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Application of air passengers` rights

The European Commission`s Directorate-General for Transport and Energy today held a meeting of the national bodies responsible for monitoring compliance with the new rights of air passengers…

The European Commission`s Directorate-General for Transport and Energy today held a meeting of the national bodies responsible for monitoring compliance with the new rights of air passengers. With the exception of Ireland and Luxembourg, which have not designated such bodies, all Member States were represented. The purpose of the meeting was to examine the problems that the bodies face in carrying out their new tasks, in particular the lack of resources allocated to them by the Member States. The Commission pointed out that the European Regulation created obligations for all the Member States, which must ensure that the text is strictly applied.



The new Regulation[1], which has applied since 17 February, affords air passengers greater protection in the event of denied boarding, flight cancellation or long delays. In order to avoid long and expensive court cases, it requires complaints to be handled by national bodies designated by the Member States. These bodies are required to ensure that the Regulation is properly applied and, where this is not the case, impose sanctions on airlines[2].



Since the Regulation entered into force, the Commission has received ten times as many complaints from passengers as before. When investigating these complaints, the Commission discovered that the new bodies were often unable to process such complaints efficiently and that the approach differed from one country to another.



The Commission asked the bodies to send it precise and detailed information about the resources which they have received from the Member States and the number of complaints received and dealt with since 17 February 2005.



The Commission will examine this information carefully, and reserves the right to initiate infringement proceedings if it ascertains that the Member States are not giving due priority to the protection of air passengers` rights and are not applying the European Regulation.



[1] Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91. [2] Article 16.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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