I’m gearing up for a few days of travel chaos. I’m off to spend Christmas with my parents in France and am booked with BA. though I fly the day before the strike is due to start and come back the day after. But you never know… The boyfriend is also on BA right slap bang in the middle of the strike, so we’ll have to see how that works out. Added to that is my trip to Brussels this weekend on Eurostar which is threatened by strikes as well, and you can see why I thought this list of reminders for travellers was worth repeating. Although the UK isn’t implementing the Rail Passengers Rights Regulation yet (in spite of its entry into force on 3 December) the cross-border services like Eurostar are covered nonetheless.
1. If you travel by air and you are denied boarding, or if your flight is cancelled without notice or is subject to a more than five hour delay, ask for reimbursement or rerouting.
2. You also have the right to assistance and, in some cases, to a monetary compensation in case of cancellation or a delay exceeding 3 hours. In all cases the company has to inform you about your rights on the spot, when an incident occurs.
3. If your luggage gets lost or damaged, you have the right to a reimbursement of up to €1223 when you take the plane.
4. When you book your flight ticket online, remember that the final price must be clearly indicated on the first page.
5. When you check in at the airport, only take small quantities of liquids in your hand luggage (a maximum of 100 millilitres is permitted per container, which includes creams, powder and mousse). The total amount of liquids per person cannot exceed one litre.
6. If you are planning to travel by aeroplane outside Europe, check the black list of airlines banned in the European Union before buying your ticket.
7. If you are a passenger with disabilities or reduced mobility, you will be granted non discriminatory access conditions if you decide to travel by air or by cross-border train within the European Union. You have the right to free assistance before, during and after the flight, when travelling by air; to free assistance at the station and on board, when travelling by train. Inform your air carrier at least 48 hours in advance if you require such assistance.
8. When you travel by cross-border train within the European Union you are entitled to reimbursement (or rerouting) and compensation, plus assistance, in case of cancellation or delay at departure or at arrival of more than 1 hour. You will also enjoy adequate information before and during the journey.
9. If your luggage gets damaged during cross-border rail travel within the European Union, you are entitled to compensation of up to €1300. In case of accidents during the journey, you are entitled to advance payments and compensation for you or for your family.
10. If you are not satisfied with your cross-border rail journey within the European Union, keep in mind that each railway company has to communicate you the contact detail of the complaint handling body, which will answer to your complaint within one month.
11. When you buy a travel package, always make sure that both the price and all relevant information are clearly indicated.
12. Keep in mind that one out of four road accidents can be attributed to excessive alcohol or drug consumption. Don’t drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs!