The EU SEEKS IMPROVEMENT OF PASSENGERS RIGHTS

The EU SEEKS IMPROVEMENT OF PASSENGERS RIGHTS

BRUS­SELS (AP) — The Euro­pean Union is con­sid­er­ing beefed up mea­sures to help stranded pas­sen­gers get com­pen­sa­tion and find quicker ways to get home.


 EU Trans­port Com­mis­sioner Siim Kallas said Wednes­day that a new pack­age with improved mea­sures would also boost car­ri­ers from the 27 mem­ber nations in global com­pe­ti­tion since con­sumers would be drawn to com­pa­nies offer­ing the best conditions.

These rules only apply if you are on a Euro­pean car­rier. So my mes­sage is “Fly European,” Kallas told reporters.

Under the pro­pos­als, Kallas said that if car­ri­ers can­not reroute pas­sen­gers them­selves within 12 hours they must find another air­line or other transportation.

Kallas’ pro­pos­als now will be taken up by the Euro­pean par­lia­ment and the 27 mem­ber nations.

The air­line indus­try gave the pro­pos­als a muted welcome.

The Asso­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Air­lines said it was “a step in the right direc­tion” which should help clean up a com­pli­cated sys­tem cur­rently in place that often leaves it unclear who is respon­si­ble for what.

There have been so many court cases,” said Geert Sciot, spokesman for the AEA.

In Jan­u­ary, the EU’s top court ruled that Irish low-​cost air­line Ryanair has to pay out com­pen­sa­tion to pas­sen­gers who were stranded due to the2010 vol­cano erup­tion in Ice­land, argu­ing that air­lines have an oblig­a­tion to pro­vide care, even in such “extra­or­di­nary circumstances.”

With his pro­posal, Kallas said he wanted to clar­ify the rights of pas­sen­gers and air­lines on such issues as a nat­ural dis­as­ter, rights to re-​routing and con­nect­ing flights.

The Euro­pean asso­ci­a­tion of regional air­lines ERA com­plained that mak­ing the first car­rier in a multi-​segment trip respon­si­ble for com­pen­sa­tion if some­thing went wrong would put too much pres­sure on their car­ri­ers, since they often are the first link.

The Geneva-​based Inter­na­tional Air Trans­port Asso­ci­a­tion took issue with the 12-​hour re-​routing pro­posal, com­plain­ing it did not take into account the cost.

The ticket price paid and the cost of re-​routing should be related. If your Bic pen doesn’t work, you don’t expect to get a Mont Blanc as com­pen­sa­tion,” said IATA CEO Tony Tyler.

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