Happy holidays from Catherine Bearder, know your EU rights and services


Schools are out for the summer holidays which means lots of people from the South East will be travelling across Europe for a well-deserved break.

People will be taking all forms of transport to get to their holiday destinations. European air, rail and coach passengers now have more rights than they probably know about. For example, if you are waiting for your flight in the departure lounge and the flight is delayed, under EU law you are entitled to free food, drink and, if the delay is more than five hours, you will be fully compensated for your flight. 

When you are abroad enjoying yourself, accidents unfortunately can happen. If one does happen do holiday makers know what number to call?

The EU-wide emergency number is 112. Calling this number costs nothing and puts you in touch with an emergency operator, wherever in Europe you are.

That one number ends confusion, cutting time for emergency services to respond to an incident, a great EU initiative.

With the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is free to apply for online, British travellers are entitled to the same level of health care as the local citizens.  So if you find yourself with an injury, you are guaranteed free emergency healthcare without the nasty sting of a bill arriving weeks later, but you must remember to take the card with you, so don't delay in applying for it now.

Thanks to our membership of the EU, legislation is in place to make travel around Europe easier and safer for us all. We often take these rights and services for granted - Those travelling to North America will see the difference!

I hope you have a great holiday, pack your EHIC and remember that number, just in case - 112!


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