The European Parliament approved on Wednesday stricter rules to protect the rights of air passengers.
MEPs want to make it easier for travelers to claim economic compensation from their airlines in the event of a delayed or cancelled flight.
"Passengers have a right to compensation under our rules after three hours of delay, 300 Euros until 2500 km, and then after 5 hours, 500 Euros and after 7 hours, up to 6000 Euros and 6000 kilometres, the complete system is improved. Deadlines must be respected and airlines can not refuse to respond to complains. Basically information must be improved and this begins with the booking operations and reservations." said EPP MEP Georges Bach.
Under the new measures, consumers could be compensated up to €6000 depending on the length of the delay and flight distance.
The revised rules would also require airlines to better inform passengers about their rights and would lay out procedures for complaints and reimbursements.
'Full transparency on the ticket price to better compare prices including checked luggage, the authorisation to carry more than one bag in the cabin, and the obligation for the airline to set up contact info points in airports in case of a problem. all this is included in our balanced text which provides better rights for passengers and realistic obligations for airlines. This is a good base for discussion with the Council." said S&D French MEP Bernadette Vergnaud.
But aviation analysts say the risk for travelers is that airlines would pass on the extra costs. The new law is likely to come into force next year, after negotiations with EU member states.