Friday, 15 March 2013

101 on air passengers' rights proposal

For a better overview of proposed changes to the air passengers'  rights we have decided to give you a short summary of the main points.

Main improvements of air passengers'  rights:
  •  clarification that passengers with reduced mobility will be entitled to care (without limitations)
  • clarification that if the checked-in mobility equipment is lost or damages its value would be fully compensated
  • more transparency in information duties (e.g., information about the nature of the disruption to the flight not later than 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time - which means that consumers should hear more than just 'your flight has been delayed/cancelled)
  • the airline needs to reimburse the full price of the ticket if passenger decides to renounce the delayed flight (this cannot be denied by the airlines if at least 5 hours have passed from the scheduled departure time - if passengers are then at the tarmac - boarded the plane - already, they have a right to disembark)
  • the airline needs to provide care and assistance if the delay is longer than 2 hours - regardless the flight distance (if passengers are on the tarmac already - they have a right to the use of toilets, air conditioning, drinking water if the delay is longer than an hour)
  • rerouting needs to be offered with other carriers or other transportation mode within 12 hours
  • definition of 'extraordinary circumstances' as circumstances which are not inherent in the normal exercise of the activity of the air carrier and are beyond his control
  • if the flight is rescheduled less than 2 weeks in advance, the passengers will have the same rights as if their flight was delayed or cancelled
  • passenger may request correction (free of charge) of spelling mistakes in his name up to 48 hours before departure
  • the passenger may not be denied boarding on the return flight if he had not showed for his outbound flight
  • better rules on enforcement of air passengers' rights (passengers need to submit complaint within 3 months of departure date, airlines need to acknowledge receipt within a week and reply formally within 2 months)
  • contingency plans need to be prepared for situations of mass disruptions

Main negative changes of air passengers'  rights:
  • if the flight is within the EU or for a distance of less than 3500 km the passengers will only be able to claim compensation if it is delayed for more than 5 hours (incl. if delay at arrival is due to one of the connecting flights being late)
    • if the international flight is for a distance of 3500-6000km - the delay needs to be 9 hours
    • if the international flight is for a distance of more than 6000km - the delay needs to be 12 hours
  • in case of extraordinary circumstances the right to assistance will be limited to providing accommodation only for three nights unless the passenger is pregnant, a child, has specific medical needs, has reduced mobility
  • if a flight is for distance of less than 250 km and with aircraft of less than 80 seats there is no obligation to provide accommodation

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