Court of Auditors Special report No 30/2018: EU passenger rights are comprehensive but passengers still need to fight for them
1. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has produced a report which examines the implementation of existing EU passenger rights regulations across the transport modes – air, rail, waterborne and bus. The ECA interviewed the Commission, European associations and passenger organisations, visited ten Member States and ran two passenger surveys in the course of their audit. The UK was not specifically covered by the report.
2. The ECA has powers to submit observations and make recommendations on specific policy questions in the form of a special report at the request of any part of the EU Institutions.
3. The report notes that in 2011 the Commission set out ten core passenger rights which are common to all transport modes. These are rights to: non-discrimination in access to transport; mobility; information; refusal to travel in case of disruption; fulfilment of contract in the event of disruption; assistance during delays and cancellations; compensation under certain circumstances; transport operator liability to passengers and their luggage; quick and accessible complaint handling systems; full and effective enforcement of EU law.
4. The ECA chose to examine the existing EU passenger right regulations, with a special focus on EU air passenger rights which came into force nearly 15 years ago, to analyse whether their scope and reach adequately protected the rights of passengers, whether passengers were sufficiently aware of their rights and how to pursue them and whether the regulations were effectively enforced.