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UK European Consumer Centre

How EU legislation has improved consumer protection in the last 10 years - part four

Balloons with decals of the UK ECC happy birthday onThe consumer advice organisation UK European Centre takes a look 

Here is the final consumer right we want to report on:

Air Passenger Rights Regulations 261/2004 came into force February 2005

The regulations say that consumers must not be charged more for flight tickets based on their nationality or where the ticket is purchased. Consumers are also offered protection when a flight is cancelled, delayed or overbooked.

  • An example of this is the case of Mr B, a consumer who lives in the UK, who took a flight with his wife on an airline based in Germany. 

The flight between Germany and the UK was delayed and the consumer and his wife arrived at their destination approximately five hours after they were scheduled to.  The consumer contacted the trader in the first instance but the German airline would not offer compensation, as set out by the Regulation EC 261/44.

Mr B contacted the UK European Consumer Centre as he had tried all he could to resolve the dispute.  We shared details of the complaint with our counterpart office in Germany and asked them to contact the airline on the consumer’s behalf to inform them of their obligations.

The airline replied to us and agreed with our assessment of the case.  They offered the consumer the standard compensation amount of €400 per passenger.  On this occasion we recovered €800 for the consumer where he had previously been unsuccessful.

Although the legislation was put in place longer than 10 years ago, it has been defined by a number of judgements of case law.  

See the UK ECC's new 'Trains, planes, cars and boats' booklet.

This is the final extract in our series of EU legislation which has improved consumer protection over the last 10 years: it forms part of the UK ECC’s10th anniversary.

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