During the plenary session of the European Parliament on 6th February 2014, MEP Zofija Mazej Kukovič (EPP/SDS) voted in favour of the Proposal for a Regulation establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights and the Regulation on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air.
In the past few years, major changes have taken place in the airline industry, which are the result of an increased number of passengers and flights inside the European Union. This development has been mostly positive, however, it brings with it a number of questionable practises. This has reduced the quality of services, which in turn negatively affect negatively passengers.
In her introduction, Mazej Kukovič said that ?The report is balanced in such a way that on one hand it increases the rights of passengers, but on the other hand, it takes into consideration that airlines are employers that give jobs to people. Even smaller airline companies have to be taken into consideration, for example in Slovenia, where we only have one small airline, and which, like those similar to it, can be very sensitive to stringent rules?.
The new Proposal for a Regulation deals with and defines the right to compensation in the case of long delays, the protection of passenger rights in cases of unpredictable or extraordinary circumstances, the right to information and transparency of prices. It also defines the length of time passengers can wait inside the plane on the runway, the right to permitted luggage and the circumstances surrounding lost luggage.
Mazej Kukovič concluded by saying: ?What is positive about the rights of passengers is that they will make life easier for the elderly and the handicapped. Today a third of all European is over 65 years old and we have to take this into consideration, especially when complications arise?.