Complaints in case of denied boarding, cancellation or long delay of flights (Regulation EC 261/2004)

To whom the complaint must be sent

In case of denied boarding, cancellation or long delay of flights, passengers who intend to lodge a complaint must contact the airline that issued the ticket and / or, the Tour Operator which stipulated the air transport contract in the case of all-inclusive travel.

The Regulation (EC) 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishes common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.

Passengers may lodge a complaint within two years from the date of the flight or the date on which the flight should have been carried out.

When passengers lodge the complaint must follow and comply with the instructions provided by the airline concerned.

In lack of specific complaint procedures provided by the individual airlines, passengers may use the EU complaint form prepared by the European Union and made available both in Italian and in English:

When to lodge a complaint with ENAC

Passengers may lodge a complaint with ENAC – in order to ascertain a violation of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 - when:

  • the airline does not provide an answer after six weeks from the date of receipt of the passenger's complaint

or

  • passengers deem that the reply received by the airline is not satisfactory with respect to the provisions of Regulation (EC) 261/2004.

ENAC is the National Enforcement Body (NEB) to monitor compliance with the Regulation (EC) 261/2004 when the disruptions occur:

  • departing from an Italian airport: for a flight/journey booked with an airline of any nationality (both EU and extra EU);
  • arriving at an Italian airport: when the flight departs from an extra EU country, it  is operated by an UE air carrier and  the  Italian airport is the first arrival in the EU.

The provisions of Regulation (EC) 261/2004 foreseen for EU countries also apply to Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

In the event of disruptions related to flights departing from other EU countries or flights departing from extra EU countries and arriving at airports located in the EU, if the airline is a UE company, the complaint can be lodged directly with the territorially competent National  Enforcement Bodies (NEBs). 

Why lodge a complaint with ENAC

ENAC is the National Body (NEB) responsible for the enforcement of the Regulation 261/2004 in Italy and lays down sanctions towards air carriers in case of ascertainment of infringements.  

The complaint activates ENAC’s inspections aimed at ascertaining possible violations of passengers' rights with the aim of preventing future infringements and contributing to monitoring the quality of the services provided to users.

At the end of the inspection activity, ENAC informs the passenger, for the purposes of transparency, about  the filing of the complaint or the start of the sanction procedure.

The activity of ENAC is not aimed at satisfying the passenger's claims for compensation, nor at providing legal assistance and consulting services.

In order to enforce individual rights, directly and personally, passengers may wish to consider seeking legal advice on the means of redress available at the national Court.

It should be noted that the Legislative Decree 6 August 2015, n. 130, transposing the European Union Directive n. 2013/11, introduced the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), a quick, simple and out-of-court procedure that is activated, on a voluntary basis, to resolve disputes (national or cross-border) relating to contracts for the sale of goods and services between consumers and companies residing in the European Union. More information is available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development .

Moreover, as recommended by the EU Commission if you feel appropriate to obtain legal advice, you may contact the European Consumer ECC-Net: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/consumers/resolve-your-consumer-complaint/european-consumer-centres-network_en

How to lodge a complaint with ENAC

Passengers may lodge a complaint with ENAC using only the dedicated online form.

In the event that the disruption involves more passengers, belonging to the same family or to a group, it will be sufficient to lodge only one complaint.

On line complaint with ENAC 

Complaints lodged to ENAC are handled at the ENAC offices of the national airport where the disruption occurred.

It should be noted that for disruptions occurred in extra EU countries, if the airline belongs to EU, the complaint will be handled by the ENAC offices of the national airport where the flight has landed.

The complaint can be submitted to ENAC free of charge, directly and personally, without the need to be represented by Associations, Lawyers, Claim Agencies.

If the passenger decides to be represented, it is necessary to produce, in original, the documentation required by the national legislation along with an information, signed by the passenger, which clearly highlights the role of ENAC pursuant to Regulation (EC) 261/2004.

In the event that the complaint claim is lodged, on behalf of the passenger concerned, by a Claim Agency, given its legal nature, the power of attorney of the passenger, in favor of the Agency, must be legalized by a public notary.

If the notary has no Italian nationality, the notary’s title must be certified by the Italian diplomatic representative office in the country where the passenger resides, with the exception of the cases in which Italy has stipulated specific agreements with that country. The power of attorney, with legalization or apostille, must be bilingual and must contain the express reference to the representation of the passenger for the purpose of handling the complaint to be lodged to ENAC.

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