EU sets out new rights for air firms and stranded passengers

Marion Dakers
AIR passengers stranded for more than 12 hours will be entitled to a flight on a rival airline under rules proposed in Europe yesterday.

However, other benefits such as free food and accommodation will be capped at three nights, to prevent carriers being landed with massive bills for exceptional events such as a volcanic eruption.

The European Commission also wants to raise the length of delays passengers must face before they can claim compensation to five hours for intra-EU and short-haul journeys, up from three hours.

European politicians outlined the plan amid growing concern from passengers and carriers that the uncertain rules were creating confusion and expense.

The Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in 2011 cost the airlines an estimated £1.1bn, stranded millions of passengers across Europe and sparked a wave of lawsuits.

Berwin Leighton Paisner competition partner Chris Bryant said the proposals stand a good chance of becoming law, but added: “The legislative passage of the original regulation was far from smooth and so it remains to be seen how this proposal fares.”