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The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the application of three regulations:

– Regulation (EC) No 889/2002 on air carrier liability in the event of accidents, which transposed the Montreal Convention into EU Law, with special attention to the specific case of mobility equipment checked in by disabled passengers;

– Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights (“the APR regulation”);

– Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 on the rights of passengers with reduced mobility (“the PRM regulation”).

The Commission is considering a revision of the Directive and is therefore undertaking an impact assessment of such revision.

Specifically, the Commission notes that the “this public consultation touches upon the development of new business practices or existing practices that are increasingly being used but are not covered by the above Regulations, and which may have an impact on air passengers.”

The on-line questionnaire covers the following fields:

– mishandled luggage

– Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004

– PRM Regulation 1107/2006

– business practices:

– reservation and check-in online
– rescheduling of flights
– “no-show” policy
– reduced space between plane rows
– air carrier insolvency.

Through many of the questions, the Commission tests the field on an extension of the existing passenger rights, such as:

– compensation in case of mishandled baggage

– harmonisation among air carriers of rules on size/weight of baggage (checked-in and on-board)

– compulsory training for ground handling staff

– harmonization of complaint handling procedures and the obligation for carriers to reply before a fixed deadline

– harmonization of e-booking and check-in practices

– handling of errors by passengers during check-in or booking

– rules in case of rescheduling of flights (including reimbursement)

– further regulation of minimum distance between rows.

IACA has been invited to send their input to the questionnaire to the Commission.  IACA’s input can be viewed here.