MEPs adopted a resolution which asks clarify air passengers' rights

The resolution adopted at the Transport Committee calls on the need of all-in air fares, airline employees able to help stranded passengers immediately, and proper compensation, when airlines go bust. MEPs agreed that the triple choice of "refunding, rerouting or rebooking" is a basic right in the event of travel disruption and it should be immediately offered to stranded passengers.

The Transport Committee adopted a resolution which calls on the European Commission to clarify air passengers' rights, ensure that legislation protecting them is applied uniformly, and take measures to improve the accountability of airlines. The European Commission presented the new proposal to strengthen the air passengers' rights in April 2011. According to the resolution, air carriers should ensure that there are contact personnel present at each airport, entitled to take immediate decisions on assistance, reimbursement, rerouting and rebooking in the event of disruption.

In addition, the resolution also asks to strengthen enforcement bodies in all Member States. MEPs want the role of these bodies to be better defined, so that national sanctions against air carriers in breach of EU rules can be made more effective. They also want the Commission to draw up and publish airline performance records, based on the annual number of complaints. Furthermore, they added that the maximum time for processing passenger complaints should be 2 months for airlines and 2 months for enforcement bodies.

With regard to the persons with reduced mobility or disabilities, it should be granted barrier-free access to all air transport services. According to MEPs, it should be also an airline's responsibility and this needs to be addressed in the Commission's forthcoming revision of the relevant legislation.