EU Passenger Rights – 2024 Update

By CCN 2 months ago

Enhancing Passenger Rights: Proposed Changes in EU Regulations Aim to Improve Travel Protections

Today, 13 billion passengers travel by plane, train, coach, bus or ferry in the EU every year and are covered by EU passenger rights. This figure is expected to reach 15 billion by 2030 and 20 billion by 2050. Currently, the European Union is the only area in the world that has a passenger rights framework in place for all transport modes. Meanwhile, Australia and the USA, advocates of such a scheme, claim that local laws are “lagging behind the rest of the world,” pointing to the EU’s air passenger compensation laws as an ideal model. In the UK, a newly named Air Passenger Travel Guide was released by the UK Department for Transport. Formerly known as the Aviation Passenger Charter, it details what people can expect from airlines, travel agents, tour operators, and airports, and what to do if things do not go according to plan.

The revised EU Passengers Rights Regulation would bring improvements to:

  • Persons with disabilities traveling by air – if the airline makes it mandatory for them to travel accompanied, the person accompanying them would travel free of charge. This right already exists when traveling by rail, ship or coach.
  • Air tickets bought through intermediaries (like travel agencies) – passengers will be reimbursed within 14 days (airline to reimburse the intermediary within 7 days). Under the proposed shake-up, passengers who buy air tickets through intermediaries such as travel agencies will have more clarity on who will reimburse them – the transport operator or the intermediary.
  • Multimodal journeys – passengers using different types of transport will be entitled to better information and protection and compensation. Holidaymakers will receive information on whether a combination of travel services constitutes a package and who is liable if there are problems.
  • Prepayments for travel packages at the time of booking or ‘down payments’ – limitation to max 25% of the package price up until 28 days before departure.
  • Refund through vouchers – automatic refund if not used before the end of their validity period and protection against travel company insolvency.

While EU travellers already enjoy some of the most robust passenger protections in the world, they still face a confusing web of bureaucracy when claiming refunds and compensations, with a lack of clarity regarding what they are entitled to.

  press release