Once again, stranded passengers offered nothing but fine words

4 January 2006

Once again, stranded passengers offered nothing but fine words

For almost a year passengers affected by delays, overbooking or cancellations of flights on which they have booked have had the rights to a reasonable amount of compensation. Yet in blatant disregard of this right, the great majority are being fobbed off with a bunch of flowers. SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer is asking the European Commission to take its own rules seriously and ensure that they are respected and applied.

Erik Meijer“Only those passengers who are angry enough, and who have an exceptional amount of time and energy to invest in chasing up their rights have any chance of in the end receiving more compensation than initially offered,” explained Mr Meijer. Passengers are generally speaking not informed by the airlines involved that they have since February of last year had the right to a level of financial compensation specified by the European Union. In practice this means therefore that as far as passengers has concerned absolutely nothing has changed in relation to the situation before the new law was brought in. They are still being fobbed off with fine words and often, in this case, a bunch of flowers.”

Erik Meijer is asking the European Commission whether this is only a problem in the Netherlands, or if the same thing is happening in most EU member states. “If this is the case then we must evidently conclude that the European legislation with regard to compensation for stranded passengers is has turned out to be unenforceable. Unenforceable rules are of no use, so I would also like to know from the Commission what they intend to do to bring this measure into effect.”

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