre Europe or the Danish consumer authority – Center for Klageløsning/Danish Competition and Consumer Authority.

If you have complaints concerning other matters during your flight, you may contact the European Consumer Centre Denmark, to see whether you are entitled to some form of compensation or refund.

Questions and Answers

Last updated 25/10/2019
Below you will find the most frequently asked questions regarding air passenger rights.
The prosecution may start criminal proceedings against the air carrier which may lead to the air carrier being imposed a fine.

The fine is significantly higher than the compensation the air carrier was directed to pay in the decision made by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, however the fine will be awarded to the Danish state not the passengers in the complaint.

The prosecution may start criminal proceedings against the air carrier which may lead to the air carrier being imposed a fine.

The fine is significantly higher than the compensation the air carrier was directed to pay in the decision made by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, however the fine will be awarded to the Danish state not the passengers in the complaint.

The Compliant Form

Compensation is a fixed amount for the inconvenience that you experience during a delay, cancellation or denied boarding incident. For more information, see question 2.


A refund of expenses is a reimbursement of documented expenses that you incurred due to the delay/cancellation/denied boarding incident. For more information, see question 3.


It is possible to claim both compensation and a refund of expenses. However, your claim must first be presented to the air carrier and you must present documentation for the expenses incurred (for instance by presenting itemized receipts). Please note that bank statements are not accepted. If the air carrier does not heed your claim, you can subsequently forward a complaint to the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority or the national enforcement body in the country in which the incident took place.

If your flight is delayed by three hours or more in arrival at your final destination, or if your flight has been cancelled, you may be entitled to compensation.


If you are notified about the cancellation more than 14 days before departure, you are not entitled to compensation.


If you are notified about the cancellation less than 14 days before departure and you are offered rerouting, the question of compensation depends on when you depart, and when you arrive at your final destination.  

When your departure is delayed between 2-4 hours depending on the length of the flight, you have a right to care. If you were not offered refreshments (snacks, beverages and/or meals) or vouchers while you were waiting, you are able to claim a refund of reasonable expenses pertaining to this from the air carrier. Please note that expenses relating to alcoholic beverages are not refunded.


If you were not offered accommodation, including transport to and from the accommodation, you can claim reasonable expenses pertaining to this from the air carrier. Remember to forward a copy of your itemized receipts documenting your expenses to the air carrier.

The right to care, and a refund of expenses, depends on the circumstances in each case, and the expenses must be reasonable.

Disregarding localized internet errors, the reason may be that the complaint cannot be handled by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority as the flight is under the jurisdiction of another national enforcement body. If the incident took place in another EU country, the complaint must be forwarded to the relevant authority in that country.
Guidance material
Regulation [EC] 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91

List of member states, organisations and contact details

The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority can only handle complaints that concern flights from Denmark and flights directly to Denmark, from a country outside of the European Union, when the air carrier is an EU carrier. 
Regulation (EC) 261/2004 does not apply to flights departing from Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Gibraltar, in cases where a non-EU air carrier, carries out the flight.
This depends on whether or not you have purchased a continuous ticket, which means that your entire trip, with more than one flight has only one booking number. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation. If this is not the case, and your flights were booked separately – with separate booking numbers, the air carrier’s obligations are limited to the flight in question. 

 Read the conditions thoroughly before you accept the purchase, so you know what to do in case of unexpected changes or incidents in connection with the flight. Furthermore, when you purchase a ticket for more than one flight, you must note whether you have purchased a continuous ticket – meaning that the same booking number is on all your flights. If this is not the case, the air carrier’s obligations are limited in relation to the flights that you have booked.

The handling of your compliant

Our handling time is typically between 1-3 months. Some cases may take longer than that, due to the need for further documentation and information from either party in the case. When we make our decision, it will be forwarded to both parties in the case.
The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority is the national enforcement body in Denmark designated to enforce the obligations of air carriers in relation to Regulation (EC) 261/2004 regarding passenger rights in connection with long delays, cancellations and denied boarding. We make individual decisions in each case that are binding for the air carrier and passenger.
When handling your complaint, the information that you send us will be forwarded to the air carrier along with a request concerning comments and documentation relating to the incident. Our aeronautical, operational and legal experts will subsequently evaluate their comments and documentation along with the information supplied by you. This evaluation forms the basis of our decision. If the air carrier does not comply with our decision within the deadline, the case will be reported to the police.
No. There are no costs related with having a complaint handled by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority. 
The Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority is the authority in Denmark, designated to enforce that air carriers discharge their obligations in relation to the EU Regulation concerning passenger rights. We make individual decisions that are binding for the air carrier. There are no costs related to lodging a complaint with the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, regardless whether we find in your favour or not. A legal aid company cannot decide the case for you, and you are often required to pay a percentage of the refund and compensation you are entitled to, to the legal aid company.
If you have bought a package tour, your complaint can be handled by the Danish package tour complaints board https://www.pakkerejseankenaevnet.dk/forside/, or a similar board in other countries, if comparable legislation is in place. Furthermore, the European Consumer Centre can advise you regarding other complaint avenues.
You complain to the national enforcement body in the country where the incident took place. If the incident did not take place in an EU country, and you are travelling from a non-EU country to an EU country on an EU carrier, you must lodge a complaint with the enforcement body in the country of your arrival.
See contact information for the national enforcement bodies in the various EU-countries.

Compensation

If you are entitled to compensation, the amounts are:

 

  • EUR 250 for flights under 1500 km
  • EUR 400 for flights between 1500 and 3500 km
  • EUR 400 for flights over 1500 and within the EU*, and
  • EUR 600 for flights of 3500 km or more and outside the EU. 

 

* Note that while the distance for flights to the Canary Islands and the Azores surpasses 3500 km, the compensation is still EUR 400 as they are both within the EU. 

In some cases, the air carrier may reduce your compensation by 50% depending on the distance you travelled and on the time of arrival at your destination. This is applicable in situations where you are rerouted, and you arrive at your destination two hours later than originally scheduled for flights up to 1500 km.


It is also applicable in situations where the flight is more than 3500 km and you arrive at your destination more than three hours after the scheduled time of arrival but less than four hours. In these cases, air carriers are allowed to reduce the compensation by 50 percent.

  • You must have a confirmed reservation for the flight in question. 
  • You must be present at check-in and boarding as instructed by the air carrier operating out the flight.

The air carrier is not obligated to compensate passengers in cases where the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances, which could not have been avoided.

The final destination is the airport where you arrive after your last flight, according to the information on your ticket. However, please note that for this to apply; you must have purchased a continuous ticket, i.e. a ticket where the flights are under one booking number, and where you can check in for all your flights at the airport of your departure.
The air carrier is entitled to subtract compensation that you receive from your tour operator for loss of vacation days at your destination, in connection with a delay on an outgoing flight.
If a passenger has a confirmed reservation and has presented themselves for check-in and boarding on time, Regulation (EC) 261/2004 concerning passenger rights applies. A child under the age of two is therefore entitled to compensation on an equal basis with other passengers, if an infant fee has been paid.
You are entitled to compensation if the delay in arrival at your final destination is more than three hours, unless the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances, which could not have been avoided, for instance weather, strike, security restrictions, bird strike or air traffic control restrictions.

 You may be entitled to compensation if you receive information regarding the cancellation less than 14 days before departure, unless the reason for the cancellation is extraordinary circumstances. In connection with a cancellation, you must be offered the choice of a refund of your original ticket price or be offered an alternative route to your final destination. If the air carrier does not offer an alternative flight or an alternative flight within a reasonable timeframe, and you buy new tickets yourself, you may be entitled to a refund of expenses connected with this purchase.

If the cause of the cancellation or delay is outside the control of the air carrier, and the air carrier could not have avoided the delay/cancellation within reasonable means, the air carrier is typically not obligated to pay compensation. Extraordinary circumstances include, weather, strike, security restrictions, bird strike and air traffic control restrictions.

Decisions

The decisions made by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority are binding, which means that it is not possible to appeal the decision to other authorities. The parties may however try their case in a civilian court. If the air carrier does not adhere to the decision within the deadline, the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority can report the air carrier to the police.
The prosecution may start criminal proceedings against the air carrier which may lead to the air carrier being imposed a fine.

The fine is significantly higher than the compensation the air carrier was directed to pay in the decision made by the Danish Transport, Construction and Housing Authority, however the fine will be awarded to the Danish state not the passengers in the complaint.