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


Man voting on elections in Europe
23.02.2018 - 17:59

People should know who can become the Commission President

"Europe should not be an elite project. It must become more of a project for the people again. This is why we need more democracy and...
22.02.2018 - 11:39

End rebate logic - we all benefit from EU budget

“The EU budget must be strengthened without penalising taxpayers. Post-2020, we have to stop rebates, compensations and end the logic of...
Online shopping with digital tablet
22.02.2018 - 10:10

Shop like at home

Whether buying online or offline from another EU Member State, European consumers will in the future be entitled to a harmonised level oF protection...
Combines harvesting wheat
21.02.2018 - 18:14

Evaluation and authorisation of pesticides needs to hold up to scrutiny

After the controversy surrounding the renewal of the use of glyphosate in farming, the European Parliament has set up a Special Committee to...

Highlights of the week

26.02.2018 - 02.03.2018
Palm growing from pile of euros

New Tax Committee: artificial shifting around of companies' profits must end

Parliament is setting up a new special committee on Thursday to look further into the problem of the tax evasion and tax avoidance of multi-national...
Germany, Frankfurt, European Central Bank, low angle

EP hearing for ECB Vice-President candidate Luis De Guindos

The Ecofin Council, which gathers together the EU's 28 Finance Ministers, confirmed at its meeting on 20 February the nomination of Spanish...
A bee on a flower

Honey bees in trouble

The European Parliament will debate the future of beekeeping at its mini-Plenary on Wednesday. "We must keep an eye on our bees as their role in...