Back in November 2018, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a report examining the scope and reach of the regulation setting passengers’ rights at EU level to see if these rights are effectively protected and are actually being obtained.
In brief, the report shows that while the EU system of passenger rights is well developed, passengers still need to fight hard to benefit from them. Most of the time, passengers are often not aware of their rights and lack practical information on how to obtain them, say the auditors.
The report includes recommendations for improvement:
- increase the coherence, clarity and effectiveness of EU passenger rights; this should include obliging carriers to explain the causes of disruption within 48 hours and to make automatic compensation payments;
- increase passenger awareness;
- further empower National Enforcement Bodies and enhance the mandate of the European Commission.
It also includes 10 tips to improve passengers’ travel experience if their journey is disrupted:
1. Personalise your travel as much as possible
2. Take a photo of your luggage
3. Arrive on time at the check-in desk
4. Request information at the points of departure
5. Always request assistance in case of disruption
6. Keep all receipts
7. Request proof of delay or cancellation
8. Do not make your own arrangements without hearing first a proposal from the carrier
9. Request for compensation
10. Request compensation for additional expenditure
AGE is working in close relationship with the European Disability Forum and the European Passengers’ Federation on passengers’ rights, with a focus on persons with reduced mobility.
- ECA report of the ECA, available in all 22 EU languages
- Special Eurobarometer on satisfaction of railway passengers (2018)
A more general Eurobarometer on passengers’ satisfaction across transport mode will be published in June 2019.