Rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers

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Rules on compensation and assistance to air passengers

Key EESC messages
  • The EESC welcomes the additional legal certainty that the current proposal brings for both passengers and air carriers by offering more precise definitions of the relevant concepts used by the regulation, thus reflecting the principles of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decisions and providing a sound legal framework. But the EESC regrets that the Commission's proposal does not contain a high level of consumer protection.
  • The EESC approves in principle of the measures that air carriers must take under different conditions to compensate passengers in the event of long delays, rerouting and rescheduling, and increase their overall comfort when flights are delayed or missed. But the EESC disagrees in particular with the planned compensation for delays, long delays to flights and to short-haul flights, where the proposal moves away from the relevant case-law of the CJEU.
  • The EESC understands the reasons for increasing substantially the threshold for delay compensation for long-haul journeys, but urges the Commission to continue its efforts to find incentives for air carriers to actually perform considerably below these thresholds. The above delay times should be reduced further for people with disabilities or reduced mobility to take into account the particular costs to these people of any long delay.
  • The EESC appreciates that a deadline is introduced and that if the air carrier cannot reroute the passenger on its own services, it must consider other carriers or other transport modes. But in the Committee's view, 12 hours before being able to use other services or carriers is too long. Moreover, the passenger should have the right to refuse travel by another mode of transport (e.g. bus, train or ship). To cover the additional costs of transferring to another carrier as swiftly as possible, the EESC reiterates its proposal of creating a "shared liability" fund for repatriating or rerouting passengers with other carriers.
  • The EESC urges the Commission to prepare a regulation that is neutral with regard to other modes of transport, in order not to break with the principle of equal treatment or give rise to favouritism to the detriment of other modes of transport.
     

Contact the TEN Section secretariat for more information