The European ombudsman has called on the European Union to change the advice it gives to air passengers relating to compensation when flights are cancelled or delayed.
P. Nikiforos Diamandouros has given his support to airline associations claiming that an EU campaign of leaflets, posters and a video were misleading, Ireland Online reports.
The information given implied that compensation should always be paid out when a flight is cancelled, and should be paid out immediately. This is not correct, Diamandouros said, adding that passengers could not always expect cash payments when flights were delayed, as was insinuated.
In fact, there are several exceptions to the general rule of compensation, which occur when an alternative flight is offered, when more than two weeks’ notice is given before the cancellation, and when “extraordinary circumstances” come into play.
Further, cash payments are not automatically given to passengers if their flight is delayed, although the airline is obliged to serve food during delays of between two and four hours.
Diamandouros’ office said that the European Commission “should as soon as possible correct the inaccurate and misleading statements identified by the ombudsman and present its apologies to the complainant”.
Separately, the EU has indicated that it wants to begin talks with Canada for an open skies agreement that could result in cheaper fares for passengers.