Friday

20th Apr 2018

Air passengers to get more rights under EU bill

  • 'It's a David vs. Goliath story, as only 2 percent of passengers actually get compensation' (Photo: *tamara*)

Air passengers could receive up to €600 in compensation for delayed flights under new draft rules backed by MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday (5 February).

“It's a David vs. Goliath story, as only 2 percent of passengers actually get compensation after filing a complaint against an airline,” said Luxembourg centre-right MEP Georges Bach, the parliament’s lead negotiator on the file.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The draft rules, initially proposed by the European Commission and then strengthened by the parliament, mean passengers could have new rights when it comes to information, care and re-routing.

People stranded for up to 7 hours on flights over 6000 km would receive €600. This drops to €400 for five hour delays on flights that are up to 6000 km and €300 on three hour delays for flights that are up to 3500 km.

The co-legislative proposal still needs to be discussed among member states over the summer.

But the bill, as it stands, includes calls for relaxed hand-luggage allowances, a tougher complaints system, and information delivered within 30 minutes on rescheduled flights.

Another new measure means people who miss or do not show up for the outbound leg of the journey can still use their return ticket. They say final ticket prices also need to reflect possible hidden fees, like credit card costs and payments for checked-in luggage.

“We want to clarify and limit the definition of 'extraordinary circumstances',” said Bach.

Airlines, for instance, would no longer be able to deny compensation to stranded passengers if they suddenly declare bankruptcy.

They would also be required to set up contact points to inform passengers about their rights.

EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas said the aim behind the bill is get passengers where they want to be as quickly as possible while giving the airlines the time they need to sort problems out.

But MEPs were unimpressed by the commission’s original proposal on compensation for delays.

Kallas’ team of lawmakers said passengers should be eligible for compensations after a five-hour delay. Deputies reduced the threshold to three hours.

“This is the bare minimum that should be provided for under EU legislation and MEPs have today voted to endorse this and not the 5 hours proposed by the commission,” noted Keith Taylor, a British Green MEP.

Analysis

New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.

Analysis

New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.

Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a political deal on organic farming, following 19 months of behind-closed-doors negotiations. EUobserver here details a five-month odyssey to get access to the secret documents that led to the deal.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  2. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  3. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  4. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  5. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  6. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  7. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit
  8. Merkel and Macron meet to finetune eurozone reform plans

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeParabéNs! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  2. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  3. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  4. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  5. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  6. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  8. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  9. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  10. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector

Latest News

  1. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  2. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  3. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  4. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists
  5. Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study
  6. Selmayr case scars Parliament and Commission
  7. Beyond macho: Turkish-EU ties
  8. 'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole