• 05-FEB-2014

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

More Transparency and Less Red Tape for Air Passenger Rights

The European Union will strengthen air passengers' rights following the vote today in the European Parliament of the review of two existing regulations: one on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delays and a second one on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage.

The S&D Group pushed for strong measures to fight unfair practices, for clear information to travellers about prices and about their rights, and also for easier procedures for passengers to claim their rights and compensations.

S&D shadow rapporteur on this regulation, MEP Bernadette Vergnaud, said:

"Measures are taken for cancelled flights, thresholds established for delays, missed connecting flights, denied boarding and every possible situation affecting passengers. There is a definition of "extraordinary circumstances'. From now on air carriers won't be able to say just 'technical problems'.

"Technical problems will only exceptionally be considered as extraordinary circumstances if the company can prove that they are caused by circumstances that are not manageable, that affect flight safety and that make the normal continuation of the flight impossible."

S&D spokesperson on transport, MEP Saïd El Khadraoui, said:

"The implementation of the existing regulation has many shortcomings, creating uncertainty both for travellers and for the air industry, particularly for those air carriers who play fair, so it is in everyone's benefit to have clear rules and make sure that they are applied.

"This new regulation will fill the gaps and make sure passengers who face a long delay have the same rights as passengers of a cancelled flight. It will also enhance transparency on the final price and the carry-one luggage: handbags will not be considered a carry-on piece."

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