• 18-DEC-2013

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

Air Passengers' Rights Will Soon Be Better Protected

S&D MEPs ensure air passengers' rights will soon be better protected.

Overbooking, delays, cancellations, lost baggage, missed connecting flights… Many EU citizens have experienced these problems when travelling by plane. The all-party transport committee in the European Parliament today backed a proposal to strengthen existing EU legislation to protect air passengers' rights in such cases.

Members of the transport committee voted on two new regulations. One establishes common rules on compensation and assistance for passengers if they are denied boarding or face cancellations or long delays to flights. The other regulation deals with the liability of the airline for the carriage of passengers and their baggage. The rules will close loopholes and improve the enforcement of existing rules, which currently vary significantly across the EU.

The chairman of the transport committee, S&D MEP Brian Simpson, said:

"Parliament's priority has been passenger rights, not airline rights. We've taken a tough line to ensure that passengers are protected, especially in the area of extraordinary circumstances.

"S&D MEP and spokesperson on the issue, Bernadette Vergnaud, said:"Our aim is to help passengers protect their rights and to offer them more transparency. Today's vote is a viable compromise between the interests of consumers and feasible regulations: until now airlines do not automatically recognise those rights and passengers must claim them individually. However most customers prefer not to go through all the hassle.

"The regulations will be voted by the plenary of the European Parliament on 3 February.