Volume 1 (2012)
Volume 1 (2012) / Issue 3
Christian Schuster-Wolf, 'Aktuelle Probleme bei der Anwendung der Fluggastrechte-VO 261/2004/EG und Perspektiven bei der geplanten Reform aus der Sicht des Passagiers' (2012) 1 Journal of European Consumer and Market Law, Issue 3, pp. 149–163
Regulation 261/2004/EC is one of the most important sources of travel-law. It establishes rules on compensation, reimbursement or re-routing and assistance to passengers in the events of denied boarding, cancellation or delay of flights. Since it has come into force on 17.02.2005 a lot of problems have arisen, airlines do not comply with the regulation or the judgements by the CJEU, complaint handling and enforcement are not effective. National enforcement bodies should take the measures necessary to ensure that passenger rights are respected, but there is no uniform interpretation and application of the Regulation because of different national processes and legislation on sanctions in the member states. And obviously there is a need for clarification of some provisions of the Regulation, nevertheless the CJEU has delivered seven judgements by now. Different problems and possible action have been discussed in articles, communications and consultations by European Commission, studies, position papers and a resolution by European Parliament. Examples from the practical experience of the author illustrate the current situation from the perspective of a passenger, respectively a consumer organisation. But since 2011 it seems likely that the Regulation will be revised. In this regard it is of great importance to consider the resolution on the functioning and application of established rights of people travelling by air, adopted by the European Parliament in March 2012, calling for more EU action to strengthen air passenger rights. The consultation on the possible revision of the Regulation, launched by the European Commission in December 2011, is also analysed in this article. Finally it is relevant to take a look at the opinion delivered by Advocate General Bot in the pending joined cases Nelson ea and TUI Travel ea, which are dealing the controversial judgement in joined cases Sturgeon ea and Böck and Lepuschitz.
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