MEP for Ireland East, Liam Aylward, and a majority of his fellow MEPs voted in the European Parliament this week to improve air travel by creating new rights for air passengers and clarifying the responsibilities of airlines.
Only 2% of air passengers received compensation after filing a complaint against an airline under the old rules. This should change under the framework of the new rules, which are less confusing and strike a better balance between consumer protection and the interests of the airline industry.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the Ireland East MEP stated: “Passengers are more than just cargo. The new rules improve consumer protection and provide ease of mind. There is now a right to compensation in the case of cancelled flights or flights with long delays and compensation for connecting flights missed because of the first flight’s delay. Passengers will no longer be left in the dark about the status of their flight; they have a right to information on delayed or cancelled flights within 30 minutes of the scheduled departure.”
Mr Aylward welcomed the relaxation of carry-on baggage rules: “A common set of rules on carry-on baggage across all airlines operating in Europe will result in less confusion for passengers. The travel experience will be improved by allowing passengers to bring not just their normal cabin bag, but also coats, handbags and items bought in the airport shops.
“Airlines will no longer be able to deny boarding to passengers on a return journey who missed their outward flight. A provision requiring the published price to be a reflection of the final price similarly protects their interests.
“Other measures improving air travel include a responsibility for the airline to provide care to passengers after a two hour delay, the right to change a spelling mistake in a name free of charge and the creation of a common complaint form across the European Union.”