Fabian Demicoli

Compensation and assistance for ship passengers

Ship passengers will benefit from greater rights to compensation and assistance in the event of delays or cancellation of their journey.

 

Disabled persons and those with reduced mobility will be protected against discrimination and will receive appropriate assistance at embarkation and disembarkation as well as on board. These are the main elements of a new regulation adopted by the Council of the EU on October 11.Passengers will be offered the choice between re-routing or reimbursement of their fare if the departure of a passenger service or a cruise is cancelled or delayed for more than 90 minutes.

In such cases, the carrier will also be bound to provide assistance, including refreshments or meals and, where necessary, accommodation to the value of up to 80 per night for a maximum of three nights. However, the right to accommodation does not apply if the delay or cancellation is caused by bad weather.

The new rules also provide for compensation for late arrival. Excluded from compensation are delays due to weather conditions or extraordinary circumstances.

Passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility cannot be refused transport, except for reasons of safety or unsuitable ship design. However, to receive assistance they must inform the carrier of their needs at least 48 hours in advance. If the person needs to be accompanied, the companion is allowed to travel free of charge.

The regulation pertains to ships carrying more than 12 passengers. Services covering a distance of less than 500 metres are excluded, as are sightseeing tours other than cruises.

The new legislation will be applicable two years after its publication in the EU's Official Journal. The EU has already introduced similar legislation in the field of air and rail transport.

Source: MEUSACNews

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