According to the Article 5 of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 (the “Regulation”) in case of flight cancellation, the passenger is entitled to a refund and to receive a monetary compensation.
According to the paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Regulation, the air carrier is obliged to offer the passenger a choice between the following options as reimbursement:
1) within 7 days to receive a refund of the full cost of the ticket,
2) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or
3) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats.
Note: Air carriers are issuing vouchers to passengers during the coronavirus pandemic, which are used as an alternative to refunds. In this case, the passenger must be given a choice between receiving a voucher or a refund.
As indicated in clause 4.2. of the Notice of the European Commission (2016/C 214/04), as soon as the passenger has chosen one of the three reimbursement options, he/she loses the right to receive the other two options.
In addition to the obligation to provide the passenger with reimbursement, the air carrier is also obliged to ensure that the passenger is paid monetary compensation, the amount of which depends on the flight distance and delay time, if the air carrier has not reported the flight cancellation at least 14 days in advance.
However, according to the paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Regulation, this obligation does not apply if the flight cancellation was due to force majeure circumstances.
In addition, in accordance with clause 4.2. of the Notice of the European Commission (2016/C 214/04) in case if:
The amount and conditions for the payment of monetary compensation are determined by the Article 7 of the Regulation. In accordance with the said article, in cases where the air carrier is obliged to pay the passenger monetary compensation, its amount is determined as follows: if the range of flight is up to 1500 km the compensation amount is 250 EUR. If the range of flight is more than 1500 km within the EU (plus all other flights between 1500 km and 3500 km) the compensation is 400 EUR. If the range of flight exceeds 3500 EUR the compensation is 600 EUR.
If the air carrier offered the passenger to change the route in such a way that the passenger reaches the final point with a delay of 2, 3 and 4 hours, respectively, the amount of compensation is reduced by 50%.
The following EU Regulations are applied (also to the EEA):
The above regulations are applied if:
Passengers of flights that start or end in Latvia, in order to resolve a dispute with an air carrier, contact the Latvian Consumer Rights Protection Center.
If any of the parties to the dispute does not agree with the decision of the Consumer Rights Protection Center, further consideration of the dispute is carried out in the courts of the Republic of Latvia.
The airline that provides the flight is responsible for providing security to the passenger (compensation, re-routing or assistance from the airline).
If a ticket is purchased from one airline, and the flight is provided by another, the responsibility to the passenger bears the one that provides the flight.
If an airline leases an aircraft from another airline, the first airline is responsible for the flight and is considered the air carrier in this case.