Vice-President Kallas launches new passenger rights information campaign
For the first time, millions of holiday-makers travelling in the EU this summer will be protected by comprehensive passenger rights – whether travelling by air or rail, and now also by ship, bus and coach. But research shows that two-thirds of passengers are not aware of their rights. For this reason, the Commission is launching a new campaign to inform the many people gearing up to travel this summer about their passenger rights, and how to claim them if needed.
From 25 to 28 June, launch events will take place in Brussels, Athens-Piraeus and Sofia and an air passenger rights information day will be held in Warsaw.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for mobility and transport, said: "For millions of Europeans, holidays are a time to have a well-deserved rest, and the vast majority will travel without any problem. But sometimes things do go wrong. This summer for the first time, holiday-makers can travel across Europe – from London to Lisbon or Ljubljana – knowing they are covered by passenger rights under EU law wherever and however they travel. But passengers need to know their rights to be able to use their rights. This campaign will put more information in their hands."
Launching the campaign
As part of a new two-year campaign, eye-catching posters will hang in airports, ports, bus and train stations across Europe, and leaflets and online information will be available in all EU languages. This new campaign builds on the existing one, and will focus particularly on raising awareness of the new maritime passenger rights, and bus and coach passenger rights.
Vice-President Kallas will officially launch the new campaign at Brussels Zuid/Midi train station on 26 June at 15:00, at the European Consumer Centre stand (in front of the Info Point Domestics) followed by a meeting with stakeholders and journalists held in Salon de District (terminal 22). Passengers will be invited during the whole day to take part in a short quiz and win gadgets. The event will be attended by:
- Mr Melchior Wathelet, State Secretary of Environment, Energy and Mobility
- Mr Jannie Haeck, SNCB/NMBS Holding CEO
- Mr Luc Lallemand, Infrabel CEO
- Mr Marc Descheemaecker, SNCB/NMBS CEO
- Mr Libor Lochman, Executive Director of the Community of European Railways
The campaign will be launched with key speakers over the course of the week in three other European locations:
- At the Athens–Piraeus Port Terminal: with Fotis Karamitsos, Director at the Directorate-General Mobility and Transport of the Commission, on Thursday, 27 June from 12:00 to 14:00.
- At the Sofia Bus Station, on Friday, 28 June, from 10am to 3pm.
- Air passenger rights day at Warsaw airport with the European Consumer Centre on Friday, 28 June, public event from 10am to 4pm and press event from 11am to 1pm.
Why this new campaign?
- 59% of EU air travellers are unaware of their rights while travelling, 34% are aware and 7% don’t know about their rights.
- 66% of EU citizens are not aware of their contractual rights when purchasing a transport ticket, 34% are aware.
- One in six Europeans suffers from a disability. In addition, an ageing European population means that there will be a continuously growing number of passengers who need special assistance because of a disability or reduced mobility. One objective of the passenger rights legislation is to allow disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility to have the same possibilities to travel as other citizens.
- The EU is the first area in the world with a comprehensive set of passenger rights for all modes of transport (air, rail, waterborne, bus and coach). People need to know more about the rights they now have under EU law.
How to find out your passenger rights?
A campaign website has been launched covering all transport modes. The website is available in all of the EU's official languages.
A mobile app is available covering all transport modes and four mobile platforms: Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android, RIM Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7. The app is available in 22 EU languages. For each potential problem, the app explains the passenger’s rights and provides information on who to contact in order to complain.
Download the smart phone application for passenger rights, available on all platforms.
For more information: