A new plan by the European Commission to strengthen air passenger rights will 'close glaring loopholes' in the law, says Phil Bennion.

passenger rightsCommenting on the proposals unveiled on March 13th, the West Midlands Lib Dem MEP and member of the European Parliament Transport Committee, said:

"This is a very welcome proposal which will close some of the glaring loopholes in the existing legislation. A significant change is the clarification of the "exceptional circumstances" under which airlines do not have to pay compensation, something I have long called for as a member of the Transport Committee.

"This means airlines will no longer be able to avoid paying out compensation by pointing to issues like mechanical problems, and will prevent customers being dragged through long and expensive court cases.

"Airlines will also have to explain to passengers why they are being delayed no more than half an hour after the scheduled departure time, putting an end to uncertain and frustrating waits sitting on the runway or in the departure lounge."

"I'd now like to see some of our other recommendations taken up, especially on price transparency and ensuring that consumers aren't mislead by hidden costs when booking tickets online.

"The EU has already achieved a lot in improving air passengers' rights, but there is still more work to do to make sure that all passengers are treated fairly, kept properly informed and offered adequate compensation."


The full European Commission proposal can be found here:

The European Parliament's Transport Committee drafted an own-initiative report last year which called on the Commission to clarify its definition of "extraordinary circumstances" in which airlines do not have to pay compensation http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120227IPR39347/html/Air-travel-Transport-Committee-calls-for-a-fair-deal-for-all-passengers