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Our rights as passengers

30 July 2013 / 22:07:35  GRReporter
3692 reads

Ship, ferry or aeroplane are the three most popular ways to get to the Greek islands. The consumer protection organization in Greece has issued a bulletin containing the rights of passengers and giving important tips on what you can demand from the transportation company in case of a problem or violation while travelling.

By sea

What happens if the cabin or your place on board the ship does not correspond to what is stated on your ticket?

The passenger has a number of options to solve the problem:

1. You can return the ticket but you will be refunded only half of its value, the taxes to third parties imposed on the amount and the value of the imposed VAT. If you cancel the ticket 12 hours before the journey, you will be refunded 75% of its net price and the taxes mentioned previously. If you decide to return the ticket two weeks before the date of departure, you will be refunded its full value. If your journey must be cancelled due to illness or other irreversible circumstances, the company must refund 100% of the amount you have paid.

2. If the transportation company provides you with a place in a category that is lower than that stated on the ticket, you are entitled to receive the difference between the two berths twofold.

3. If you occupy a higher-class cabin than the cabin for which you have paid in advance, you must pay half of the difference between the two categories. This does not apply if the transportation company itself has provided you with the opportunity to occupy a higher-class cabin.

4. Your last option is to change your ticket for the same or another destination if there are vacancies. Then you are not entitled to compensation or to refunding of the ticket value.

For each of the above options, you must submit a written complaint to the transportation company or to the travel agency which has organized the journey in order for the change to take effect.

In which case shall the transportation company be responsible for damaged or lost luggage?

The transportation company assumes responsibility for the luggage if the passenger has entrusted it for safekeeping and has received a receipt for the service.

What happens if the ship or ferry departs behind schedule due to a fault?

In case of a 90-minute delay, the passenger has the right to cancel his or her ticket and to receive its full value back. Alternatively, the passenger can keep the ticket and travel later or to another destination. In this case, the transportation company bears the cost of transportation to the other port. The company must provide the passengers with a light lunch or dinner, and refreshments while they are waiting.

If the delay is longer than four hours, the transportation company must bear the passenger’s expenses of both food and accommodation on board the ferry or at a hotel if necessary. The transportation company bears the cost of transportation from the port to the hotel and back as well. The company is obliged to bear the costs of not more than three nights’ lodging of the passenger and their value may not exceed 80 euros a night. You can receive the compensation at the port of departure or at the port of arrival.

If you have not reached your destination within 24 hours after the start of the journey, you are entitled to receive compensation equal to double the cost of travel and the full amount you have paid for your car by which you are travelling (for ferries).

What to expect if the ferry stops at an intermediate port due to a failure which is its fault?

In this case, too, the passengers are entitled to free food while waiting for the vessel to be repaired as well as to accommodation on board the ship or at a hotel. The company bears the cost of transportation to the hotel and back. At the interim port, the passenger can exercise his or her right to cancel or reschedule his or her journey after filling in the necessary documents which he or she can obtain from the company.

What are the available options if your journey includes transhipment but you have missed the transport means which is to take you to your final destination due to the delay of the first one?

First, you must repoprt the situation to the transportation company which is to take you to your final destination. It should provide you with food and accommodation, which also applies to the case of stopping due to a fault as mentioned previously.

If the journey is cancelled due to weather conditions:

The passenger can either stay on board (if the weather allows him or her to do so) or cancel the journey, when the passenger must be paid the full value of the ticket. The third option is for the passenger to change the date of the journey and keep the ticket.

If the company cancels the planned journey, the passenger may request compensation for damages and potential losses. What do you need to know?

If the transportation company does not compensate you, you have to bring the matter to the court in the area where the company is registered. The passengers are not entitled to compensation if the transportation company has arranged another method to transport them and if it has informed them at least 12 hours before the time of departure. The same applies if the company has warned the passengers a week before the journey and has refunded the value of the tickets.

By air

What happens if your flight is overbooked?

When the number of passengers exceeds the number of available seats, the airline must first ask for volunteers to give away their seats in return for other services. If there are no volunteers willing to postpone their flight, the company is obliged to reimburse the value of the ticket and to cover the full cost of the ticket to the point of departure.

What is the maximum amount of compensation for overbooking?

It is 250 euro for flights of less than 1,500 km, 400 euro for flights of more than 1,500 km within the European Union and 600 euro for flights of more than 3,500 km and to countries outside the European Union.

What happens if your flight is cancelled?

The airline must pay the fare and provide either a free return flight to the first point of departure, or free transport to the final destination. In addition, the passenger is entitled to meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation when necessary (including transfers from the airport and the hotel) and means of communication (a telephone or Internet). In cases of denied boarding, the airline must pay the passengers compensations amounting to the sums mentioned previously. The right to compensation is not applicable under certain conditions. For example, when the operator has given notice of cancellation at least two weeks before the planned schedule or when airport workers have announced a strike. The compensation must be paid within seven days.

What happens if your flight is delayed?

If the delay of short flights is long (e.g., no more than two hours for flights of less than 1,500 km), the operator must provide the passengers with food, drinks and means of communication. If the flight has been cancelled and rescheduled for the next day, the passenger is entitled to hotel accommodation for one or more nights and to free transportation to the place of accommodation. If the delay is longer than five hours, the operator is obliged to offer the passenger a reimbursement of the cost of the ticket for that part of the journey which he or she has not completed.

What happens if your luggage is lost or damaged?

The passenger must file a written complaint as soon as he or she has established the damage or loss of his or her luggage. In case of damage, after a check of the luggage on the spot, you need to file a written complaint within seven days. In case your luggage has been delayed, you must file a complaint within 21 days. The maximum amount you can receive as compensation for damage to luggage is about 1,300 euro. The company has to pay the compensation within seven days.

Tags: SocietyNewsJourneyRightsFlightsFerriesGreek islands
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