Public consultation on air passenger rights
A public consultation on the application of EU legislation in the field of air passenger rights will end on Monday 1 March 2010. The aim of the consultation is to gather stakeholders' opinions on the existing problems and preferred solutions in order to assess the quality and effectiveness of the implementation and enforcement of Air Passengers' Rights legislation.
In the White Paper "European transport policy for 2010: time to decide" the European Commission envisaged the establishment of passenger rights in all modes of transport, thus placing users at the heart of transport policy. As the air transport sector was the first to be liberalised, this was where the Commission adopted the first legislative proposals to ensure that the consumer dimension was adequately addressed, along with other aspects linked to the opening of the air transport market.
The present public consultation summarises the main points identified where there seems to be room for improvement regarding the application of three regulations:
- Regulation (EC) No 889/20022 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents, which transposed the Montreal Convention into EU Law, notably regarding limited liability for lost, delayed or damaged baggage ("the Liability Regulation"), with special attention to the specific case of mobility equipment checked in by disabled passengers
- Regulation (EC) No 261/20043 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights ("the APR regulation")
- Regulation (EC) No 1107/20064 on the rights of passengers with reduced mobility ("the PRM regulation")
The overall regulatory background on air passenger rights also includes other legislation, for example: Regulation 1008/20085, on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community; Directive 96/676, which defines the conditions for access to the ground-handling market at European airports, and therefore could be used as leverage to improve the quality of baggage handling in order to prevent baggage damage or mishandling; and Regulation 2111/20057 on safety issues.
Moreover, this public consultation touches upon the development of new business practices or existing practices that are increasingly being used but are not covered by the above Regulations, and which may have an impact on air passengers.
The ideas and questions put forward are meant to stimulate further debate in order to assess the effectiveness of the rules already in force and single out aspects in need of improvement. The analysis of business practices that have an impact on passengers and thus merit the Commission services' attention will allow policy options to be identified for further action in this field, if needed.
The results of the consultation will be presented at a stakeholder conference in 2010. The Commission services will summarise the answers and publish the results and main conclusions of the consultation on its website. The outcome of this consultation will be used by the Commission later in 2010 to assess the implementation of the legislation covering air passengers’ rights.