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Air passenger rights: legal certainty on responsibility and rights

Air passenger rights: legal certainty on responsibility and rights

A report adopted today by the European Parliament updates common rules for compensation for air passengers when facing long delays or cancellations of flights. It also relaxes rules on carry-on baggage, allows passengers to use the return part of their ticket even if they did not use the outward leg of the journey and establishes legal certainty for airlines on when exceptional circumstances apply that are genuinely beyond their control.

“Finally passengers will no longer have to adjust their travel arrangements or be surprised by extra-charges due to specific airline companies’ conditions when boarding. The same set of rules will apply to everyone”, said ALDE spokesperson on the dossier Vilja SAVISAAR-TOOMAST (Estonian Reform Party, Estonia). This revision provides that a passenger is now entitled to take on the plane, free of charge, essential personal items or belongings such as coats and handbags, including duty free airport shopping, in addition to the prescribed maximum cabin baggage allowance. There are also facilitating provisions regarding musical instruments, laptop computers as well as essential items for persons with disability or medical conditions.

Moreover, continued Mrs Savisaar-Toomast: “There will be no more surprises on the ticket’s price. The price published must reflect the final price consumers actually pay“. In this respect these new rules give a clear definition of ‘ticket price’ which, among others, requires a clear indication of possible extra charges when, for instance, paying by credit card, checking-in luggage or reserving a seat.

Concerning the no-show policy, we ensured that a passenger will not be denied boarding a return journey in case the outward journey was missed“, she concluded.

Also clear thresholds in term of compensations, accommodation and reimbursement have been set which are more generous than in the past but still providing an incentive to airlines to offer a good service to their customers.

Note to editors:
Compensation: Counting from the official time of landing and based on the distance of the journey there are three types of compensation payable after delays exceeding:
• three hours for flights of up to 3500 km (300€ compensation),
• five hours for flights up to 6000 km (400 €) or
• seven hours for flights of over 6000 km (600€).
Accommodation and reimbursement: the compromise increases the maximum number of nights from three to five and fixes compensation for one night hotel accommodation for stranded passengers from 100 to 125 euros.
Rerouting: Air carriers have the obligation to propose rerouting via any mode of transport in time to arrive within eight hours of the scheduled arrival time instead of the 12 as proposed by the Commission.

Air passenger rights: legal certainty on responsibility and rights

 

Courtesy Alde Press

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