Over the last thirty years, there has been a boom in mobility in Europe.For millions of citizens travel has become a reality, indeed a right.
Passengers need a common set of principles, so that they can be more easily aware of their rights if something goes wrong with their trip, regardless of the mode of transport they use or whether a journey takes place wholly within a single Member State or goes through an intra-Community or external frontier.
In the light of this, the EU has committed itself to placing users at the heart of transport policy.
Under EU legislation people with disabilities and/or reduced mobility are protected from being discriminated against during reservation and boarding. They are also entitled to receive assistance at airports (on departure, on arrival and in transit) and on board airplanes. In order to facilitate the provision of assistance, it is recommended to pre-notify your needs. More information
When passengers are denied boarding on a flight, airlines are obliged to first seek volunteers to give up their reservation in exchange for certain benefits. In addition, the air carrier must also offer volunteers the choice between a full refund and re-routing.
You may be entitled to compensation of between €125 and €600 depending on the distance of the flight and the delays experienced before being re-routed. Where volunteers choose re-routing, the airline must also provide assistance if necessary, for example - food, access to a telephone, hotel accomodation of one or more nights if necessary and transportation between the airport and the place of accommodation.
You are also entitled to identical compensation to that offered when you are denied boarding, unless you were informed of the cancellation at least 14 days before the flight, or you were rerouted close
to your original times, or if the airline can prove that the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances.
In addition the airline must offer you the choice between:
You are entitled to care by the airline (phone call, refreshments, meal, accommodation, transportation to the place of accommodation) if the delay is:
If the delay is more than five hours, and you decide
not to continue your journey, you are also entitled to have your ticket reimbursed and be flown back to where you originally started your journey.
If you get to your final destination with a delay of three hours or more, you may be entitled to identical compensation to that offered when your flight gets cancelled, unless the airline can prove that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances. Additionally, airlines can be held liable for damages resulting from delays.
If your baggage is lost, damaged or delayed, you may be entitled to compensation limited to about €1,220. However, airlines shall not be liable if they have taken all reasonable measures to avoid the damages or it was impossible to take such measures.
For damaged baggage, you must lodge a claim to the airline within seven days of receiving your baggage.
For delayed receipt of baggage, this period is a maximum of 21 days.
You must be informed, in advance, about which airline is operating your flight.
Airlines found to be unsafe are banned or restricted within the European Union.
They are listed at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air-ban/
The organisers and retailers of package holidays are obliged to provide precise, complete information about booked package holidays. They are obliged to honour contractual terms and to protect passengers in the event of insolvency. Package tour operators must give accurate information on the holiday booked, comply with contractual obligations
and protect passengers in the case of the organiser's insolvency.
According to EU legislation, when you purchase a ticket for flights departing from EU airports, the applicable conditions should be made clear to you.
The final price to be paid should be indicated at all times and it should include the applicable air fare, as well as applicable taxes, and charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication.
It should also show you the breakdown between the fare, the taxes, the airport charges and finally the other charges, surcharges and fees.Optional price supplements should be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of the booking process and your acceptance of them should be on an "opt-in" basis.
The Commission adopted proposals in December 2008 on passenger rights in maritime and inland waterway transport, and coach and bus transport.
Depending on how soon the European Parliament and the European Council will approve the proposals, these passenger rights for these additional modes of transport can come into force within the next few years.
Better protection of passengers when they travel will contribute to improving the image of public transport and it will encourage healthy competition between operators to develop competitive and attractive European transport services.