EU Air Passenger Rights – do you know what they are?

Who loves legal regulations and aviation law?

(Cough splutter cough I hear you all say)

OK, I agree 99% of tourists don’t ever read the small print on their travel insurance policy, or the fare conditions for their airfares – BUT, are you aware of your air passenger rights within the European Union (EU)?

I have only had to exercise legal jargon once, at Heathrow International Airport, many years ago after an engine malfunction left my long-haul flight delayed by 10 hours.  Consequently, I was the only passenger who knew the regulations within the EU and the airline wasn’t happy when I requested meal vouchers for the entire plane after a wait of a few hours….

Why knowing your passenger rights is important

Many people will be taking flights over the festive season so I thought it was a prime opportunity to remind readers of your air passenger rights within the EU.

I have two passenger groups I am particularly interested in providing this information for:

1)  Persons with reduced mobility (PMR)

2)  Musicians traveling with instruments

PMR passengers are often unaware or overwhelmed about their rights for carriage, so if I can help ease the travel process my job is done. New regulations have been updated that full compensation will be permitted for damage to mobility equipment, which is great news as it means passengers will no longer be left out of pocket by airline thresholds on equipment value.

Musicians have been given a tough ride over the years by airlines, with valuable instruments being denied on-board carriage.  Mobility is absolutely vital to individual musicians, orchestras, bands and music ensembles whose careers rely largely on tours and concerts abroad for theatre productions, opera houses, ballet and dance companies, festivals, comedy events and even circus performances.

A vote was held by the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament, in December 2013, for amendments to the “Revised Regulation (EC) No 2027/97 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air’.

This rule amendment includes provisions which allow musicians to take under clearly described conditions musical instruments on airplanes, and to not have their carriage in the cabin denied unless for safety or technical reasons.  Of course, a violin is a small instrument that can be stowed in cabin storage (as is a guitar in a soft case), however a cello is much larger and you may have to pay for an extra seat.   Tip: If you are unsure if your musical instrument with fit the aircrafts cabin specifications, you can look at the aircraft type on your itinerary and check out the plane’s specifications on Seat Guru.  Naturally, a small regional jet will have less cabin storage than a Boeing 747 or Airbus 🙂

Here are the relevant links to the EU Passenger Regulations:

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-203_en.htm

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2014-0092+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

I hope you find this blog article useful if you experience any airline delays, cancellations, baggage mishandling or you are a PMR passenger or touring musician.  Please share this post on Facebook, and retweet on Twitter. Thanks!

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One thought on “EU Air Passenger Rights – do you know what they are?

  1. Pingback: Does technology help or hinder our lives? | Access Riviera

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