As a passenger at Barcelona airport with a valid ticket to travel you have legal rights relating to a number of issues (EC Regulation 261/2004). We have all suffered from difficulties at any airport at some point. Flights can be delayed or cancelled, you might lose your passport, or you may wish to make a complaint about something that has happened or how you have been treated.
Please note that the details on this page can change without us being notified and it is advised that you check the accuracy of this information directly with the airport to ensure you have the most accurate and up to date information.
At the airport it is possible to check what rights you have and what facilities are available to you. You can make an enquiry at the airport information desk. Alternatively you can find leaflets dotted around the airport and at the airport information desk entitled 'Rights of the Passenger'.
Unfortunately, the pamphlet is not always available in different languages - only in Catalan, Castellano (Spanish) and English.
In this article I have covered what you should do and your rights in relation to loss of your passport, a delayed, overbooked or cancelled flight, how to make a complaint about services at the airport.
If you wish to find an answer on only one of these particular issues, simply scroll down to the necessary section and make your way through the bullet points.
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- If you do not have your passport and need to fly, you should first check with your airline to find out whether you can fly without your passport. On rare occasions they will allow you to fly with only a police report. Check our Airline contacts list for the telephone number of your airline.
- Whether you need a temporary passport or not, it will be necessary to acquire a police report known as a "Denuncia" in Spanish. If you only need a police report and are flying on the same day that your passport has been stolen, it is worth reporting to the police station at the airport. Queues are shorter at this station and you may be dealt with more quickly than those in the city centre.
- If your airline require that you have a temporary passport it will be necessary to get this from your Embassy or consulate once you have a police report. At the police station they will be able to provide you with details of your embassy or consulate.
As soon as you find out that you are likely to miss your flight in order to acquire a temporary passport or police report, inform your airline. Depending on the airline, they may be able to put a note on their system stating that you will be provided a seat on another flight free of charge.
It is not always easy to find out or understand what you are entitled to if you are affected by a delay to your flight. If you are flying with any European Union airline you have certain rights. These rights can be split into two sections: payment of damages to cover financial losses and assistance at the time of the delay.
- Firstly, it is worth noting that an airline are only obliged to offer compensation (i.e. damages) if they cannot prove that they took all necessary measures to avoid the delay.
- There is a limit to the amount of money that you may be entitled to. This is measured in what are known as 'SDRs' (a unit used to standardize a value irrespective of currency). The limit is 4,150 SDR (to check what this is in your currency, check the website for the Bank of Spain).
- Assistance available depends on the amount of time that the flight is delayed and how long the flight is. There are different levels of assistance, depending on the length of the delay.
- Basic assistance consists of Providing:
- Two telephone calls, faxes or e-mails per person free of charge.
- Situations where basic assistance is granted:
- Wait of 2 or more hours (for flights of under 1,500km)
- Wait of 3 or more hours (for flights within EU of over 1,500km and all other flights between 1,500 and 3,000 km)
- Wait of 4 or more hours for all flights
- Extra Assistance of hotel accommodation free of charge is offered if the alternative flight will be leaving at least 24 hours after the scheduled flight time.
- If you have a delay of more than 5 hours you are entitled to a full refund of your ticket price.
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- In the unlikely event that your flight has been cancelled you will, firstly, have the right to basic assistance as stated above under 'Assistance at the Time of the Delay'.
- You will also be entitled to reimbursement of the flight price within seven days of the cancellation.
- You will be entitled to either an alternative form of transport as soon as possible or another flight at a later date.
- In certain circumstances you will also be entitled to compensation. The compensation amounts vary, so it is necessary to check the Aena website under 'Rights to Compensation' for the exact figures.
- You are only entitled to compensation if:
- The airline cannot prove that there were 'extraordinary circumstance' (these can include security risks and weather conditions)
- You were not informed of the cancellation more than two weeks before the flight.
- You were not informed of the cancellation between two weeks and seven days before the flight and offered alternative transport within two hours of the original flight.
- You were not informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the flight and offered another flight with one hour of the original flight.
- If you are unhappy about any aspect of your experience at the airport and would like to make a complaint, it is first necessary to consider who to make the complaint to.
- If your complaint is linked to an experience during your flight, or mistakes made by the airline, you should complain to the airline directly. Contact your airline and ask about their complaints procedure - they are likely to provide you with a form to complete.
- If your complaint is related to the services at the airport itself, air traffic or the facilities at the airport (for example, the shops) you should complain to the airport directly by filling out an online complaints form - Aena complaints form.
- However, if you wish to complain about any of the catering services at the airport you will need to speak to the restaurant or café individually.
This page has covered many of the most likely circumstances under which you are likely to need to refer to your passenger rights at Barcelona airport. If you need further information, the legal document with your rights can be downloaded from the Aena passenger rights document download.