The European Union’s transport council recently announced a decision to effectively double the compensation paid to passengers who are unable to be accommodated on the flights on which they are booked.
The decision, however, will increase costs for European carriers, says the Association of European Airlines.
Nevertheless, the association says the full-service airlines it represents would apply the new levels and at the same time continue their efforts to minimize what was already a very small number of affected customers.
The association noted that in the course of the political debate, the European Parliament had been able to ensure that the final outcome of the regulation was a balanced one. Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, secretary general of the association said that “in the ideal world, no-one should be left behind, but equally, no one should be refused a booking on a flight that the airline knows, with almost absolute certainty, will have empty seats at departure time.”
He added that “an unhappy customer is a lost customer, and airlines that care about their customers will -voluntarily- do all they can to look after them on the rare occasions where difficulties arise.”
The Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourism Agents has been in the front line for some time now in efforts to force airlines to treat its traveling customers more fairly.