Ask EP By / March 7, 2016

Air passenger rights

Citizens recurrently turn to the European Parliament in order to request information about their rights as passengers. The ongoing legislative…

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Citizens recurrently turn to the European Parliament in order to request information about their rights as passengers. The ongoing legislative reform shall clarify certain aspects of air passenger rights, to ensure a better application of the EU law and to strike a fair balance between passenger rights and their financial cost.

In complement to various international conventions, the two main EU legal texts defining air passengers rights are Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, which establishes minimum rights for passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air.

Reform of air passenger rights legislation

The Added Value of EU policy for Airline services and air passenger rights
© willypd / Fotolia

The European Commission proposed on March 2013 to review these rules, with the aim of improving information to passengers in the event of delays and clarifying the rules on compensation, as well as updating these rules to give air carriers more certainty as to the law.

The Parliament discussed the proposals and adopted on 5 February 2014 a resolution on the reform package, in which the Parliament asks for additional provisions such as:

  • an airline contact person at the airport in the event of problems,
  • further cabin luggage allowances,
  • higher amounts for compensation in the event of delay,
  • an exhaustive list of extraordinary circumstances in which compensation does not have to be paid, and
  • guarantee mechanisms against air carrier bankruptcy.

Further details on Parliament’s position are available in the relevant press release and in the background note.

The Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE), which is co-legislator with the Parliament on the air passenger rights reform, has discussed the issue since 2013 on several occasions.

Information on status and progress of the legislative procedure is available in the procedure file 2013/0072(COD) of the Legislative Observatory, the European Parliament’s database for monitoring the EU decision-making process.

Further information

The EU service Your Europe provides advice and practical tips regarding different aspects of passenger rights, including air passenger rights. The European Parliament fact sheet Passenger rights, the dedicated Commission webpage and the Council webpage offer further detailed information on this issue.

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