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Your air passenger rights: free app launched
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A free smartphone application has been launched by the European Commission to provide passengers stranded at airports or waiting for missing luggage with on the spot, clear and concise information, on their EU rights and entitlements. It covers all the most common travel problems, such as flight delays, cancellations, re-routing, or even when the package holiday hotel is not as advertise, plus many more.

European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport said: "How many of us have stood in an airport and felt the frustration of people telling you that you have no rights when you know you have!  With this application millions of travellers can have easy access to the right information about their passenger rights when they most need it, when unexpected situations arise."

The app is available to download from today (4 July) on four mobile platforms: Apple iPhone and iPad, Google android, RIM Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7.  Available in 22 languages, it makes use of device local storage to avoid the need for data connectivity whilst travelling.

Presented in a question answer format, it allows users to easily identify the problem they are experiencing and be provided with a clear explanation of their rights and the options available to them. Information is also provided on who to contact if travellers feel their rights have not been respected and they wish to make a complaint.

During a large-scale emergency, such as experienced following the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis in 2010, the app may also display travel information and advice from the European Commission.

The app also provides information on rail passenger rights which apply to all international rail services in the EUSix basic entitlements are common across the EU, such as passenger and baggage liability, rights for passengers with reduced mobility and the availability of through tickets.  In relation to national long distance, regional, suburban and urban services, rights vary between EU member states due to differing derogations.  For instance, the UK requested an opt-out for urban, suburban and regional rail services for an unlimited time period.

    Your air passenger rights: free app launched

    Your air passenger rights: free app launched

    Background
    EU air passenger rights have been in place since February 2005 when Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of 11 February 2004 entered into force establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.

    In 2011, air travel related complaints were the top concern for callers to the European Consumer Centre network.  The main problems centred around cancelled flights (about 30 per cent of cases), delays (24 per cent), lost or damaged luggage (15 per cent), although concerns over denied boarding, non-transparent prices and surcharges, technical problems in the booking process and unfair commercial practices were also raised.

    The UK ECC is one of 29 centres operating in the EU, including Iceland and Norway, offering direct advice for consumers.  The network is co-financed by the European Commission and member states authorities, such as the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK. 

    The Civil Aviation Authority is the national enforcement body in the UK working to help resolve complaints where the flight departs from the UK, or where the ticket was bought in the UK.  Complaints are handled by the Passenger Complaints Unit:  Tel: 020 7240 6061 or e-mail: passengercomplaints@caa.co.uk.

    Further information
    Your passenger rights
    http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passengers/air/air_en.htm

    http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passengers/rail/rail_en.htm

     

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 05/07/2012  |Top