EU proposes new passenger bill of rights

Posted on Mar 24, 2013 | Comments Off on EU proposes new passenger bill of rights

cancelled_flights, Passenger bill of rights

A new European Union proposal, was unveiled on Wednesday 13 March, to reform air travellers’ rights with a new passenger bill of rights, the first such update since the EU brought in its passenger rights legislation eight years ago.

The proposed rules are intended to clarify traveller rights and airline obligations, as well as identify better passenger treatment in the case of delayed, cancelled or rerouted flights.  If approved, the proposals, which are subject to approval by EU member states and the European Parliament, would become part of European law in early 2015, affecting all carriers that take off from an airport in an EU member state.

The new measures propose:

  • In the case of flight cancellations, airlines must reimburse passengers’ tickets within seven days or re-route passengers to their final destination
  • If a flight is delayed for more than 12 hours, airlines must reroute travellers, even on rival carriers
  • In the case of long delays, airlines must provide care in the form of meals, accommodation and transportation for delays of two hours or more for flights of 1,500km or less; three hours or more for flights between 1,500km and 3,500km; four hours or more for flights more than 3,500km.
  • Airlines must also inform passengers about delays and provide an explanation no later than 30 minutes after scheduled departure time
  • Airlines must acknowledge receipt of a complaint within one week and provide a formal reply within two months

Airlines would not be liable for delays and cancellations due to extraordinary circumstances including extreme weather, air traffic controller strikes or natural disasters.  Several  industry critics and consumer groups believe the proposed measures don’t go far enough.

Official EU passenger Rights site

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