News

Better air passenger rights will change the way we travel

Georges BACH
05.02.2014 - 12:00
Photo of Georges Bach, MEP holding a little airplane

When I was nominated Rapporteur for the Air Passenger Rights Regulation, in other words made responsible for the negotiations, I knew it wouldn't be easy to improve consumer rights against the huge lobbies of airlines. It is a real David and Goliath story.

Passengers’ complaints against airlines must be taken more seriously

In order to find out what customers were most concerned about and where improvements were most needed, I decided to take an unconventional but simple approach: I sent an email to everyone who works in the European Parliament - as they travel all the time - asking them to fill out a short questionnaire in order to get a better understanding of passengers' experiences.

Better air passenger rights are of interest to just about every citizen of the European Union. Today, merely 2% of passengers actually get compensation after filing a complaint against an airline Georges Bach

I was blown away by the response. I received over 250 replies with pages of real life stories: holiday trips with the children, business trips or a simple weekend abroad. Everyone had a story to tell which underlined how helpless they felt when something went wrong.

Better air passenger rights are of interest to just about every citizen of the European Union. Today, merely 2% of passengers actually get compensation after filing a complaint against an airline. And frankly, it reminded me of why I wanted to work in politics.

Vote in plenary defends the passenger rights of all of us

It has been 11 months since I sent out the questionnaire and during this time I have met with over 50 stakeholders. If I look at the compromise text we voted in plenary, I am very satisfied. OK, it's not perfect but then again, it's a compromise text with 766 Members representing 500 million citizens.

However, I can truly say that if this text had applied when all those people who responded to my questionnaire travelled, every single one of them would have received an answer to their submitted complaint and nearly everyone would have been eligible for compensation.

Making travel easier and with more certainty will allow us to travel more with the flexibility and trust that we will reach our destination on time.

So, better air passenger rights actually do change the way we travel!

We believe in people. #believeinpeople

MEPs Involved
current_meps - 97293.jpg
Rapporteur

Latest

pharmacy
13.09.2018 - 12:40

Dual Quality Products: what you see is what you should get

The European Parliament today proposed concrete measures to solve the problem of quality differences between products sold under the same brand and...
Copyright law, defending consumers, State of the Union, Future of Europe
13.09.2018 - 12:30

Copyright law, defending consumers, State of the Union, Future of Europe

The European Parliament has approved legislation to help online content creators earn their fair share through a stronger EU copyright law. It also...
Business woman working on desk
12.09.2018 - 13:31

EPP Group leads EP in protection of independent journalism

The European Parliament stands behind journalists, creators, authors, publishers and legitimate copyright right-holders. This is the outcome of today...
Euro Currency: Stacks of 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro notes piled together
12.09.2018 - 13:03

Stopping terrorists' access to financing

The EPP Group insists on improved controls of cash at Europe's external borders to fight the financing of terrorism and organised crime. The...

Highlights of the week

10.09.2018 - 14.09.2018
Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group

The State of the Union

Members of the European Parliament and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker will hold the annual State of the Union debate on...
Protect creativity without creating borders

Copyright in the Digital Single Market

On Tuesday 11 September, members of the European Parliament will hold a debate on the long-awaited copyright reform. The file has returned to the...
Woman checking food labelling

Dual quality products: what you see is what you should get

The European Parliament will vote on Thursday on a Report that will propose measures to solve the problem of quality differences between products...