The old adage “Rules are meant to be broken” should not apply to major corporations, especially the airlines. They are making aviation history with the nickel and dime charges they seemingly conjure up on the spot when you are standing before them to check in. Before you ever set foot on a plane, you should be armed with information you may need to demand your rights.
US airlines now have some laws to protect you, the consumer. Will they share that information with you? Hardly. Caveat emptor is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.” and this is especially true when airlines are falling from the sky due to their antiquated business models not changing with the times, causing operating costs to be rocketing out of control. Christopher Elliott wrote this article in 2008, but he is still referencing it himself, so I am thinking it is still valid. Another source is Independent Traveler.com where they have an article posted on US Passenger Rights.
Any flights going to or from the European Union, EVEN those that start outside of the EU such as those from the US, they are covered by EU law 261. Click here to get a full easy to understand explanation of Q & A of the law.
If fifteen pages is too comprehensive for you, know that ALL airlines servicing the EU are mandated to have copies of passenger rights at the check-counters. Many times they will claim they don’t or are not required to, but they are. I demanded our rights in Prague when we missed a flight. Although I had to stand up to the airline people, we were booked on the next available flight which was not until the next morning, but our hotel, transporation and dinner was paid for by the airline.
It always surprises me how many of our guests, mostly Americans, have not fought for their rights when they were aware of them ahead of time.