Less than half of EU travelers are aware of EU Passenger Rights

The Eurobarometer survey results will now feed into two ongoing legislative procedures

Photo: EC European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean

Only 43% of EU citizens who have traveled by air, long-distance rail, coach, ship or ferry in the previous 12 months know that the EU has put in place rights for passengers, a new Eurobarometer survey on passenger rights in the European Union shows.

As stated by the Commission's press office EU legislation to protect passenger rights and ensure they are not lost in a myriad of national rules has been introduced for all transport modes last year. This is unique in the world, with no other continent offering passengers of all modes such protection. To raise awareness about these rights, the Commission has made legislative proposals for air and rail passenger rights, published guidelines, and established regular communication about relevant case law.

Yet, the results of the survey show that 68% of all respondents (including those who did not travel with one of the transport modes referred to above in the last 12 months) do not know such passenger rights exist in the EU, for air, rail, coach or ship or ferry transport. Of the remaining 32% that have stated they have heard of them, only 14% of them showed they are specifically aware of air travel, 8% for rail, 5% for coach and 3% for travel by ship or ferry.

"These rights need to be better known and easier to understand and enforce. Our rules should also provide more legal certainty to passengers and the industry," Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean, said.

The survey results will now feed into two ongoing legislative procedures, on rail and air passenger rights, as well as evaluations of the rights of bus & coach passengers, the rights of ship and ferry passengers, and the rights of air passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility. Accessibility to multimodal transport for these passengers, as well as other travelers, will also be considered in this context.

"We now need Council and the European Parliament to swiftly reach agreement on them to ensure that people traveling in the EU are effectively protected," Valean added.

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