EU travelers - do you know your rights?
Wednesday 30 June 2010
The European Commission has launched a campaign to make members of the public aware of their rights as passengers as the busy summer travel season gets underway.
A new website in 23 languages was officially launched June 29, reminding passengers that they are legally entitled to protection when something goes wrong with trips in the European Union.
Leaflets and posters are also set to go on display in airports and train stations across Europe.
Passengers traveling on trains and planes within the European Union should benefit from the same standard of treatment in all countries, with strict rules governing how transport providers deal with delays, cancellations, luggage loss and also how they treat people with a disability or reduced mobility.
EU regulations stipulate, for example, that if a flight is canceled, passengers have the right to choose between reimbursement or rerouting, even during exceptional circumstances such as the volcanic eruption in Iceland, which significantly affected air travel in April.
On railways, passengers must be informed if journeys are going to be disrupted or delayed, which trip is going to be the fastest and the cheapest and what services will be offered on board.
EU rules also stipulate when compensation must be paid to passengers for both air and rail journeys - passengers on train journeys delayed between one and two hours, for instance, would be entitled to compensation worth 25 percent of the price of their ticket.
"As millions of Europeans prepare to set off for a well deserved holiday this summer, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to travel, knowing that they have rights and how to get support in claiming them if they need to," said EU Vice-President Siim Kallas.
"There can never be too much information. We hope that with eye catching posters in airports across Europe, and using leaflets and online information [in] all EU languages we can reach out to millions of passengers travelling this summer and in the months to come."
Find out more about your rights as a passenger in Europe at http://ec.europa.eu/passenger-rights
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