I am trying to understand the meaning of the regulation EC261 establishing common rules for compensation in the event of flight cancellation.

My question concerns mostly Article 8 relating to reimbursement and re-routing, which is attached below.

Article 8

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

(a) - reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger's original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

  • a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

(b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

(c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.

Question: Does the passenger have to be offered choice among ALL of the three options, or can the carrier decide which options to present the passenger with?

In particular, if the air carrier fails to inform the passenger of their rights according to Article 14 and does not present a choice but instead automatically books a new flight, what kind of compensation if any should the passenger be entitled to?

The situation is made more difficult by existence of insurance contract which covers a replacement flight. Should the insurance still cover a new flight even if the old flight was reimbursed by Article 8 (a) (there is nothing about EC261 in the insurance contract). If the insurance still convers the flight, in this case clearly option (a) is preferable since with option (b) there is no insurance claim that can be filed, which affects the conclusions.

1 Answer 1


passengers shall be offered the choice …

Doesn’t leave a lot of room for missinterpretation.

  • Thank you. Do you have any insight to the second part of the question?
    – LegaElilze
    Dec 15, 2023 at 13:56

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