BETA


2011/2150(INI) Functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead TRAN TAYLOR Keith (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE) ZASADA Artur (icon: PPE PPE), SASSOLI David Maria (icon: S&D S&D), GRIESBECK Nathalie (icon: ALDE ALDE), FOSTER Jacqueline (icon: ECR ECR)
Committee Opinion EMPL
Committee Opinion IMCO PARVANOVA Antonyia (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2012/07/18
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2012/03/29
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2012/03/29
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 509 votes to 20, with 53 abstentions, a resolution on the functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air, in response to the Commission report on the subject.

General framework : Parliament welcomes the Commission’s commitment to analyse and revise the existing rules on air passenger rights aiming to improve the situation of passengers especially in the cases of long delay or cancellation. Members believe that proper application of the existing rules by Member States and air carriers , enforcement of sufficient and simple means of redress and providing passengers with accurate information concerning their rights should be the cornerstones of regaining passengers’ trust. They regret, however, that the enforcement bodies set up by the Member States do not always ensure effective protection of passenger rights, to the detriment of air passengers. They call therefore on Member States to devise working methods for the EBs, particularly as regards the handling of complaints and sanctions , that allow enforcement of passenger rights from the viewpoint of legal certainty.

The resolution stresses the following points:

uniform handling of complaints in the Member States is necessary in order to create a level playing field; there is a need for a better definition of the enforcement body’s’ role ; these organisations should be independent of air carriers and airports and without conflicts of interest; national sanctions applicable to air carriers who are in breach of EU rules should be made more effective; complete information detailing passenger rights should be communicated by both air carriers and tour operators, in the language used during the booking of the ticket, throughout key stages of the journey, starting from when the passenger is considering whether to book a ticket, in a format which is readily comprehensible and accessible by everyone; air carriers should ensure that there is an immediate, simple, accessible way, at no extra cost, for passengers to lodge complaints in writing; passengers should be able to identify airline, flight, security and airport staff at all times; passengers should have full access to information about their ‘Passenger Name Record’ (PNR) data and be informed of how their PNR data are used and with whom they are shared; all passengers, including children younger than two years of age , must be carried safely; air carriers to ensure that passengers with children can board easily with pushchairs in recognition of the fact that the young children travelling with adults may be classified as persons with reduced mobility (PRMs).

Main recommendations : the Commission is asked to:

ensure that there is uniform interpretation and application of the Regulations and formalise a European network of enforcement bodies; draw up a standard form , translated into all EU languages to avoid any language problems, and to unify complaint procedures; make sure that national authorities comply with their financial obligations and to ensure that stranded passengers can be repatriated in the event of insolvency, bankruptcy, ceased operations or removal of an operating licence; ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the existing legislation on price transparency and unfair commercial practices ; blacklist specific unfair terms in the air transport sector; propose that it be made mandatory to provide a central information point, and specifically a website, and a low-cost telephone number and email address for air carriers, with a view to ensuring that consumers are properly informed; propose measures that would allow for passengers to correct minor booking details easily and free of charge and to withdraw from an online reservation within two hours of the initial booking; propose measures that would make it possible to harmonise commercial practice concerning hand luggage to allow them to carry on board a reasonable amount of hand luggage, including purchases from airport shops; examine the passenger protection issues related to new screening methods, such as security scanners, hand searches and passenger profiling; continue the information campaign launched in 2010 with a view to raising passengers’ awareness of their rights, and to encourage consumer networks, in coordination with enforcement bodies , to contribute as well.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights: Parliament asks the Commission in any upcoming revision of the Regulation, to adopt clarifications of the notion of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and the definition of ‘cancellation’ as well as the rules governing provision of assistance and the right to redress and compensation.

Passenger information : Parliament believes that there is a strong need for clear rules regarding the content, accessibility, timing and accuracy of the information communicated to air passengers, which should cover the reason for any delay or cancellation, the expected duration of disruptions and what happens in the event of overbooking, as well as the alternative travel options available to passengers.

Compensation : Members take the view that, in the event of loss, delay or damage to luggage, airlines must in the first instance compensate the passengers with whom they have concluded a contract, but that, at a later stage, the airlines must have a right to seek redress from airports or service providers if they are not responsible for the problem incurred by the passenger.

Deadlines : the Commission is asked to propose a maximum time limit of two months for industry and two months for enforcement bodies for handling of passenger complaints. Members want acknowledgement of receipt of complaints to be sent to passengers within 48 hours.

Electronic reservation : Parliament feels that passengers who make their reservation by electronic means , such as the internet, should also be entitled to make contact, at no cost, with their airline using the same means, and with a clearly marked address for same, so that the customer can quickly and easily make contact with the relevant staff at the airline to resolve any problems. It takes the view, furthermore, that a phone line and web service should be set up, via which passengers can obtain information on the progress of their complaints.

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air: the resolution stresses that PRMs and people with disabilities must be given equal air travel opportunities and unrestricted access to services.

Denied boarding : Members point out that, although flight safety is of major public interest, an airline cannot deny boarding to PRMs or people with disabilities on the grounds that they are unaccompanied.

Training : Parliament underlines that training of flight crews and other air carrier, airport and enforcement personnel plays a key role and must adequately cover the different and individual needs of PRMs and people with disabilities, with particular regard to boarding and disembarking and handling of assistive devices.

Access to information : the resolution emphasises that the information formats , booking process and complaints procedures must be fully accessible. PRMs and people with disabilities should be able to communicate their assistance needs at the same time as booking their ticket and that the passenger should be provided with a confirmation of the assistance notification.

Members are of the opinion that minimum standards must be established for providing information in accessible formats for PRMs and people with disabilities at all EU airports, with particular regard to emergency situations.

The Commission is asked to:

facilitate barrier-free access for PRMs and people with disabilities to air transport servic es; draw up guidelines on the interpretation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, notably as regards the provisions on security and accompanying persons; implement an EU- wide action plan covering all measures to be taken by national authorities; submit a proposal ensuring that PRMs and people with disabilities have the right at all times to use safety-approved respiratory devices on aircraft free of charge; make efforts with a view to a possible modification of the Montreal Convention, so as to ensure that the mobility equipment of PRMs is compensated in full.

Lastly, the resolution insists that a ‘full service’ airline providing flight catering to passengers may not discriminate against passengers requiring special meals because of pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. coeliac disease or diabetes.) and that these special meals must be provided at no extra cost to the passenger in all cases of travel.

Documents
2012/03/29
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2012/03/08
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Transport on Tourism adopted an own-initiative report by Keith TAYLOR (Greens/EFA, UK) on the functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air, in response to the Commission report on the subject.

The committee welcomes the Commission’s commitment to analyse and revise the existing rules on air passenger rights aiming to improve the situation of passengers especially in the cases of long delay or cancellation. Members believe that proper application of the existing rules by Member States and air carriers , enforcement of sufficient and simple means of redress and providing passengers with accurate information concerning their rights should be the cornerstones of regaining passengers’ trust.

The report stresses the following points:

uniform handling of complaints in the Member States is necessary in order to create a level playing field; there is a need for a better definition of the enforcement body’s’ role ; these organisations should be independent of air carriers and airports and without conflicts of interest; national sanctions applicable to air carriers who are in breach of EU rules should be made more effective; complete information detailing passenger rights should be communicated by both air carriers and tour operators, in the language used during the booking of the ticket, throughout key stages of the journey, starting from when the passenger is considering whether to book a ticket, in a format which is readily comprehensible and accessible by everyone; air carriers should ensure that there is an immediate, simple, accessible way, at no extra cost, for passengers to lodge complaints in writing; passengers should be able to identify airline, flight, security and airport staff at all times; passengers should have full access to information about their ‘Passenger Name Record’ (PNR) data and be informed of how their PNR data are used and with whom they are shared; all passengers, including children younger than two years of age , must be carried safely; air carriers to ensure that passengers with children can board easily with pushchairs in recognition of the fact that the young children travelling with adults may be classified as persons with reduced mobility (PRMs).

The Commission is asked to:

ensure that there is uniform interpretation and application of the Regulations and formalise a European network of enforcement bodies; draw up a standard form , translated into all EU languages to avoid any language problems, and to unify complaint procedures; make sure that national authorities comply with their financial obligations and to ensure that stranded passengers can be repatriated in the event of insolvency, bankruptcy, ceased operations or removal of an operating licence; ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the existing legislation on price transparency and unfair commercial practices ; blacklist specific unfair terms in the air transport sector; propose that it be made mandatory to provide a central information point, and specifically a website, and a low-cost telephone number and email address for air carriers, with a view to ensuring that consumers are properly informed; propose measures that would allow for passengers to correct minor booking details easily and free of charge and to withdraw from an online reservation within two hours of the initial booking; propose measures that would make it possible to harmonise commercial practice concerning hand luggage to allow them to carry on board a reasonable amount of hand luggage, including purchases from airport shops; examine the passenger protection issues related to new screening methods, such as security scanners, hand searches and passenger profiling; continue the information campaign launched in 2010 with a view to raising passengers’ awareness of their rights, and to encourage consumer networks, in coordination with enforcement bodies , to contribute as well.

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights: Members ask the Commission in any upcoming revision of the Regulation, to adopt clarifications of the notion of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and the definition of ‘cancellation’ as well as the rules governing provision of assistance and the right to redress and compensation. They believe that there is a strong need for clear rules regarding the content, accessibility, timing and accuracy of the information communicated to air passengers, which should cover the reason for any delay or cancellation, the expected duration of disruptions and what happens in the event of overbooking, as well as the alternative travel options available to passengers. They take the view that, in the event of loss, delay or damage to luggage, airlines must in the first instance compensate the passengers with whom they have concluded a contract, but that, at a later stage, the airlines must have a right to seek redress from airports or service providers if they are not responsible for the problem incurred by the passenger.

The Commission is asked to propose a maximum time limit of two months for industry and two months for enforcement bodies for handling of passenger complaints. Members want acknowledgement of receipt of complaints to be sent to passengers within 48 hours.

They feel that passengers who make their reservation by electronic means , such as the internet, should also be entitled to make contact, at no cost, with their airline using the same means, and with a clearly marked address for same, so that the customer can quickly and easily make contact with the relevant staff at the airline to resolve any problems. They take the view, furthermore, that a phone line and web service should be set up, via which passengers can obtain information on the progress of their complaints.

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air: the report stresses that PRMs and people with disabilities must be given equal air travel opportunities and unrestricted access to services. It emphasises the need to provide special protection for vulnerable consumer groups, especially PRMs and people with disabilities.

Members point out that, although flight safety is of major public interest, an airline cannot deny boarding to PRMs or people with disabilities on the grounds that they are unaccompanied. They underline that training of flight crews and other air carrier, airport and enforcement personnel plays a key role and must adequately cover the different and individual needs of PRMs and people with disabilities, with particular regard to boarding and disembarking and handling of assistive devices.

The report emphasises that the information formats , booking process and complaints procedures must be fully accessible. PRMs and people with disabilities should be able to communicate their assistance needs at the same time as booking their ticket and that the passenger should be provided with a confirmation of the assistance notification.

Members are of the opinion that minimum standards must be established for providing information in accessible formats for PRMs and people with disabilities at all EU airports, with particular regard to emergency situations.

The Commission is asked to:

facilitate barrier-free access for PRMs and people with disabilities to air transport servic es; draw up guidelines on the interpretation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, notably as regards the provisions on security and accompanying persons; implement an EU- wide action plan covering all measures to be taken by national authorities; submit a proposal ensuring that PRMs and people with disabilities have the right at all times to use safety-approved respiratory devices on aircraft free of charge; make efforts with a view to a possible modification of the Montreal Convention, so as to ensure that the mobility equipment of PRMs is compensated in full.

Lastly, the report insists that a ‘full service’ airline providing flight catering to passengers may not discriminate against passengers requiring special meals because of pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. coeliac disease or diabetes.) and that these special meals must be provided at no extra cost to the passenger in all cases of travel.

Documents
2012/02/27
   EP - Vote in committee
2012/01/16
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2012/01/12
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2011/12/06
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2011/07/14
   EP - PARVANOVA Antonyia (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in IMCO
2011/07/07
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2011/06/15
   EP - TAYLOR Keith (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in TRAN
2011/04/11
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
Details

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility (PRIM) when travelling by air, the Commission launched in 2009 two studies on the implementation of Regulation – the first evaluated the functioning of the Regulation in general, while the second study looked more specifically at the penalties applied in Member States to violations of the obligations under this Regulation. This report summarises the studies and draws the necessary conclusions in order to improve the functioning of the existing regulatory instruments.

Main conclusions of the studies : the report states that the legal framework set out in the Regulation and the principal assistance obligations have indeed been implemented in the Member States. This single protection scheme is now operational in Europe. As a result, there is a detailed list of specific assistance services that must be made available to the persons concerned free of charge. There is a clear division of tasks between airports and air carriers. Furthermore, the Regulation has seen establishment of a network of National Enforcement Bodies (NEB) in all Member States and genuine cooperation with the Commission but also with other bodies through the exchange of information and good practices.

Nonetheless, despite these positive aspects, the Commission also found certain problem areas. The adoption of the new rules varies from Member State to Member State and from one airport and one air carrier to another. The main difficulty is the lack of harmonisation and sometimes consistency concerning the different interpretations. The report identifies the following problems:

Difficulties related to the obligations of airports : the report notes that the quality of the service provided and its adaptation to PRMs' individual needs is sometimes insufficient. The information provided to passengers is often considered insufficient, and this remains one of the weakest points of implementation of the Regulation. The handling of mobility equipment is another source of concern.

Difficulties related to the obligations of air carriers : the studies and the complaints both indicate that air carriers have particular difficulties in applying the Regulation when it comes to refusing to accept reservations from or to embark PRMs owing to safety concerns. There seems to be some confusion over the definition of the safety criteria authorising derogations from the principle of non-discrimination. Whilst harmonising safety rules is a complex task that calls for the cooperation of the competent national authorities, nonetheless, the Commission here sets out simple principles for the derogations provided in the Regulation.

It goes on to discuss other problems encountered in relation to the obligations of air carriers, including issues related to in-flight assistance, problems related to mobility equipment, where the definition of mobility equipment that must be carried free of charge has resulted in conflicting interpretations, and problems related to insufficient information provided to PRMs about their rights when making a reservation or if denied boarding.

Difficulties related to the obligations of the national authorities: the report notes that difficulties have been identified concerning the uniform interpretation of the Regulation as well as the handling of passenger complaints and the application of penalties. There are great disparities between Member States. Another problem is that these authorities do not harmonise their actions sufficiently.

Other difficulties identified : the report goes on to discuss disagreements over the amount of and the method of calculating charges,

the difficulty in interpreting certain important definitions (e.g whether pregnant women, overweight people or young children are included

in the definition of persons with reduced mobility) and transporting and supplying medical oxygen. The Regulation does not provide a solution to the latter problem, but the use of medical oxygen on board is nonetheless an issue that must be resolved rapidly, as the present situation is unsatisfactory. The transport and use of medical oxygen must be harmonised in the EU.

Proposals for the future : overall the implementation of the Regulation is satisfactory and will continue to improve in the future, despite certain significant differences between air carriers and Member States and despite the fact that the public is not yet sufficiently well acquainted with the text. However, work still remains to be done. Therefore the Commission proposes a number of axes of improvement within the existing framework.

First axis: uniform interpretation of the Regulation . The Commission will:

propose that the NEB network be formally established as a group of experts from the national enforcement bodies; discuss with this group the guidelines for interpreting the Regulation, guidelines that it will adopt in a Commission document in order to enable as uniform an interpretation as possible of the provisions of the Regulation; ensure that a special effort is made to adopt a common interpretation of safety requirements that can be used to justify denial of reservation or boarding, acting with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); see to it that a consolidated list common to all Member States of the reasons that can serve as a basis for refusing to transport PRMs or for requiring the presence of an accompanying person is drawn up and made public.

Second axis: improving how the regulatory instruments work in practice . The Commission will:

see to it that an active information policy aimed at the public concerned by the Regulation is conducted at all times, especially among those who do not consider themselves handicapped but who are nonetheless covered by the definition of PRM; encourage the establishment of training programmes together with organisations representing PRMs in order to improve service and strive to apply the relevant European rules more efficiently; propose that the group of experts from the national enforcement bodies adopt measures so that notification of the need for assistance is requested already when the reservation is made and that documentary evidence thereof is provided.

Third axis: strengthening the efficacy of the penalties and their supervision by national authorities . The Commission and the group of regulators will discuss the possibility of establishing a common database to follow up the handling of complaints and the administrative and judicial decisions concerning the implementation of the Regulation. The Commission will also:

aim to introduce an action plan that is harmonised at the EU level and includes a detailed list of the actions national authorities should undertake (regular audits of operators, inspections in the field, etc.); encourage airlines to appoint a person that would be in charge of dispute resolution on the spot and would be authorised to immediately take the decisions necessary to settle a dispute with a passenger; with the NEBs, discuss the possibility of publishing a list of the penalties imposed and the operators concerned in order to reinforce the dissuasive nature of the penalties.

Fourth axis: handling the issue of medical oxygen . The Commission will encourage negotiations about a voluntary commitment among all parties concerning the use of medical oxygen on board. Failing this, it will consider adopting a general approach, either by a non-binding act or, if it is considered appropriate, by laying down binding rules. Any solutions should target the following three principal elements, in particular:

establishing certification schemes for the air transport of certain types of equipment that are allowed on board, on condition that the maintenance requirements are met; setting a maximum fixed fare applicable throughout Europe for the supply of oxygen on board; providing passengers with clear and detailed information on the conditions of supplying medical oxygen on board.

2011/04/11
   EC - Non-legislative basic document published
Details

PURPOSE: to present further actions to ensure respect for the rights of air passengers.

BACKGROUND: Regulation 261/2004 became applicable on 17 February 2005. It sets a minimum level of quality standards for passenger protection, adding an important citizen's dimension to the liberalisation of the aviation market. The novelty of some provisions of the Regulation has led to different interpretations, and thus varied application, among air carriers and national enforcement authorities (NEBs), rendering it difficult for passengers and stakeholders to understand the scope and limits of the rights set out in the Regulation.

Regarding the application of the Regulation the Commission in its Communication of 2007 identified different areas for improvement, namely, the lack of:

uniform interpretation and enforcement throughout the EU; clear and easily accessible means of complaint handling; and adequate information to passengers.

The Commission has asked stakeholders and EU institutions to continue their efforts to improve the application in order to ensure harmonised interpretation and enforcement of the Regulation and to report on it regularly, and after 6 years of application, the Commission is assessing again the implementation of the Regulation. According to different sources of information, there are three main conclusions to draw at this stage:

the difficulties in the application linked to the lack of both uniform interpretation and consistent enforcement at national level are still high; the striking differences between complaint handling procedures, deadlines to answer passengers and the non-legally binding nature and the scope of the NEBs' opinions frustrate passengers as well as weaken the application of the Regulation; passengers' awareness of their rights does not appear to have increased.

CONTENT: the objective of this report is threefold: (i) to list the developments since the adoption of the Regulation that may have an impact on its application; (ii) to follow up the measures undertaken since 2007, taking stock of the improvements in its application and the remaining obstacles; (iii) to identify further actions to ensure at short term further improvement of its application within the current legal framework provided by the Regulation, and to evaluate possible changes that may help to achieve better its political goals.

In spite of the progress made since 2007, the Commission considers that there are three areas where measures are still necessary to improve the application of the Regulation: effectively harmonised enforcement of EU rights, facilitation of their enjoyment in practice, and raising awareness about these rights. In this report the Commission has identified 12 actions to overcome the obstacles that passengers and the industry still face when applying and enjoying the rights provided by the Regulation.

- In the short term, these actions build on the mechanisms and procedures already in place, to better structure and use them.

- In the medium term, the Commission will carry out an assessment to evaluate the impact of the current Regulation and the different scenarios that may help to improve the protection of Air Passengers Rights and to keep pace with evolving socio-economic realities. This should allow the Commission to announce in 2012 which further measures, including those of a legislative nature, may appear necessary.

Thus, the Commission will:

work with relevant Member States to identify and overcome obstacles in national law hampering proper application and uniform enforcement of the Regulation, and will assess the opportunity to remove them by the opening of infringement procedures if necessary; implement a mandate and internal working rules for the existing NEB network –which will cover the various APR regulations- to improve their coordination at an appropriate level and to facilitate the adoption of common and relevant decisions on the interpretation and enforcement of the Regulation, including further clarification on extraordinary circumstances and on a reasonable and proportionate right to care; encourage better coordination at national level between the authority that issued the operating licence and the NEB to enhance enforcement measures, and between the different national bodies appointed as NEBs to step up the exchange of information about carriers' compliance; structure its contacts with all other key stakeholders through the creation of an APR Consultative Group , reflecting industry and passenger perspective on all issues related to air passengers' rights, and work with the future APR Consultative Group to encourage air carriers to establish reasonable and precise timeframes to handle passenger claims; encourage NEBs to make use of effective tools to exchange information , including on relevant national administrative and judicial decisions, to seek further coordination of their databases and further reporting on the application of the Regulation; promote a better level playing field among operators across the European area , amongst others by encouraging the publication of issued sanctions and/or of the operators' overall performance in complying with the Regulation; work with relevant Member States to identify and overcome shortcomings in their current national complaint handling bodies and procedures to lead towards a more efficient, quick and consistent complaint handling (at EU level) while ensuring the indispensable flow of information between the complaint handling and the enforcement bodies; ensure proper coordination of passenger rights legislation with the ongoing revision of existing or future EU measures on enforcement and redress, like those on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms or collective consumer redress ; promote a more uniform and quick handling of complaints , notably by submitting to the NEB network Group a common standard form to request information from carriers and a proposal on the competent NEB; work with the NEB Network and the APR Consultative Group to encourage airlines and other relevant operators to regularly report to NEBs on relevant data on the application of the Regulation; raise passengers' awareness on their rights, through widespread communication tools, such as the on-going Commission information campaign on passengers' rights, as well as through existing consumer networks, as the European Consumer Centres; launch in 2011 an Impact Assessment to assess the proportionality of the current measures in the light of experience and the costs of the regulation for stakeholders, with a view to propose further measures on Air Passenger Rights and in coordination with the ongoing revision of the Package Travel Directive (90/314/EEC), including of a legislative nature, in 2012.

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
254 2011/2150(INI)
2011/12/07 IMCO 59 amendments...
source: PE-478.422
2012/01/16 TRAN 195 amendments...
source: PE-480.549

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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  • date: 2011-04-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2011/0174/COM_COM(2011)0174_EN.pdf title: COM(2011)0174 type: Non-legislative basic document published celexid: CELEX:52011DC0174:EN body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/transport/index_en.htm title: Mobility and Transport Commissioner: KALLAS Siim type: Non-legislative basic document published
  • date: 2011-07-07T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL body: EP responsible: False committee: IMCO date: 2011-07-14T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: ALDE name: PARVANOVA Antonyia body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: ZASADA Artur group: S&D name: SASSOLI David-Maria group: ALDE name: GRIESBECK Nathalie group: ECR name: FOSTER Jacqueline group: GUE/NGL name: KOHLÍČEK Jaromír responsible: True committee: TRAN date: 2011-06-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Transport and Tourism rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: TAYLOR Keith
  • date: 2012-02-27T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL body: EP responsible: False committee: IMCO date: 2011-07-14T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: ALDE name: PARVANOVA Antonyia body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: ZASADA Artur group: S&D name: SASSOLI David-Maria group: ALDE name: GRIESBECK Nathalie group: ECR name: FOSTER Jacqueline group: GUE/NGL name: KOHLÍČEK Jaromír responsible: True committee: TRAN date: 2011-06-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Transport and Tourism rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: TAYLOR Keith
  • date: 2012-03-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2012-53&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0053/2012 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2012-03-29T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=21275&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-99 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0099/2012 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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  • body: EC dg: Mobility and Transport commissioner: KALLAS Siim
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docs
  • date: 2011-04-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2011/0166/COM_COM(2011)0166_EN.pdf title: COM(2011)0166 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2011&nu_doc=166 title: EUR-Lex summary: In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility (PRIM) when travelling by air, the Commission launched in 2009 two studies on the implementation of Regulation – the first evaluated the functioning of the Regulation in general, while the second study looked more specifically at the penalties applied in Member States to violations of the obligations under this Regulation. This report summarises the studies and draws the necessary conclusions in order to improve the functioning of the existing regulatory instruments. Main conclusions of the studies : the report states that the legal framework set out in the Regulation and the principal assistance obligations have indeed been implemented in the Member States. This single protection scheme is now operational in Europe. As a result, there is a detailed list of specific assistance services that must be made available to the persons concerned free of charge. There is a clear division of tasks between airports and air carriers. Furthermore, the Regulation has seen establishment of a network of National Enforcement Bodies (NEB) in all Member States and genuine cooperation with the Commission but also with other bodies through the exchange of information and good practices. Nonetheless, despite these positive aspects, the Commission also found certain problem areas. The adoption of the new rules varies from Member State to Member State and from one airport and one air carrier to another. The main difficulty is the lack of harmonisation and sometimes consistency concerning the different interpretations. The report identifies the following problems: Difficulties related to the obligations of airports : the report notes that the quality of the service provided and its adaptation to PRMs' individual needs is sometimes insufficient. The information provided to passengers is often considered insufficient, and this remains one of the weakest points of implementation of the Regulation. The handling of mobility equipment is another source of concern. Difficulties related to the obligations of air carriers : the studies and the complaints both indicate that air carriers have particular difficulties in applying the Regulation when it comes to refusing to accept reservations from or to embark PRMs owing to safety concerns. There seems to be some confusion over the definition of the safety criteria authorising derogations from the principle of non-discrimination. Whilst harmonising safety rules is a complex task that calls for the cooperation of the competent national authorities, nonetheless, the Commission here sets out simple principles for the derogations provided in the Regulation. It goes on to discuss other problems encountered in relation to the obligations of air carriers, including issues related to in-flight assistance, problems related to mobility equipment, where the definition of mobility equipment that must be carried free of charge has resulted in conflicting interpretations, and problems related to insufficient information provided to PRMs about their rights when making a reservation or if denied boarding. Difficulties related to the obligations of the national authorities: the report notes that difficulties have been identified concerning the uniform interpretation of the Regulation as well as the handling of passenger complaints and the application of penalties. There are great disparities between Member States. Another problem is that these authorities do not harmonise their actions sufficiently. Other difficulties identified : the report goes on to discuss disagreements over the amount of and the method of calculating charges, the difficulty in interpreting certain important definitions (e.g whether pregnant women, overweight people or young children are included in the definition of persons with reduced mobility) and transporting and supplying medical oxygen. The Regulation does not provide a solution to the latter problem, but the use of medical oxygen on board is nonetheless an issue that must be resolved rapidly, as the present situation is unsatisfactory. The transport and use of medical oxygen must be harmonised in the EU. Proposals for the future : overall the implementation of the Regulation is satisfactory and will continue to improve in the future, despite certain significant differences between air carriers and Member States and despite the fact that the public is not yet sufficiently well acquainted with the text. However, work still remains to be done. Therefore the Commission proposes a number of axes of improvement within the existing framework. First axis: uniform interpretation of the Regulation . The Commission will: propose that the NEB network be formally established as a group of experts from the national enforcement bodies; discuss with this group the guidelines for interpreting the Regulation, guidelines that it will adopt in a Commission document in order to enable as uniform an interpretation as possible of the provisions of the Regulation; ensure that a special effort is made to adopt a common interpretation of safety requirements that can be used to justify denial of reservation or boarding, acting with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); see to it that a consolidated list common to all Member States of the reasons that can serve as a basis for refusing to transport PRMs or for requiring the presence of an accompanying person is drawn up and made public. Second axis: improving how the regulatory instruments work in practice . The Commission will: see to it that an active information policy aimed at the public concerned by the Regulation is conducted at all times, especially among those who do not consider themselves handicapped but who are nonetheless covered by the definition of PRM; encourage the establishment of training programmes together with organisations representing PRMs in order to improve service and strive to apply the relevant European rules more efficiently; propose that the group of experts from the national enforcement bodies adopt measures so that notification of the need for assistance is requested already when the reservation is made and that documentary evidence thereof is provided. Third axis: strengthening the efficacy of the penalties and their supervision by national authorities . The Commission and the group of regulators will discuss the possibility of establishing a common database to follow up the handling of complaints and the administrative and judicial decisions concerning the implementation of the Regulation. The Commission will also: aim to introduce an action plan that is harmonised at the EU level and includes a detailed list of the actions national authorities should undertake (regular audits of operators, inspections in the field, etc.); encourage airlines to appoint a person that would be in charge of dispute resolution on the spot and would be authorised to immediately take the decisions necessary to settle a dispute with a passenger; with the NEBs, discuss the possibility of publishing a list of the penalties imposed and the operators concerned in order to reinforce the dissuasive nature of the penalties. Fourth axis: handling the issue of medical oxygen . The Commission will encourage negotiations about a voluntary commitment among all parties concerning the use of medical oxygen on board. Failing this, it will consider adopting a general approach, either by a non-binding act or, if it is considered appropriate, by laying down binding rules. Any solutions should target the following three principal elements, in particular: establishing certification schemes for the air transport of certain types of equipment that are allowed on board, on condition that the maintenance requirements are met; setting a maximum fixed fare applicable throughout Europe for the supply of oxygen on board; providing passengers with clear and detailed information on the conditions of supplying medical oxygen on board. type: Follow-up document body: EC
  • date: 2011-04-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2011/0174/COM_COM(2011)0174_EN.pdf title: COM(2011)0174 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2011&nu_doc=174 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to present further actions to ensure respect for the rights of air passengers. BACKGROUND: Regulation 261/2004 became applicable on 17 February 2005. It sets a minimum level of quality standards for passenger protection, adding an important citizen's dimension to the liberalisation of the aviation market. The novelty of some provisions of the Regulation has led to different interpretations, and thus varied application, among air carriers and national enforcement authorities (NEBs), rendering it difficult for passengers and stakeholders to understand the scope and limits of the rights set out in the Regulation. Regarding the application of the Regulation the Commission in its Communication of 2007 identified different areas for improvement, namely, the lack of: uniform interpretation and enforcement throughout the EU; clear and easily accessible means of complaint handling; and adequate information to passengers. The Commission has asked stakeholders and EU institutions to continue their efforts to improve the application in order to ensure harmonised interpretation and enforcement of the Regulation and to report on it regularly, and after 6 years of application, the Commission is assessing again the implementation of the Regulation. According to different sources of information, there are three main conclusions to draw at this stage: the difficulties in the application linked to the lack of both uniform interpretation and consistent enforcement at national level are still high; the striking differences between complaint handling procedures, deadlines to answer passengers and the non-legally binding nature and the scope of the NEBs' opinions frustrate passengers as well as weaken the application of the Regulation; passengers' awareness of their rights does not appear to have increased. CONTENT: the objective of this report is threefold: (i) to list the developments since the adoption of the Regulation that may have an impact on its application; (ii) to follow up the measures undertaken since 2007, taking stock of the improvements in its application and the remaining obstacles; (iii) to identify further actions to ensure at short term further improvement of its application within the current legal framework provided by the Regulation, and to evaluate possible changes that may help to achieve better its political goals. In spite of the progress made since 2007, the Commission considers that there are three areas where measures are still necessary to improve the application of the Regulation: effectively harmonised enforcement of EU rights, facilitation of their enjoyment in practice, and raising awareness about these rights. In this report the Commission has identified 12 actions to overcome the obstacles that passengers and the industry still face when applying and enjoying the rights provided by the Regulation. - In the short term, these actions build on the mechanisms and procedures already in place, to better structure and use them. - In the medium term, the Commission will carry out an assessment to evaluate the impact of the current Regulation and the different scenarios that may help to improve the protection of Air Passengers Rights and to keep pace with evolving socio-economic realities. This should allow the Commission to announce in 2012 which further measures, including those of a legislative nature, may appear necessary. Thus, the Commission will: work with relevant Member States to identify and overcome obstacles in national law hampering proper application and uniform enforcement of the Regulation, and will assess the opportunity to remove them by the opening of infringement procedures if necessary; implement a mandate and internal working rules for the existing NEB network –which will cover the various APR regulations- to improve their coordination at an appropriate level and to facilitate the adoption of common and relevant decisions on the interpretation and enforcement of the Regulation, including further clarification on extraordinary circumstances and on a reasonable and proportionate right to care; encourage better coordination at national level between the authority that issued the operating licence and the NEB to enhance enforcement measures, and between the different national bodies appointed as NEBs to step up the exchange of information about carriers' compliance; structure its contacts with all other key stakeholders through the creation of an APR Consultative Group , reflecting industry and passenger perspective on all issues related to air passengers' rights, and work with the future APR Consultative Group to encourage air carriers to establish reasonable and precise timeframes to handle passenger claims; encourage NEBs to make use of effective tools to exchange information , including on relevant national administrative and judicial decisions, to seek further coordination of their databases and further reporting on the application of the Regulation; promote a better level playing field among operators across the European area , amongst others by encouraging the publication of issued sanctions and/or of the operators' overall performance in complying with the Regulation; work with relevant Member States to identify and overcome shortcomings in their current national complaint handling bodies and procedures to lead towards a more efficient, quick and consistent complaint handling (at EU level) while ensuring the indispensable flow of information between the complaint handling and the enforcement bodies; ensure proper coordination of passenger rights legislation with the ongoing revision of existing or future EU measures on enforcement and redress, like those on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms or collective consumer redress ; promote a more uniform and quick handling of complaints , notably by submitting to the NEB network Group a common standard form to request information from carriers and a proposal on the competent NEB; work with the NEB Network and the APR Consultative Group to encourage airlines and other relevant operators to regularly report to NEBs on relevant data on the application of the Regulation; raise passengers' awareness on their rights, through widespread communication tools, such as the on-going Commission information campaign on passengers' rights, as well as through existing consumer networks, as the European Consumer Centres; launch in 2011 an Impact Assessment to assess the proportionality of the current measures in the light of experience and the costs of the regulation for stakeholders, with a view to propose further measures on Air Passenger Rights and in coordination with the ongoing revision of the Package Travel Directive (90/314/EEC), including of a legislative nature, in 2012. type: Follow-up document body: EC
  • date: 2011-12-06T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE476.095 title: PE476.095 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2012-01-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE472.374&secondRef=02 title: PE472.374 committee: IMCO type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2012-01-16T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE480.549 title: PE480.549 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2012-07-18T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=21275&j=0&l=en title: SP(2012)426 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2011-04-11T00:00:00 type: Non-legislative basic document published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2011/0174/COM_COM(2011)0174_EN.pdf title: COM(2011)0174 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2011&nu_doc=174 title: EUR-Lex summary: The Commission presents a Communication on the application of Regulation 9EC) 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights. The Regulation became applicable in 2005 and in 2007 the Commission issued a Communication where the main shortcomings related to the application of the Regulation were identified with a set of remedial measures. After 6 years, the Commission is again assessing the implementation of the Regulation. This report is part of the Commission's work to remove obstacles to preventing citizens from effectively exercising their rights under EU law, as launched by the EU Citizenship Report 2010 "Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens' rights". Thus, the objective of this report is threefold: (i) to list the developments since the adoption that may have an impact on the application of the Regulation; (ii) to follow up the measures undertaken since 2007, taking stock of the improvements in its application and the remaining obstacles; (iii) to identify further actions to ensure at short term further improvement of its application within the current legal framework provided by the Regulation, and to evaluate possible changes that may help to better achieve its political goals. The paper discusses developments since 2007 and notes that the number of passengers has increased by roughly 35% since 2000. It examines relevant case law and the lessons drawn from the volcano crisis of April 2010 , stating that there is no doubt that, without the Regulation, the chaos and cost for both European citizens and society as a whole would have been much bigger. NEBs now have to take the necessary measures against those few carriers which have refused to comply with the Regulation, to avoid both distortion of competition among carriers and passengers' frustration at any lack of compliance with the law. Nonetheless, the volcano has illustrated some of the structural limits of the Regulation , which have been tested under the magnified scale of the crisis. The proportionality of some current measures, like the unlimited liability regarding the right to care under major natural disasters, may merit assessment. Member States and the Commission need to reflect on how to ensure that, in the future, this vital support which in the volcano crisis was provided solely by part of the industry is correctly shared and financed. An assessment of the financial cost of the crisis istaking place. However this requires industry to provide the necessary relevant data, which may not yet be available given that a large number of passenger claims are still pending with NEBs or the competent national Courts. Among the measures aimed at preserving the mobility of passengers in a crisis situation, the Commission will explore possible ways to enhance the level of preparedness of all the different actors concerned. The temporary lifting of operational restrictions such as night flight restrictions could be envisaged. Follow up since 2007 : regarding the application of the Regulation the Commission in its Communication of 2007 identified different areas for improvement, namely, the lack of: uniform interpretation and enforcement throughout the EU; clear and easily accessible means of complaint handling; and adequate information to passengers. The paper outlines the actions taken to help harmonise the application and enforcement of the Regulation. It concludes, however, that: the difficulties in the application linked to the lack of both uniform interpretation and consistent enforcement at national level are still high; the striking differences between complaint handling procedures, deadlines to answer passengers and the non-legally binding nature and the scope of the NEBs' opinions frustrate passengers as well as weaken the application of the Regulation; passengers' awareness of their rights does not appear to have increased. While some of the shortcomings are directly linked to the Regulation, part of them stems from fragmented consumer protection legislation and the enforcement of such legislation in practice, particularly in cross-border situations. The report identifies 12 actions to overcome the obstacles that passengers and the industry still face when applying and enjoying the rights provided by the Regulation. In the short term, these actions build on the mechanisms already in place. In the medium term, the Commission will carry out an assessment to evaluate the impact of the current Regulation and the different scenarios that may help to improve the protection of APR and to keep pace with evolving socio-economic realities. This should allow the Commission to announce in 2012 which further measures, including those of a legislative nature, may appear necessary. Thus, the Commission will: work with relevant Member States to identify and overcome obstacles in national law hampering proper application and uniform enforcement of the Regulation, and will assess the opportunity to remove them by the opening of infringement procedures if necessary; implement a mandate and internal working rules for the existing NEB network –which will cover the various APR regulations- to improve their coordination at an appropriate level and to facilitate the adoption of common and relevant decisions on the interpretation and enforcement of the Regulation, including further clarification on extraordinary circumstances and on a reasonable and proportionate right to care; encourage better coordination at national level between the authority that issued the operating licence and the NEB to enhance enforcement measures, and between the different national bodies appointed as NEBs to step up the exchange of information about carriers' compliance; structure its contacts with all other key stakeholders through the creation of an APR Consultative Group, reflecting industry and passenger perspective on all issues related to air passengers' rights. It will also work with the future APR Consultative Group to encourage air carriers to establish reasonable and precise timeframes to handle passenger claims; encourage NEBs to make use of effective tools to exchange information, including on relevant national administrative and judicial decisions, to seek further coordination of their databases and further reporting on the application of the Regulation; promote a better level playing field among operators across the European area, particularly by encouraging the publication of issued sanctions and/or of the operators' overall performance in complying with the Regulation; work with relevant Member States to identify and overcome shortcomings in their current national complaint handling bodies and procedures to lead towards a more efficient, quick and consistent complaint handling (at EU level) while ensuring the indispensable flow of information between the complaint handling and the enforcement bodies; ensure proper coordination of passenger rights legislation with the ongoing revision of existing or future EU measures on enforcement and redress, like those on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms or collective consumer redress; promote a more uniform and quick handling of complaints, notably by submitting to the NEB network Group a common standard form to request information from carriers and a proposal on the competent NEB; work with the NEB Network and the APR Consultative Group to encourage airlines and other relevant operators to regularly report to NEBs on relevant data on the application of the Regulation; raise passengers' awareness on their rights, through widespread communication tools, such as the on-going Commission information campaign on passengers' rights, as well as through existing consumer networks, as the European Consumer Centres; launch in 2011 an impact assessment to assess the proportionality of the current measures in the light of experience and the costs of the regulation for stakeholders, with a view to propose further measures on Air Passenger Rights and in coordination with the revision of the Package Travel Directive (Directive 90/314/EEC) in 2012.
  • date: 2011-07-07T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2012-02-27T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2012-03-08T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2012-53&language=EN title: A7-0053/2012 summary: The Committee on Transport on Tourism adopted an own-initiative report by Keith TAYLOR (Greens/EFA, UK) on the functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air, in response to the Commission report on the subject. The committee welcomes the Commission’s commitment to analyse and revise the existing rules on air passenger rights aiming to improve the situation of passengers especially in the cases of long delay or cancellation. Members believe that proper application of the existing rules by Member States and air carriers , enforcement of sufficient and simple means of redress and providing passengers with accurate information concerning their rights should be the cornerstones of regaining passengers’ trust. The report stresses the following points: uniform handling of complaints in the Member States is necessary in order to create a level playing field; there is a need for a better definition of the enforcement body’s’ role ; these organisations should be independent of air carriers and airports and without conflicts of interest; national sanctions applicable to air carriers who are in breach of EU rules should be made more effective; complete information detailing passenger rights should be communicated by both air carriers and tour operators, in the language used during the booking of the ticket, throughout key stages of the journey, starting from when the passenger is considering whether to book a ticket, in a format which is readily comprehensible and accessible by everyone; air carriers should ensure that there is an immediate, simple, accessible way, at no extra cost, for passengers to lodge complaints in writing; passengers should be able to identify airline, flight, security and airport staff at all times; passengers should have full access to information about their ‘Passenger Name Record’ (PNR) data and be informed of how their PNR data are used and with whom they are shared; all passengers, including children younger than two years of age , must be carried safely; air carriers to ensure that passengers with children can board easily with pushchairs in recognition of the fact that the young children travelling with adults may be classified as persons with reduced mobility (PRMs). The Commission is asked to: ensure that there is uniform interpretation and application of the Regulations and formalise a European network of enforcement bodies; draw up a standard form , translated into all EU languages to avoid any language problems, and to unify complaint procedures; make sure that national authorities comply with their financial obligations and to ensure that stranded passengers can be repatriated in the event of insolvency, bankruptcy, ceased operations or removal of an operating licence; ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the existing legislation on price transparency and unfair commercial practices ; blacklist specific unfair terms in the air transport sector; propose that it be made mandatory to provide a central information point, and specifically a website, and a low-cost telephone number and email address for air carriers, with a view to ensuring that consumers are properly informed; propose measures that would allow for passengers to correct minor booking details easily and free of charge and to withdraw from an online reservation within two hours of the initial booking; propose measures that would make it possible to harmonise commercial practice concerning hand luggage to allow them to carry on board a reasonable amount of hand luggage, including purchases from airport shops; examine the passenger protection issues related to new screening methods, such as security scanners, hand searches and passenger profiling; continue the information campaign launched in 2010 with a view to raising passengers’ awareness of their rights, and to encourage consumer networks, in coordination with enforcement bodies , to contribute as well. Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights: Members ask the Commission in any upcoming revision of the Regulation, to adopt clarifications of the notion of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and the definition of ‘cancellation’ as well as the rules governing provision of assistance and the right to redress and compensation. They believe that there is a strong need for clear rules regarding the content, accessibility, timing and accuracy of the information communicated to air passengers, which should cover the reason for any delay or cancellation, the expected duration of disruptions and what happens in the event of overbooking, as well as the alternative travel options available to passengers. They take the view that, in the event of loss, delay or damage to luggage, airlines must in the first instance compensate the passengers with whom they have concluded a contract, but that, at a later stage, the airlines must have a right to seek redress from airports or service providers if they are not responsible for the problem incurred by the passenger. The Commission is asked to propose a maximum time limit of two months for industry and two months for enforcement bodies for handling of passenger complaints. Members want acknowledgement of receipt of complaints to be sent to passengers within 48 hours. They feel that passengers who make their reservation by electronic means , such as the internet, should also be entitled to make contact, at no cost, with their airline using the same means, and with a clearly marked address for same, so that the customer can quickly and easily make contact with the relevant staff at the airline to resolve any problems. They take the view, furthermore, that a phone line and web service should be set up, via which passengers can obtain information on the progress of their complaints. Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air: the report stresses that PRMs and people with disabilities must be given equal air travel opportunities and unrestricted access to services. It emphasises the need to provide special protection for vulnerable consumer groups, especially PRMs and people with disabilities. Members point out that, although flight safety is of major public interest, an airline cannot deny boarding to PRMs or people with disabilities on the grounds that they are unaccompanied. They underline that training of flight crews and other air carrier, airport and enforcement personnel plays a key role and must adequately cover the different and individual needs of PRMs and people with disabilities, with particular regard to boarding and disembarking and handling of assistive devices. The report emphasises that the information formats , booking process and complaints procedures must be fully accessible. PRMs and people with disabilities should be able to communicate their assistance needs at the same time as booking their ticket and that the passenger should be provided with a confirmation of the assistance notification. Members are of the opinion that minimum standards must be established for providing information in accessible formats for PRMs and people with disabilities at all EU airports, with particular regard to emergency situations. The Commission is asked to: facilitate barrier-free access for PRMs and people with disabilities to air transport servic es; draw up guidelines on the interpretation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, notably as regards the provisions on security and accompanying persons; implement an EU- wide action plan covering all measures to be taken by national authorities; submit a proposal ensuring that PRMs and people with disabilities have the right at all times to use safety-approved respiratory devices on aircraft free of charge; make efforts with a view to a possible modification of the Montreal Convention, so as to ensure that the mobility equipment of PRMs is compensated in full. Lastly, the report insists that a ‘full service’ airline providing flight catering to passengers may not discriminate against passengers requiring special meals because of pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. coeliac disease or diabetes.) and that these special meals must be provided at no extra cost to the passenger in all cases of travel.
  • date: 2012-03-29T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=21275&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2012-03-29T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-99 title: T7-0099/2012 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 509 votes to 20, with 53 abstentions, a resolution on the functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air, in response to the Commission report on the subject. General framework : Parliament welcomes the Commission’s commitment to analyse and revise the existing rules on air passenger rights aiming to improve the situation of passengers especially in the cases of long delay or cancellation. Members believe that proper application of the existing rules by Member States and air carriers , enforcement of sufficient and simple means of redress and providing passengers with accurate information concerning their rights should be the cornerstones of regaining passengers’ trust. They regret, however, that the enforcement bodies set up by the Member States do not always ensure effective protection of passenger rights, to the detriment of air passengers. They call therefore on Member States to devise working methods for the EBs, particularly as regards the handling of complaints and sanctions , that allow enforcement of passenger rights from the viewpoint of legal certainty. The resolution stresses the following points: uniform handling of complaints in the Member States is necessary in order to create a level playing field; there is a need for a better definition of the enforcement body’s’ role ; these organisations should be independent of air carriers and airports and without conflicts of interest; national sanctions applicable to air carriers who are in breach of EU rules should be made more effective; complete information detailing passenger rights should be communicated by both air carriers and tour operators, in the language used during the booking of the ticket, throughout key stages of the journey, starting from when the passenger is considering whether to book a ticket, in a format which is readily comprehensible and accessible by everyone; air carriers should ensure that there is an immediate, simple, accessible way, at no extra cost, for passengers to lodge complaints in writing; passengers should be able to identify airline, flight, security and airport staff at all times; passengers should have full access to information about their ‘Passenger Name Record’ (PNR) data and be informed of how their PNR data are used and with whom they are shared; all passengers, including children younger than two years of age , must be carried safely; air carriers to ensure that passengers with children can board easily with pushchairs in recognition of the fact that the young children travelling with adults may be classified as persons with reduced mobility (PRMs). Main recommendations : the Commission is asked to: ensure that there is uniform interpretation and application of the Regulations and formalise a European network of enforcement bodies; draw up a standard form , translated into all EU languages to avoid any language problems, and to unify complaint procedures; make sure that national authorities comply with their financial obligations and to ensure that stranded passengers can be repatriated in the event of insolvency, bankruptcy, ceased operations or removal of an operating licence; ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the existing legislation on price transparency and unfair commercial practices ; blacklist specific unfair terms in the air transport sector; propose that it be made mandatory to provide a central information point, and specifically a website, and a low-cost telephone number and email address for air carriers, with a view to ensuring that consumers are properly informed; propose measures that would allow for passengers to correct minor booking details easily and free of charge and to withdraw from an online reservation within two hours of the initial booking; propose measures that would make it possible to harmonise commercial practice concerning hand luggage to allow them to carry on board a reasonable amount of hand luggage, including purchases from airport shops; examine the passenger protection issues related to new screening methods, such as security scanners, hand searches and passenger profiling; continue the information campaign launched in 2010 with a view to raising passengers’ awareness of their rights, and to encourage consumer networks, in coordination with enforcement bodies , to contribute as well. Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights: Parliament asks the Commission in any upcoming revision of the Regulation, to adopt clarifications of the notion of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and the definition of ‘cancellation’ as well as the rules governing provision of assistance and the right to redress and compensation. Passenger information : Parliament believes that there is a strong need for clear rules regarding the content, accessibility, timing and accuracy of the information communicated to air passengers, which should cover the reason for any delay or cancellation, the expected duration of disruptions and what happens in the event of overbooking, as well as the alternative travel options available to passengers. Compensation : Members take the view that, in the event of loss, delay or damage to luggage, airlines must in the first instance compensate the passengers with whom they have concluded a contract, but that, at a later stage, the airlines must have a right to seek redress from airports or service providers if they are not responsible for the problem incurred by the passenger. Deadlines : the Commission is asked to propose a maximum time limit of two months for industry and two months for enforcement bodies for handling of passenger complaints. Members want acknowledgement of receipt of complaints to be sent to passengers within 48 hours. Electronic reservation : Parliament feels that passengers who make their reservation by electronic means , such as the internet, should also be entitled to make contact, at no cost, with their airline using the same means, and with a clearly marked address for same, so that the customer can quickly and easily make contact with the relevant staff at the airline to resolve any problems. It takes the view, furthermore, that a phone line and web service should be set up, via which passengers can obtain information on the progress of their complaints. Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air: the resolution stresses that PRMs and people with disabilities must be given equal air travel opportunities and unrestricted access to services. Denied boarding : Members point out that, although flight safety is of major public interest, an airline cannot deny boarding to PRMs or people with disabilities on the grounds that they are unaccompanied. Training : Parliament underlines that training of flight crews and other air carrier, airport and enforcement personnel plays a key role and must adequately cover the different and individual needs of PRMs and people with disabilities, with particular regard to boarding and disembarking and handling of assistive devices. Access to information : the resolution emphasises that the information formats , booking process and complaints procedures must be fully accessible. PRMs and people with disabilities should be able to communicate their assistance needs at the same time as booking their ticket and that the passenger should be provided with a confirmation of the assistance notification. Members are of the opinion that minimum standards must be established for providing information in accessible formats for PRMs and people with disabilities at all EU airports, with particular regard to emergency situations. The Commission is asked to: facilitate barrier-free access for PRMs and people with disabilities to air transport servic es; draw up guidelines on the interpretation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, notably as regards the provisions on security and accompanying persons; implement an EU- wide action plan covering all measures to be taken by national authorities; submit a proposal ensuring that PRMs and people with disabilities have the right at all times to use safety-approved respiratory devices on aircraft free of charge; make efforts with a view to a possible modification of the Montreal Convention, so as to ensure that the mobility equipment of PRMs is compensated in full. Lastly, the resolution insists that a ‘full service’ airline providing flight catering to passengers may not discriminate against passengers requiring special meals because of pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. coeliac disease or diabetes.) and that these special meals must be provided at no extra cost to the passenger in all cases of travel.
  • date: 2012-03-29T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/transport/index_en.htm title: Mobility and Transport commissioner: KALLAS Siim
procedure/Modified legal basis
Old
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 150
New
Rules of Procedure EP 150
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
TRAN/7/06423
New
  • TRAN/7/06423
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure EP 052
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
procedure/subject
Old
  • 3.20.01 Air transport and air freight
  • 4.10.06 People with disabilities
  • 4.60.06 Consumers' economic and legal interests
New
3.20.01
Air transport and air freight
4.10.06
People with disabilities
4.60.06
Consumers' economic and legal interests
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52011DC0174:EN
activities/0/docs/0/celexid
CELEX:52011DC0174:EN
activities/0/docs/0/url
Old
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2011/0174/COM_COM(2011)0174_EN.pdf
New
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2011/0174/COM_COM(2011)0174_EN.pdf
procedure/subject/1
Old
4.10.06 Disabled people
New
4.10.06 People with disabilities
activities
  • date: 2011-04-11T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2011/0174/COM_COM(2011)0174_EN.pdf title: COM(2011)0174 type: Non-legislative basic document published celexid: CELEX:52011DC0174:EN body: EC type: Non-legislative basic document published commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/transport/index_en.htm title: Mobility and Transport Commissioner: KALLAS Siim
  • date: 2011-07-07T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL body: EP responsible: False committee: IMCO date: 2011-07-14T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: ALDE name: PARVANOVA Antonyia body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: ZASADA Artur group: S&D name: SASSOLI David-Maria group: ALDE name: GRIESBECK Nathalie group: ECR name: FOSTER Jacqueline group: GUE/NGL name: KOHLÍČEK Jaromír responsible: True committee: TRAN date: 2011-06-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Transport and Tourism rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: TAYLOR Keith
  • date: 2012-02-27T00:00:00 body: EP type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL body: EP responsible: False committee: IMCO date: 2011-07-14T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: ALDE name: PARVANOVA Antonyia body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: ZASADA Artur group: S&D name: SASSOLI David-Maria group: ALDE name: GRIESBECK Nathalie group: ECR name: FOSTER Jacqueline group: GUE/NGL name: KOHLÍČEK Jaromír responsible: True committee: TRAN date: 2011-06-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Transport and Tourism rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: TAYLOR Keith
  • date: 2012-03-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2012-53&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0053/2012 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2012-03-29T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=21275&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2012-99 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0099/2012 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs committee: EMPL
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: IMCO date: 2011-07-14T00:00:00 committee_full: Internal Market and Consumer Protection rapporteur: group: ALDE name: PARVANOVA Antonyia
  • body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: ZASADA Artur group: S&D name: SASSOLI David-Maria group: ALDE name: GRIESBECK Nathalie group: ECR name: FOSTER Jacqueline group: GUE/NGL name: KOHLÍČEK Jaromír responsible: True committee: TRAN date: 2011-06-15T00:00:00 committee_full: Transport and Tourism rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: TAYLOR Keith
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/transport/index_en.htm title: Mobility and Transport commissioner: KALLAS Siim
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
TRAN/7/06423
reference
2011/2150(INI)
title
Functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air
legal_basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Initiative
Modified legal basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 150
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject