A fact-finding study, along the Eurobarometer survey on EU passenger rights, sheds light on the main developments in air passenger rights since the Commission tabled a proposal to amend the legislation in 2013. The findings of the study will therefore also support to relaunch the on-going discussions.
The study takes on a fresh look at the topic, reflecting the evolution of the air travel market in recent years. To be effective, EU rules on passenger rights need to be easily understandable and provide legal certainty to passengers, the industry and the competent authorities. The study focused on the disruptions faced by passengers, especially from the perspective of the passengers, airlines and airports. The study also analysed monitoring and enforcement, general consumer protection, international developments as well as cases of airline insolvencies.
The study shows that the need for reform has become even more urgent since 2013: the level of flights disrupted, in terms of cancellations and delays over two hours, has increased significantly, and for passengers it is still rather difficult to enforce their rights, due to the complexity of the regulatory setting and the lack of information. For airlines the burden has increased, driven by increased levels of disruptions and rising claim rates.
In terms of priorities, passengers ranked care and assistance to be provided in the event of travel disruption as the most important. Re-routing, making sure passengers arrive at their destination as soon as possible, was ranked second, and the reimbursement and/or compensation to be paid (where relevant) third.
Source: European Commission