EU: Strengthening air passengers’ rights while providing legal clarity to airlines

Air passengers’ rights must be tightened up to stop airlines abusing an “extraordinary circumstances” clause to avoid paying them compensation for delays or denied boarding, said MEPs in Monday’s Transport Committee debate on a European Commission proposal to recast the rules. Rapporteur Georges Bach (EPP, LU) suggested that passengers should be entitled to €300 compensation after just 3 hours’ delay on intra-European-flights.
MEPs also debated the need to give customers accurate information when booking, as well as in the airport, and on standard claim procedures.
“Today only 2% of passengers who are entitled to compensation actually claim it. They just back out, for fear of high legal costs”, Mr Bach said.
He also pinpointed unfair additional costs added to tickets, whether at the time of reservation or for cabin luggage and called for a ban on the airlines’ “no-show” policy of denying a passenger the right to board a return flight if he has not used the outbound part of his ticket.
The Bach report will be put to a Transport Committee vote on 14 November.
TRAN Press release – Transport − 16-09-2013