In its efforts to mitigate the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission published on March 18 guidelines to ensure EU passenger rights are applied in a consistent manner across the EU, the Commission said.
National governments have introduced different measures, including travel restrictions and border controls.
The purpose of these guidelines is to reassure passengers that their rights are protected.
European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “In light of the mass cancellations and delays passengers and transport operators face due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission wants to provide legal certainty on how to apply EU passenger rights.
“In case of cancellations the transport provider must reimburse or re-route the passengers. If passengers themselves decide to cancel their journeys, reimbursement of the ticket depends on its type, and companies may offer vouchers for subsequent use.
“Today’s guidelines will provide much-needed legal certainty on how to apply EU passenger rights in a coordinated manner across our Union. We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation, and, if need be, further steps will be taken.”
The guidelines are also expected to help reduce costs for the transport sector, which is heavily affected by the outbreak.
The guidelines (available in full here) cover the rights of passengers when travelling by air, rail, ship or bus/coach, maritime and inland waterways, as well as the corresponding obligations for carriers.
(Photo: Griszka Niewiadomski/sxc.hu)