European Union has introduced updated air passenger rights that are expected to take place in 2015 after all member states have ratified the new legislation.
Under the current EC 261/2004 legislation air passengers have right for cash compensation of 125/400/600 euros when the flight is delayed more than 3 hours depending of the distance of the origin and destination.
Under the new legislation the delay needs to be at least 5 hours before the compensation requirement kicks in. This is for flights within EU or international flights shorter than 3500 kilometers
The compensation doesn’t kick in before nine hours on up to 6000 kilometers and 12 hours on flights longer than that.
You can read my piece about: SAS Delay, Rebooking to LH/AY and 400 Euro Compensation per EU261/04 (& Not So Finest Lufthansa Employees in Frankfurt that was a mess.
Hare are some other changes:
– Airlines need to pay for maximum of 3 nights of hotel accommodation
– Airlines are required to book even on rival carriers if the delay is more than 12 hours
– Airlines are required to correct spelling mistakes of names without a charge
– If aircraft is on tarmac or more than an hour, the passengers must be able to use lavatories.
It has been very difficult for compensation eligible passengers under EC 261/2004 to actually collect the money that they are due from the airlines. They have often needed to drag the airlines to court before they have paid up. Under the new legislation, airline needs to acknowledge claim within a week and provide a formal reply within two months.
Overall, the airline lobbyist in Brussels must be more satisfied with this proposed new legislation, as it is more airline friendly than the current one.