Air Passenger Rights: Fewer complaints in the EU
The EU Commission published a report regarding complaints of air passengers in the period of 2010 to 2012.
A volcanic eruption in Iceland and the related ash cloud as well as extrem snowfalls caused a lot of complaints in 2010. A total amount of 91 726 cases was counted, in 2011 it were 52 675, in the following year 2012 it were 56 478.
The complaints base on the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation, which regulates "compensation for and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay (Regulation (EC) 261/2004)" (see the press release of the EU Commission).
In many cases, an out-of-court solution was possible. Nevertheless, consumers often needed help to enforce their rights, e.g. from consumer protection organisation. National enforcement bodies according to the above mentioned Regulation are able to sanction airlines. In the reporting period, this possibility was used in one percent of all cases.
Background of the report is, on the one hand, a package of measures that the EU Commission presented in 2013 in order to improve air passenger rights, and on the other hand continuing demands of Member States, the European Parliament, airlines and others for a transparent and comprehensive documentation of complaints regarding air travel in the EU.
If you face problems during your flight, please feel free to turn to the European Consumer Centre Austria (ECC) for help.