EU Advised to Follow US’ Lead

THE EUROPEAN Regions Airline Association (ERA) is calling on the European Commission to revise its passenger rights law with claims that the US Department of Transportation’s own rules: “puts Europe to shame”.
Mike Ambrose, Director General, ERA, questions how two major law-makers, seeking to protect their air passengers can arrive at such different conclusions as to what is needed.  And, as the European Commission re-examines its passenger rights’ legislation, he calls upon it, and all members of the European Parliament, to consider whether the high costs imposed on Europe’s airlines are truly in the interests of passengers.  “Europe’s transport ministers and Parliament have already rejected providing these gold-plated standards for train, coach and ferry customers,” he added.
The difference between the EU and US rules regarding passenger compensation is actually quite remarkable.  In Europe, compensation must be paid to any passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding, from their flight.  However, it must also sometimes be paid to all passengers on a flight that is cancelled regardless of reason.  Such compensation is set at fixed amounts which are much higher – around four to five times – than the average fare paid for a ticket.  Meanwhile, in the US, compensation is limited to twice the fare paid and is only available to passengers who have been ‘bumped’ from their flight.  Therefore, it is paid to less than one passenger in 10,000 compared to the one in 100 in Europe that may be entitled to this compensation.