Bust airlines

MEPs back compensation for grounded passengers:If your airline goes bankrupt and leaves you stranded what are your legal rights? Members of the Parliament’s Transport Committee want grounded passengers to have access to a special compensation fund. In the last decade almost 100 airlines across the European Union have gone bankrupt – leaving thousands of holiday makers and business flyers out of pocket and stuck at a foreign airport.Sabena, Sky Europe and Olympic Airlines are just three of the large carriers that have gone bankrupt due to a combination of high fuel costs, competition and new security measures after 9/11.Transport Chair Brian Simpson speaks of “clear loophole”On 7 October during the plenary session in Brussels, the Chair of the all-party Transport Committee, Brian Simpson (Labour, North West of England), formally asked the European Commissioner for Transport Antonio Tajani to set up “a reserve compensation fund” and consider updating passengers’ rights legislation.He told fellow MEPs that “here we have a clear loophole and it would be preferable for all if we could work together and fill it in”.He added: “We have also floated the idea of establishing a reserve compensation fund, but this must not be seen as a demand. We merely wish to open up the debate as to what mechanism will help us best solve this problem.”Transport Commissioner Tajani backs compensationCommissioner Tajani told Members that “passengers should indeed receive compensation. We are working on specific measures to find the best solution. One solution is a compensation fund derived from airlines’ contributions. Another would be changes in bankruptcy law in the member states”.There is a consensus across the Parliament’s main political groups that the European Union needs to do more to help passengers stranded by bankrupt airlines. A Parliamentary resolution is due to be tabled later in the autumn.Source: 20091002STO61739

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