Fabian Demicoli

European union, more rights for air passengers

New measures to strengthen the rights of passengers:
this is the objective of the biggest reform of EU rules in the field of air
transport presented on last 13 March in Brussels. According to the document, subject to the approval to
Member States and the Parliament, the new laws are due to come into force in
early 2015.

In particular, if the flight is more than 12 hours
late or is cancelled, the airline must book passengers on other carriers if
they cannot offer the service with their aircraft within 24 hours. Under the changes, airlines might also have to pay for
a maximum of three nights hotel accommodation. Airlines will be obliged to give passengers
information about why their flight was cancelled within 30 minutes of its
scheduled departure.

"Passenger rights may very well exist on paper but we
all need to make use of these rights when they are most needed, ie, in the
event of a problem, "says the European Commissioner for Transport Siim

He adds: "We are aware that the real priority for
stranded passengers is simply to go home, and that is why we focus on
information management and service and boarding on an alternative flight when
staying on the ground".

Besides, the new rules also clarify what is considered
"exceptional circumstances". Technical problems on board an aircraft
shall not be regarded as exceptional circumstances for example but natural
disasters, strikes or air traffic control are.

There are also news regarding complaints; airlines
will have to respond to passengers within tight deadlines (one week to
acknowledge receipt of the complaint and two months to provide a formal

If there are disputes, passengers can turn to court
bodies responsible for the management of complaints to settle the dispute
(simple and inexpensive).

What we can do for you










The Malta Chamber of SMEs represents over 7,000 members from over 90 different sectors which in their majority are either small or medium sized companies, and such issues like the one we're experiencing right now, it's important to be united. Malta Chamber of SMEs offers a number of different services tailored to its members' individual requirements' and necessities. These range from general services offered to all members to more individual & bespoke services catered for specific requirements.

A membership with Malta Chamber of SMEs will guarantee that you are constantly updated and informed with different opportunities which will directly benefit your business and help you grow. It also entails you to a number of services which in their majority are free of charge and offered exclusively to its members (in their majority all free of charge).