Frequently asked questions
Reservations and airfares
Responses to doubts and questions raised by passengers at the airport and during the flight.
Can I get information on all possible flights and prices for a certain destination in a travel agency?
Yes. The travel agency must give the customer direct access to all information offered on the information system, allowing him to look at the screen or printing out its content. This information includes the following options: non-stop flights, stopover flights without changing aircraft and connecting flights. The agency must also inform the customer of all existing airfares offered by the various airlines.
When reserving the ticket, the agency must tell the passenger which airline will actually be operating the flight (if it is different to that stipulated on the ticket) and inform him of all aircraft changes, stopovers and transfers between airports during the journey.
Might I have to stay behind even if I have a reservation and the ticket is paid for?
Yes. To ensure no seats are left vacant due to possible cancellations, airline companies offer tickets in excess of the capacity of the aeroplane. This procedure is called overbooking. As a result, it is possible that more passengers will present themselves at the check-in desk for a specific flight than there are seats available for and some of the passengers will be unable to fly. Passengers are understood to have a place on an aeroplane once they present their ticket at the check-in desk and they receive their boarding pass.
In this case, and in accordance with EC Regulation 261/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council (in force from 17 February 2005), the company is obliged to offer the passenger the choice of various possible solutions: either a refund of the ticket price, transport to their destination as quickly as possible or the same journey at a later date. In addition, the company must immediately pay the passenger, either in cash or travel vouchers, the sum of 250 euros in the case of a flight of up to 1,500 km, 400 euros for flights within the European Community of a greater distance and for other flights of between 1,500 and 3,500 km, and 600 euros for all other flights. This compensation will be reduced by half if the company offers another flight with an arrival time which is less than 2 hours from the original flight time in the first case, 3 hours in the second and four hours in the third.
The company must also pay the expenses for two telephone calls, faxes, telexes or E-mails at the point of departure; food and drink according to the length time the passenger is made to wait and accommodation in a hotel if it is necessary to stay overnight or for several nights, plus travel between the airport and the accommodation.
Passengers may also present an appeal in the corresponding Courts of Justice in order to seek indemnification in addition to these compensations.
EC Regulation 261/2004 applies to flights which depart from a European Community airport or which depart from an airport located in a non-European Community country whose regulations do not offer compensation and assistance which land in a European Community airport and a European Community carrier is responsible for making the flight. These provisions are always based on the assumption that passengers have a confirmed reservation on the flight, present themselves for check-in according to the conditions required by the airline or have been transferred from their reserved flight to another flight.
What happens if the flight is delayed or cancelled? Am I entitled to compensation?
When a flight delay or cancellation occurs, the airline is obliged to inform passengers of the causes of the delay or cancellation.
In accordance with EC Regulation 261/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council (in force from 17 February 2005), the company is obliged to offer passengers the choice of a refund of the ticket price, transport as quickly as possible to their destination or the same journey at a later date. The company must also pay the expenses for two telephone calls, faxes, telexes or E-mails at the point of departure; food and drink according to the length of time passengers are made to wait and accommodation in a hotel if passenger have to stay overnight or for several nights, plus travel between the airport and the accommodation.
In addition passengers may receive compensation except in the following cases:
- If the cancellation is due to force majeure or meteorological reasons.
- When passengers have been informed of the cancellation 2 weeks in advance of the planned departure time.
- If passengers have been informed of the cancellation between 2 weeks and 7 days in advance and are offered an alternative flight which will allow them to depart no more than two hours earlier than the planned departure time and arrive at their final destination with less than 4 hours delay with respect to the planned arrival time.
- If passengers have been informed of the cancellation less than 7 days in advance and is offered an alternative flight which will allow them to depart no more than one hour earlier than the planned departure time and arrive at their final destination with less than 2 hours delay with respect to the planned arrival time.
In the case of the cancellation of a package holiday which is not due to the cancellation of the flight, this Regulation does not apply.
Can the airline operating the flight be changed? Will this effect the airfare?
Yes. This can happen due to various reasons, such as the commercial agreements which exist between airlines for the shared usage of airlines, or the unavailability of an aircraft at a certain time. The airline or travel agency must inform the passenger of the operating airline when the latter purchases his ticket and should the operating airline be changed at a later date, the passenger must be duly informed before boarding.
The airfare is not affected in any of these cases.
Is it cheaper to travel from the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla?
It is true that Spanish citizens and citizens from the other member states of the European Union and those of Iceland, Norway and Switzerland who are residents in the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, when travelling on direct flights from their place of residence to the rest of the national territory and vice versa, are entitled to a subsidy of the legally established percentage of the applicable public fare for regular domestic air transport.
You must show proof of residency when purchasing the ticket and the company is entitled to check this proof either at check-in or boarding.
In addition, when the ticket is first issued, these residents are entitled to the subsidy mentioned in the "issuing charges" which some airline companies apply.
How long before my departure time do I need to be in the airport? Do I need to go to the check-in desk even if I am not carrying luggage?
Passengers must check-in at the time indicated in writing (including by electronic means) by the airline, the tourist operator or an authorised travel agent, and if no time is stated, at least 45 minutes before flight departure time. Some airline companies may establish other limits, so it is important that you should check this information in advance
To avoid arriving late, it is essential to take into account the time needed for check-in, as well as passport control and security checks, especially during holiday periods when there is a major increase in airport traffic.
Even if you are not carrying luggage, you must go to the check-in counters on arrival at the airport in order to present your ticket and receive your boarding pass. Once you have your boarding pass, you are understood to be a passenger on the plane and to have a seat on the flight.