Magazine about Aviation, engineering and technology


The official emblem of the European Parliament.

The official emblem of the European Parliament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, Wednesday 5th  February, the  European Parliament will  vote on a Committee report dealing  with  a  revision  to  the  existing  EU  legislation  on  Air  Passenger  Rights.  AEA  urges  the Parliament  to  have  a  realistic  approach,  in  particular  related  to  delay  compensation  points, extraordinary circumstances and multi‐sector flights.

The  revision  of  the  existing  Passenger  Rights  legislation  is  badly  needed.   The  current  rules, formulated ten years ago, have demonstrably failed to adequately address situations of extreme service disruption, such as the 2010 ash cloud, the Japanese nuclear disaster the following year and numerous political upheavals and extreme weather events.  While such cases are clearly outside the airlines’  control,  nevertheless  carriers  face  a  virtually  unlimited  liability  to  look  after stranded passengers.

The European Commission, in early 2013, produced a policy proposal which in the airlines’ view, struck a broad balance between safeguarding customers’ interests and recognising the realities of providing a scheduled service in a complex environment.  AEA calls on the European Parliament to endorse  the  Commission’s  proposal,  in  particular  with  respect  to  three  specific  elements:

‐ Delay compensation ‘trigger points’.  Depending on the flight distances involved, it takes a greater or  lesser amount of time to fix a problem and allow passengers to  continue their journey.  It  is entirely  appropriate for  long‐distance flights  and medium‐haul services to  have  different trigger points to short European flights. The Commission’s proposal of 5, 9 and 12 hours recognises this.

‐  A  list  of  Extraordinary  Circumstances  which  is  appropriate  and  flexible, rather  than set  in stone.   The  legislation recognises that some  events  are outside the  control of the  airlines, who should not be held liable for disruptions arising from them.  Any list of such circumstances needs to reflect the realities  of running  a scheduled  operation,  and  not restrict the  airlines’ freedom to develop solutions to foreseen problems, such as widespread industrial action amongst air traffic controllers.

‐  A rational  approach to  passengers  who fail to show  up for the first  part  of  a  multi‐sector journey.  EU air transport liberalisation guarantees an airline’s pricing freedom, not only in their home  market  but throughout the  EU.   This  has resulted  in  many  consumer  benefits,  including bargain prices on journeys involving a connecting flight, with the appropriate conditions on how the tickets may be used.  If such restrictions were no longer allowed, it is inevitable that prices in some markets would rise and fair competition would be distorted.

European airlines operate in a highly competitive market and day after day do their utmost to offer passengers  comfortable, safe  and  punctual travel solutions.  AEA therefore  urges the  European Parliament to carefully weigh the impact of their decisions, on airlines and passengers alike, and looks forward to pursuing an effective, workable and balanced legislative package.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Tagged as: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Member of The Internet Defense League

%d bloggers like this: