The European Parliament today voted on draft legislation, updating EU rules on air passenger rights. Commenting after the vote, Green transport spokesperson Keith Taylor said:
"Today's vote would undoubtedly strengthen the rights of air passengers, even if the Greens would have preferred to go further. MEPs have voted to amend the wrongheaded proposals from the EU Commission on compensation for delays. With the European Court of Justice having ruled that passengers should be eligible for compensation following 3 hours of delay, this is the bare minimum that should be provided for under EU legislation and MEPs have today voted to endorse this and not the 5 hours proposed by the Commission. The Commission should be defending consumer rights, not those of airlines, and we welcome the vote of MEPs to rectify this. However, the Greens believe the proposals should go further and provide for partial compensation for delays of more than one hour.
"MEPs have also voted to narrow the definition of 'extraordinary circumstances' airlines can use to avoid compensating and voted to ensure passengers do not lose their rights when airlines go out of business. Airlines will have to demonstrate they took adequate measures to reimburse passengers for cancellations in case of bankruptcy. However, strengthened rights are only effective if they are enforced. To this end, we welcome the adoption of a Green proposal to create independent mediation bodies to resolve conflicts between passengers and airlines."