20.01.2021

Air travel: How Brexit affects your rights?

The United Kingdom has officially left the European Union.

What does it mean for you? What has changed after Brexit?

The most important thing is that now you, as a traveller, will be less protected when travelling with airlines registered in the UK, and also when flying from the UK. Because as of January 2021 in some situations you will no longer be protected by the EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004. Some situations, however, doesn’t mean all. So it’s important to understand when you are and when you aren't protected by the EU.

Let’s go more into details now!

Map of Europe and the UK

Air passenger rights in the EU after Brexit

There are two things we need to look at.

First of all, all UK airlines are non-EU airlines. As of January 1, 2021 all airlines registered in the UK are seen as non-EU airlines. Accordingly, when you now will be flying with British Airways or easyJet, you will be protected by the European Union only when flying from the EU.

You will not be protected by the EU when flying from the UK to the EU.

You will not be protected when flying from other non-EU countries.

This applies only to airlines registered in the UK.

By protection we mean right to care and flight compensation.

Secondly, the UK isn’t a part of the EU anymore.

This is something that will affect many more of us.

According to the EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004, when flying from the EU to anywhere you are protected also if flying with non-EU airlines like Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways. Since the United Kingdom isn’t a part of the EU anymore you will no longer be protected by the EU when flying from the UK and with a non-EU airline (now it includes also UK airlines).

If it’s a non-EU airline and the flight is from the EU - you are protected.

If it’s a non-EU airline and the flight is from the UK - you aren’t protected.

Turkish Airlines airplane on the ground

Other non-EU airlines departing from the UK

You will no longer be protected by the EU on these flights.

You will not be entitled to EU flight compensation or right to care if the flight is from the UK or somewhere else outside the EU, where the regulation EC 261/2004 isn't in power.

Learn more: