Data from September 2012, almost 777 million passengers were carried by air in 2011 in the EU-27. Following the compromise with the passenger rights within EU zone, the European Commission has announced in March a package of measures to ensure that air passengers have new and better rights to information, care and re-routing when they are stranded at the airport. At the same time there will be better complaint procedures and enforcement measures so passengers can actually obtain the rights to which they are entitled.
The air passenger rights proposal clarifies legal grey areas and introduces new rights where necessary, for full list see MEMO/13/203.
The proposal updates passenger rights in four key areas:
1. Clarifying Grey Areas: rights to information on delayed or cancelled flights; extraordinary circumstances; rights in relation to long delays and tarmac delays; contingency planning; rights to re-routing and rights on connecting flights.
2. New Rights: in the case of rescheduling; misspelt names; new rights with regard to mishandled baggage and transparency requirements for cabin and checked luggage.
3. Enforcement, Complaint-Procedures and Sanctioning: strengthening oversight of air carriers by national and European authorities (monitoring and joint investigations); as well as for complaint handling and enforcing individual rights (including a requirement on airlines to reply to complaints within two months); insolvency.
4. Disproportionate Financial Burden: limits to assistance; limits for regional operations; sharing the economic burden.