Airline passengers are prone to frustrating experiences like flight delays, flight cancellations, and baggage loss. Frequent business travelers who travel to diverse destinations should know airline passenger rights instead of resigning to their plight in a distressing situation. There are regulations to support passengers and airlines by protecting their rights and obligations.

Air passengers have a right to claim compensation as money or services according to the issue. Some countries allow refunds of up to seventy percent of the airline ticket value in case of a no-show. Similarly, there are rules for compensations and refunds covering different scenarios.

Airline Passenger Rights Everyone Should Know


1. Overbooking

Overselling is a common practice in the airline sector to avoid the prospect of a no-show. However, it can cause a situation requiring someone to give up their seat voluntarily if each passenger with confirmed ticket plans to travel. Airlines do not ask a passenger to abandon the seat involuntarily. One should bargain for travel vouchers or a free air ticket by offering to volunteer. Know the terms of a negotiated compensation before you agree.

Compensation is due if the airline denies boarding to the passenger. It depends upon the number of additional hours of delay in reaching the destination than the original arrival time. There is no compensation if the delay is less than an hour. However, a 200 percent compensation may be available for delay exceeding an hour.

The compensation for discounted tickets like frequent flyer miles depends on the exact airfare. Passengers can ask to compensate in cash if the airline offers discount vouchers.

2. Luggage issues

Airlines’ passenger rights for luggage issues are vague, as airlines may provide compensation for damages by negotiating an amount. Airlines may reduce the compensation claiming inadequate or incorrect packaging. Most airline offer reimbursements for emergency purchases like toiletries, undergarments, and casual wear.

Business travelers may get essential items, such as formal shoes and a business suit. Airlines provide reimburse the cost of contents and new luggage in the event of loss of baggage. The passenger must provide evidence and documents while submitting a baggage claim. Airlines have liability limits for baggage claims and may negotiate the claimed amount.

3. Flight delays

The airline provides refreshments to passengers for a flight delay not exceeding six hours. The passengers may get meals as per the waiting time. Passengers can receive a refund of their air ticket in the event of a delay between six and 24 hours. The airline may offer an alternate flight in such circumstances.

Flight delays over 24 hours qualify passengers to get accommodation and transport. Similar to flight delayed compensation, India is also available for delays exceeding six hours for nighttime flights. Long tarmac delays entitle passengers to receive food and water.

These delays may be because of a plane waiting for a gate assignment lasting over two hours. Planes can only wait for over three hours on the tarmac if there are airport disruptions or security issues.

4. Flight cancelation

Airline passengers’ rights for flight cancellation include a full refund of the ticket price. Airlines may offer alternative flights if the information about cancellation is available at least 24 hours or fewer than two weeks before the flight’s departure date.

Passengers receive compensation if the airline cannot share flight cancellation information at least 24 hours before departure time. Airline passenger rights for canceled flights that result in missing connecting flights include compensation ranging between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.

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5. Right to submit a complaint

The right to complain is among the main airline passengers’ rights. Airlines must share information about the complaint procedure on websites and tickets. The airline passenger should receive acknowledgment of the complaint within a month. The time to respond to the complaint should not exceed 60 days.


There are several regulations, like the Montreal Convention, EU Regulation, and BBG German Civil Code, to protect airline passenger rights. Passengers can exercise their rights according to an issue. Most air passengers cannot get compensation or refunds because of sheer ignorance about their rights.

The percentage of air passengers receiving compensation is meager. Airlines benefit because passengers are unaware of their rights or scared of airline regulations. Staying informed about airline passenger rights is helpful to claim the rightful refund or compensation if you experience any issue during air travel. You can use self-booking platforms such as Paxes top options at the best rates.

Suggested Read: Corporate Flight Booking Benefits For Companies And Travelers

Airline Passenger Rights FAQs

What is the Montreal Convention?

Montreal Convention is the liability framework for air passengers and airlines. It came into force on May 28, 1999, to protect the rights of passengers traveling by international flights. Globally, 136 countries approved the Montreal Convention.

What are airline passenger rights in India?

Air passengers in India have the right to compensation for delay or cancellation of flight, damage or loss of baggage, and denial of boarding.

Are airline passenger rights uniform across all countries?

The rights of airline passengers are not uniform across all countries.

What governs airline passenger rights in India?

In India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation governs airline passenger rights according to a charter in August 2019.

What are the most important airline passenger rights?

Receiving accurate information before ticket purchase, receiving full value for the amount paid to purchase services, and receiving compensation are the three main rights of air passengers.


Pratyush is a traveling enthusiast who always looks for innovations in business travel management. He has 5 years of experience writing content on corporate travel management and working closely with expert business travel facilitators.