Back to top

New Commission Rules Aim to Improve Traveler Rights in the EU

The European Commission announced this week that it had adopted a set of proposals that strengthen traveler rights and improve the overall travel experience.

According to Commission data, some 13 billion passengers traveling by plane, train, coach, bus, or ferry in the EU every year are covered by EU passenger rights. This figure is expected to reach 15 billion by 2030.

The new rights include clear rules on reimbursement when flights or multimodal trips are booked via an intermediary so that passengers are better protected against cancellations and disruptions.

Additionally, they also aim to ensure smoother journeys, especially those involving different travel services or transport modes, providing passengers with access to direct support and real-time information on delays and cancellations, among others.

Special attention has been given to the needs of passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility to address and facilitate the switch between transport modes and improve quality assistance where needed.

The regulations also strengthen enforcement mechanisms.

New rules also focus on:

  • refunds – travelers will be entitled to a refund within 14 days
  • clearer rights for travelers and clarify the obligations and responsibilities of package organizers
  • travelers offered a voucher will receive clear information that they may insist on a refund and will be informed of the characteristics of the voucher before accepting it. Such vouchers will be refunded automatically if not used before the end of their validity period
  • down payments made by travelers for packages may not be higher than 25 percent of the package price, except for when organizers face costs justifying a higher down payment
  • organizers cannot ask for the total payment earlier than 28 days before the start of the package
  • clearer information: holidaymakers will receive clear information on whether a combination of travel services constitutes a package, who is liable if there are problems, and their rights.