Consumer protectionMost EU consumers are unaware of their passenger rights

The European Commission has published the results from the Eurobarometer on passenger rights in the EU today. It reveals that less than half of EU citizens know that legislation at EU level is in place to protect passenger rights for all different modes of travel.

Between February and March 2019, 27,973 EU citizens were interviewed for this consumer survey, in which the category of ‘travelers' was defined as citizens who have traveled by air, long-distance rail, coach, ship or ferry in the past 12 months.

These are more details:

  • From the pool of all respondents including 'travelers' as well as 'non-travelers', 32 percent know that passenger rights exist in the EU for all transport modes. Only 14 percent are specifically aware of rights for air travel, 8 percent for rail, 5 percent for coach and 3 percent for travel by ship or ferry.

  • With a share of 43 percent, the subgroup of 'travelers' is more likely to know about passenger rights given that they have used any of the transport modes.

  • The percentage of travelers who felt well informed by the transport company about their passenger rights before traveling varies with the transport mode: 40 percent for air passengers, 29 percent for ship or ferry and 26 percent for rail as well as coach passengers.

  • Considering all different travel modes, 26 percent of respondents made an official complaint to the transport company for a disruption that occurred during the travel. While 55 percent of those who complained about a disruption were satisfied with how their complaint was handled, only 37 percent claimed to be satisfied with how the transport company informed them about complaints procedures.

  • 72 percent of respondents who experienced a travel disruption did not make an official complaint, because they felt it was useless to do so (45 percent) and that the amount of money involved was seen as too small (25 percent).

Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport, said: “The European Union is the only area in the world where citizens are protected by a full set of passenger rights. However, these rights need to be better known and easier to understand and to be enforced. Our rules should also provide more legal certainty to passengers and the industry. This is why the Commission proposed to modernize air and rail passenger rights. We now need Council and the European Parliament to swiftly reach agreement on them to ensure that people traveling in the EU are effectively protected."

Source: EC

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