Zum Inhalt

Air passenger rights in Europe

European Commission to improve enforcement

The EU Commission sets out next steps to strengthen the enforcement of air passenger rights.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas today announced a series of measures to clarify and strengthen the enforcement of passenger rights legislation, so consumers can more effectively access their rights and industry has more certainty and a level playing field across the EU.

Vice-President Kallas also announced his intention to open a dialogue with stakeholders with a view to revising the EU's air passenger rights Regulation 261 – with a proposal from the Commission in 2012.

Improvement of regulations regarding air passenger rights

The review would look to clarify, in particular, key issues such as limits for liability in case of extraordinary circumstances, compensation thresholds, effective re-routing of passengers, shared risk between operators in the supply chain and other issues where there are weaknesses, including protection in the case of mishandled luggage or re-scheduled flights.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said "Overall EU passenger rights legislation has been a huge step forwards, providing a 'safety net' for passengers, vastly reducing certain commercial practices and raising standards throughout the industry. But there is also after the first six years a wealth of experience gained and areas where we can improve."

Rights on paper are not enough

The next big push will be to step up enforcement.

"It is not enough to have rights on paper, they must be applied on the ground. Looking ahead there are issues we also need to revisit and for that we need a detailed analysis and a revision of the law. In particular we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the lessons learnt from what passengers and industry suffered during the 2010 ash crisis and snow. The work will start now to effectively plug loopholes, strengthen provisions where there are gaps, and clarify issues for passengers and industry where it is clear that after six years we need to adjust and fine tune."

The announcements today come as the Commission published its review of the first six years of the application of the air passenger rights Regulation 261, as well as the EU regulation on passengers with reduced mobility. The analysis is published in two communications on the application of the passenger rights regulations as well as a staff working document publishing data for the period 2007–09 on certain key trends, including number of flights affected by air passenger regulation (0.5%); patterns in the use of sanctions by Member State authorities and percentage of flights that may be affected by long delays.

Next steps

In the short term, the Commission will take a series of measures to improve pan-European application of passenger rights, including:

  • strengthening the mandate of the network of national enforcement bodies (NEBs) to adopt decisions on a common interpretation and enforcement of passenger rights issues as they arise;
  • publishing NEB interpretive guidelines on the regulation on people with reduced mobility (Regulation 1107/2006);
  • creating a new forum for feedback from consumer groups, NGOs and industry on all air passenger rights issues – including enforcement;
  • stepping up information and awareness campaigns.

Looking ahead at the review of Regulation 261, the Commission will launch in 2011 an impact assessment and public consultation on issues to be potentially in the future revision, including a range of issues from clarification on liability in the case of extraordinary circumstances, proportionality of compensation, and effective re-routing, to other issues such as rights with regard to lost luggage and rescheduling of flights, where more work needs to be done.

In parallel, and to strengthen and ensure coherent enforcement of passenger rights across all modes, the Commission will, already this year, bring forward a communication clarifying key concepts so they apply in the same way across all modes – rail, air, maritime, bus and coach – e.g. re-routing between modes.

11. April 2011

© European Union, 1995-2011

Share this post

Facebook Twitter Drucken E-Mail

This could also be of interest:

Smartphone Display zeigt "Gambling Commission" und britischer Flagge, im Hintergrund Tastatur und Spielwürfel

Online gambling in Austria

Many affected gamblers do not even know that they can reclaim gambling debts they have incurred at foreign casinos or online casinos. These foreign companies do not have a licence in Austria. Our article explains the background and possibilities.

Maurer zieht nasse Fassade mit Kelle ab

What you should bear in mind when placing orders in other EU countries

In our globalised everyday life, contracting foreign companies is no longer unusual and the freedom to provide services is a fundamental right in the EU. We explain which rules and obligations apply and what you should look out for before placing orders with foreign companies.

Flussansicht von London Westminster mit Big Ben

Brexit - travellers and consumers

In the referendum on 23 June 2016, 52 percent of Britons voted in favour of Brexit. On 24 December, the EU and the UK concluded a far-reaching trade and partnership agreement. What are the consequences for consumers in Europe? Here are some hints about the changes from the perspective of travellers and consumers

Onlinewerbung für Paship mit Button "Jetzt pashippen"

Parship loses lawsuit over excessive subscription revocation

Those who want to find new life partners through Parship could be confronted with high costs as soon as they change their mind and only use the service for a short time. European Court of Justice declares offsetting practice invalid.

Euro notes and coins and a court hammer lie on European flag

European Order for Payment Procedure

The European order for payment procedure simplifies the process of litigation in cross-border cases for consumers. It was established on 12.12.2008 in all EU Member States, except for Denmark.

Zum Seitenanfang