Brazilian Regulation on Air Passenger Rights: ANAC 400

Brazil is one of the countries that has comprehensive regulations to protect air passenger rights, especially in cases of flight disruptions such as delays, cancellations, and denied boarding. The regulation is called ANAC 400, which stands for the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency Resolution No. 400.

ANAC 400 covers passengers from all over the world, regardless of their nationality or the airline they fly with, as long as their flight meets one of the following criteria:

It is a domestic flight within Brazil.
It is an international flight that departs from or arrives at a Brazilian airport.
It is a connecting flight that passes through a Brazilian airport.
The ticket was issued in Brazil, even if the flight was operated abroad.

Frequent flight delays can lead to substantial expenses for travelers. Last-minute cancellations can leave passengers stranded in unfamiliar cities, resulting in significant costs for accommodation, meals, drinks, and transportation. Moreover, passengers often lose money due to flight disruptions.

So, Brazilian law allows passengers to seek reimbursement for "material damages," covering food, drinks, and transportation expenses incurred after a flight issue.

Additionally, you have the right to claim "moral damages" compensation, capped at $1,800 under the Brazilian Consumer Code. These regulations recognize the value of your time, missed opportunities, and any unfair treatment you endure without requiring proof of specific financial costs.

You may claim compensation from the airline if

Your flight was abruptly canceled, or it arrived at its destination more than 4 hours late.
The airline did not appropriately care about you.
The airport where your flight landed or took off is in Brazil.
The problem happened on a flight during the last five years (two years for international flights).

Compensation Amounts for Flight Irregularities in Brazil

Compensation amount
Flight delay Up to $1,800 per person
Flight cancellation Up to $1,800 per person
Denied boarding Up to $690 per person
Rights Protected under Brazilian Regulation

1). Right to information:

If your flight is delayed at the airport—the airline is responsible for informing you promptly. Also, they must let you know the new departure time. The airline must update passengers about any further delays every 30 minutes. Upon request, the airline is also obligated to provide you with a written explanation for the delay.

2). Right to care:

When flights are rescheduled or delayed, the airline is required to give its customers material support. Depending on how long the traveler waits after their scheduled departure time, they must provide one of the following:

  • 1+ hour: Access to communication, such as a phone call or Wi-Fi for emailing, must be made available to passengers.
  • 2+ hours: The airline is required to serve meals to passengers at the appropriate times of day. The airline has two options: supply food or distribute meal coupons to waiting passengers.
  • 4+ hours: Your flight is now significantly delayed, activating two important rights for you.

The airline must work to get you to your destination as quickly as possible, whether through providing a reimbursement or rebooking.

If the airline is unable to transport you any sooner, they must provide you with adequate accommodations. And if you need to stay overnight, airlines have to give you accommodation.

However, you will not receive accommodations if your wait time is five hours or less during the daytime.

3). Right to reimbursement or rebooking:

Passengers reserve the right to determine their course of action when flights are delayed significantly (exceeding four hours) or canceled.

The following three options must be provided to passengers by airlines:

  • Alternative flight to destination.
  • A fare refund that covers airport taxes and fees as well.
  • A different route they could take to get there, such as a bus ticket plus transfers.

Note that you don't have to pay anything to change your plane (or route) to reach your destination. You can choose a different flight and get on the next available one. It doesn't matter if it is the same airline or a different one, as long as it goes to the same place. Or you can choose a later flight from your airline that suits you better.

You will get priority to board the flight before other passengers. It means no one will ask you to give up your seat if the new plane is full. And you still have the right to get the care you need until you get on your flight (or another mode of transportation). But you will lose your right to care if you choose to get money instead.

4). Rights if the airline changes your flight:

Airlines may occasionally need to alter your flight; for instance, the departure time may vary, or your direct flight may become a connecting flight. The ANAC 400 offers some protection if this occurs to you.

The airline may make the following adjustments if passengers are informed at least 72 hours before the original departure time.

Itinerary change (plus or minus)
Domestic flights +/- 30 minutes
International flights +/- 1 hour

The airline must provide you with one of the following options if your flight is changed by more than this or if the airline fails to notify you of a change more than 72 hours in advance:

  • A different flight
  • An entire refund

The airline must rebook your ticket or pay you if you arrive at the airport at your scheduled departure time despite not receiving notification of the change.

In addition, they have to take care of your food, drink, and lodging as needed. Alternative transportation options include a bus, cab, ship, or a private driving service like Uber.

5). Passengers with special needs:

Passengers with special needs have their rights addressed in ANAC Resolution No. 280.

According to this law, the following passengers may need more support when they fly:

  • Travelers 60 and older
  • Passengers who are expecting or nursing
  • Passengers traveling with a young child (under the age of 2)
  • Passengers who are less mobile
  • Someone traveling with a disability that restricts their autonomy

The airline is responsible for providing these passengers with the necessary attention and support at the airport and on the journey. If a flight is delayed or canceled, priority is given to passengers with special needs, as described above.

This clause primarily ensures that the airline will first board passengers with special on the new flight if they provide a replacement flight.

Whenever there is a wait of 4 hours or more, regardless of whether the delay necessitates an overnight wait, passengers with special requirements must also be accommodated.

6). Rights of passengers who are denied boarding

Brazilian laws prevent airlines from overbooking flights, which can result in boarding denials.

In the case of an overbooked flight—the airline will hunt for volunteers to give up their spots. These passengers must still receive compensation, but the passenger and airline are free to decide on the specifics of that compensation.

Airlines have the right to refuse boarding to some passengers if no volunteers are available. These travelers can get the care they need, choose another flight, and ask for more money. This payment is due right away and is determined by ANAC 400.

Compensation (US$) Compensation amount (SDR*)
International flights $690 SDR 500
Domestic flights $345 SDR 250
*SDR = Special Drawing Rights.

Some airlines may request your signature on an overbooking volunteer form. Avoid doing it if you are unwilling to give up your seat. Request to sign for involuntary boarding denial instead.

Circumstances Covered by Brazilian Regulation

When you have problems with your flight that are not your fault, some rules in Brazil protect you. These rules cover many situations but mainly focus on flight delays and cancellations. But these rules don't help if you are late for your flight or cancel your flight by yourself and want to fly later. These rules' main idea is to ensure that all airlines give the same level of service and responsibility.

Here are the key aspects of the protection provided under Brazilian regulation:

  • Protection against Delay and Cancellation: Brazilian law provides protection to passengers who experience flight delays or cancellations beyond their control.
  • Accountability of Airlines: Airlines are held responsible for delays caused by staffing issues or technical difficulties.
  • Extraordinary Circumstances: There are situations known as extraordinary circumstances, which are typically beyond the airline's control. Examples include extreme weather events or air traffic control strikes. In such cases, while passengers still have the right to care, airlines are not obligated to provide compensation. Extraordinary situations, even though uncontrollable by the airline, are seldom unforeseeable.

It's important for travelers to be aware of these regulations to better understand their rights and the responsibilities of airlines when facing flight disruptions in Brazil.

Flights covered by Brazilian regulation

The flights that are covered by Brazilian Regulations are:

  • Brazil's domestic flights.
  • Flights that depart from airports in Brazil on international routes.
  • Flights from abroad that arrive in a Brazilian airport.
  • Flights that pass via an airport in Brazil.
  • Any ticket for a flight issued in Brazil (even if it was conducted overseas).

Brazil's laws provide protection to travelers from all over the world, regardless of whether they are Brazilian citizens or not or the airline they are traveling on.

The Time Limit to Apply for Compensation

Knowing your rights will enable you to insist on receiving the care you require when you fly. However, you can also be eligible for reimbursement for prior trips for which you were not aware of your rights as a passenger.

Time Limits to Claim

Claim for previous flights
Domestic 5 Years
International 2 Years

To find out if you are eligible for compensation, you can use our free compensation calculator.