Brussels, 29 June 2010
Transport: Commission launches campaign to inform passengers about their rights
Passengers will enjoy easier access to information about their rights when travelling by rail or air thanks to a Europe-wide publicity campaign in 23 languages launched by the European Commission today. Although the Commission has in recent years introduced legislation to ensure air and rail passengers benefit from the same standards of treatment throughout the European Union, not all passengers are yet aware of what they are entitled to. To remedy this, posters reminding people of their rights will be displayed in airports and train stations in all Member States starting today in time for the beginning of the holiday season. Travellers will also be able to consult free leaflets and a specially designed website in all of the European Union's official languages.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "As millions of Europeans prepare to set off for a well deserved holiday this summer, we want to make it as easy as possible for them to travel, knowing that they have rights and how to get support in claiming them if they need to. There can never be too much information. We hope that with eye catching posters in airports across Europe, and using leaflets and online information all EU languages we can reach out to millions of passengers travelling this summer and in the months to come."
As part of the Your Passenger Rights At Hand campaign a website has been launched on http://ec.europa.eu/passenger-rights. Here people are able to find out what their rights are for each of the transport modes. Leaflets and posters outlining basic rights will also be available at anything from train stations to airports. All of this is available in all of the EU's official languages so that it is possible to get informed in the own language.
Passenger rights stipulate what people are entitled to when things go wrong during their trip. For example when their journey gets delayed or cancelled, or when their luggage gets lost or damaged. They also guarantee equal treatment for people with a disability or reduced mobility.
The Commission is working on extending passenger rights to other transport modes. In particular, it has launched proposals for passengers travelling by sea or inland waterways and for those travelling by bus or coach. Depending on legislative developments at European Parliament and Council, such proposals might be adopted as early as this year.
As soon as this happens, passengers will be updated through the campaign, which will run over two years.