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Travelling in Europe – your consumer rights

  • Planning to leave Poland for another EU country?
  • You had a flight booked to/from Ukraine that was cancelled?
  • Read the basic information on passenger rights when travelling through the EU, Norway, Iceland and the UK, prepared by the European Consumer Centre operating within the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection
  • On World Consumer Day we would like to remind that WE ARE ALL CONSUMERS

Українська версія: натисніть тут

Air travel

Purchase of a plane ticket

Before buying a plane ticket, check the fare (refundable or non-refundable) and make sure that you can cross the border in the destination country with your documents. If you do not have a passport, it is worth contacting the embassy of the country you are flying to.

Flight cancelled

  • You have 3 options: refund, re-routing. The airline may also offer you a refund in the form of a credit which you can use to buy future tickets – you do not have to accept this form of compensation.
  • If you decide to change your flight to the earliest possible date, the airline must also provide you with care while you wait (meals and beverages, 2 phone calls and, if you wait overnight – accommodation).
  • Note! Having trouble getting a refund for a flight cancelled due to the hostilities in Ukraine? If the airline is registered in the EU, Norway, Iceland or the UK – contact European Consumer Centre for help.

Delayed flight:

  • After only 2 hours, you may be entitled to assistance (meals and beverages, 2 phone calls).
  • After a delay of 5 hours, you can cancel your flight and ask for your ticket to be refunded.
  • If you find that your flight leaves the next day and you have to wait overnight, the airline should provide you with accommodation and transport from the airport to the hotel and back.

Compensation – delayed or cancelled flight

If your flight is delayed at your destination by 3 hours or cancelled at least 14 days before the flight due to the fault of the airline, you may be entitled to compensation of between EUR 250 and EUR 600 (the amount depends on the length of the flight).

Airplane luggage

  • Make sure you do not leave valuables (jewellery, money, electronics) in your checked baggage. If they are lost, the airline will not pay compensation. Carry valuables in your hand luggage.
  • Baggage delayed or damaged during the flight?

Report this to the luggage claim office before you leave the airport. Ask for a PIR report to be issued by the office. Then, send a written complaint to the airline. You have 7 days to do so if your luggage is damaged and 21 days if it is delayed. Do not miss the deadline!

Complaint to the airline

The European Consumer Centre has prepared a summary of complaint forms for most European airlines: https://konsument.gov.pl/misc/faq-support/formularz-reklamacji/.
Find the carrier you were flying with, the link will take you to the complaint form.

You can find templates of complaints in Polish and English at: https://konsument.gov.pl/wzory-reklamacji-do-linii-lotniczych/.

Train travel

Some railway undertakings (also from other countries) offer free transport to Ukrainian citizens. Check this before you buy your ticket on the official website of the railway undertaking.

When travelling by train in the EU, Norway or Iceland, you have certain rights.

If a train is cancelled or delayed by at least 60 minutes, you have the following rights:

  • Right to reimbursement or an alternative connection to your destination.
  • Right to care (meals and beverages adequate to the waiting time).
  • Right to accommodation and transfers between the hotel and the station, if physically possible, when it is necessary for you to stay overnight for one or more nights.

If you have paid for your ticket, you may also receive compensation if your train is delayed.

The amount of compensation depends on the length of the delay and the ticket price:

  • 25% of the price in case of a delay between 60 min and 119 min
  • 50% of the price in case of a delay of more than 120 minutes.
  • NOTE! Passengers who have not exercised their right to reimbursement shall be entitled to compensation.
  • Compensation for train delays shall be paid where the compensation concerned exceeds a minimum threshold of EUR 4.

You can find templates of complaints in Polish and English at:https://konsument.gov.pl/wzory-reklamacji-podroz-pociagiem/.

Overnight accommodation/hotel stay

Remember! The service you buy should be in line with the offer! If you have booked a room with 3 beds and there are fewer beds upon arrival, you can complain about this. Report it immediately to the hotel staff and ask for a room change. If the hotel does not respond after you report it, make sure to gather evidence. Take photos and send a complaint.

You can find templates of complaints in Polish and English at: https://konsument.gov.pl/wzory-reklamacji-zakwaterowanie/.

ECC-Net assistance

If you live in an EU country (even for a short time) and use services provided by company in other EU countries, Norway, Iceland or the UK, you can turn to the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) for help.

Examples of situations in which you can turn to the European Consumer Centres for help:

  • After crossing the Polish border, you decided to live in another EU country and to get there you used a Polish airline, which damaged your luggage.
  • You stayed overnight in a Polish hotel before travelling to another EU country, Norway, Iceland or the UK, where you decided to live.
  • You travelled to another country with an airline registered, for example, in Ireland and you live in Poland.
  • Have you booked a flight in advance but it was cancelled due to hostilities? If you have a problem obtaining a refund from an airline registered in the EU, Norway, Iceland or the UK, please contact the ECC.

Useful contacts to institutions that help:

  • pomagamukrainie.gov.pl – this is an important address if you are looking for accommodation, humanitarian aid, transport and support in a broad sense;
  • Complaints, product returns, rules and rights applicable in Poland in contacts between consumers and entrepreneurs (sellers, service providers) – visit the website of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection – https://www.uakonsument.uokik.gov.pl/
  • Useful advice on how to use the services of telecommunications operators can be found on the website of the Office of Electronic Communications – it’s #PomagamUkraina – Consumer Information Centre (uke.gov.pl)
  • Information on insurers and banks – search engine of entities – https://www.knf.gov.pl/en/CONSUMERS/Information_for_the_financial_market_consumers/Entities_search
  • Learn about your rights related to using financial and insurance products and see how the Financial Ombudsman can help you – https://rf.gov.pl/uk/як-ми-допомагаємо/
  • Information about travelling by rail. See what your rights and possibilities are on the website of the Office of Rail Transport UTK – www.utk.gov.pl/ukraina and https://www.utk.gov.pl/en/passenger-rights
  • If you are planning to leave Poland for another country, find out about your basic consumer rights when travelling in the EU, Norway, Iceland and the UK – ECC in Europe – European Consumer Centre (konsument.gov.pl)
  • If you are in the European Union, you can exercise your rights under the RODO. You can find more on this subject and tips on how to protect your personal data and privacy and how to move safely on the Internet on the website of the Office for Personal Data Protection – https://uodo.gov.pl/p/forukraine

Other EU initiatives for advice and support

We understand consumer issues may not be on your mind right now. Here are some EU pages and organisations that may be of help:

· 15 March 2022 · 10:21