'Long delay’ is when a flight does not depart until after the scheduled departure time by:
- two or more hours, for flights of up to 1500 km,
- three or more hours for intra-EU flights of 1500 km and longer, or for other flights between 1501
- and 3000km,
- four or more hours, for all other flights.
- In case of:
- long delay, the passenger has the right to care (meals, drinks, accommodation, phone calls etc.),
- arrival at final destination with a delay of 3 hours or more, the passenger has a right to compensation unless it can be proven that the delay had been caused by extraordinary circumstances.
‘Cancellation’ is the non-operation of a flight that was previously planned. In case of cancellation of a flight, passengers concerned shall:
- have a right to care,
- have a right to reimbursement (if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan) or re-routing (if they are continuing their jouney),
- can have a right to compensation.
'Denied boarding' is a refusal to carry passengers on a flight, although they have confirmed reservation and have presented themselves for check-in or boarding on time and according to instructions given by the air carrier, tour operator or travel agent (if no time was indicated, not later than 45 minutes before the estimated time of departure of their flight).
This definition does not cover situations where there are reasonable grounds for air carrier or their representative to deny boarding of a passenger, such as reasons of health, safety or security, or inadequate travel documentation.
'Downgrading' occurs when a passenger involuntarily travelled in a class of service lower than the class of service for which they had a confirmed reservation.
If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, the passenger is entitled to reimbursement of the part of the price of the ticket, depending on the length of the flight according to Regulation (EC) 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights (OJ L 46, 17.2.2004).