EU proposals aim to improve rights and refund rules for passengers

The European Union is planning new rules to reinforce travellers’ rights and improve the legislation regarding refunds.

Under the proposed shake-up, passengers who buy air tickets through intermediaries such as travel agencies will have more clarity who will reimburse them – the transport operator or the intermediary.

The revised Passengers Rights Regulation and 2015 Package Travel Directive would also mean that people with disabilities travelling by air can be accompanied by someone flying for free, if the airline obliges them to travel accompanied.

Travellers being refunded through vouchers would receive an automatic refund if the vouchers are not used before the end of their validity period.
Furthermore, the right to get refunded within 14 days is reaffirmed under the proposals.

And prepayments for travel packages at the time of booking will be limited to 25% of the package price up until 28 days before departure.

The European Commission is also proposing to create a ‘common European mobility data space’ which will make it easier to access and share transport data for businesses and passengers.

“The new suggested rules will encourage Member States to proactively monitor travel issues and not only respond when complaints are there,” the EC said in a statement.

“If enacted, the Commission would be able to ask EU countries to investigate and take action where necessary.”

In October, a newly named Air Passenger Travel Guide was released by the UK Department for Transport. Formerly known as the Aviation Passenger Charter, it details what people can expect from airlines, travel agents, tour operators and airports, and what do if things do not go to plan.

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