easyJet, Europe’s leading low cost airline, today confirmed its ongoing commitment to high levels of customer service and is ready for the entry into force of the new EU rules on passenger compensation.easyJet supports the objective of the new EU legislation - to hold airlines accountable for the level of customer service provided during times of disruption and to improve the experience of the travelling public.
However, the legislation that will come into effect today, is a piece of bad law that is unfairly biased against the airline industry and thus damaging. easyJet believes that ultimately the new EU rules will fail to achieve their objective.
Whilst easyJet already provides much of what is being introduced in this new legislation and exceeds in some areas to ensure its passengers are adequately looked after in times of disruption, the airline is concerned that there are three main areas that must be redressed:
* The legislation only applies to airlines, which is seemingly in breach of EU rules to treat all forms of transport identically.
* Compensation should not be a flat rate, but rather proportional to the fare paid. At present easyJet’s average fare is £42 one way, under the new legislation the compensation will start at £172 for a one-way flight.
* The confusion that stems from the poor wording of the legislation will prove misleading in terms of what passengers will be entitled to. At present, it is not crystal clear what liability falls on airlines as each delay or cancellation will need to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
The unintended consequence of this law will be that airlines will be penalised because of the increase in costs and confusion for the passenger. easyJet will continue to call on the European Commission and various European Governments to commit themselves to an immediate review of the legislation. easyJet invites the EU to work with the industry to come up with a practical and effective solution to what is probably the most flawed piece of European legislation in recent years.
easyJet Chief Executive Ray Webster warned:
“easyJet will look after its passengers and will implement the legislation from tomorrow. What started as a good piece of legislation to prevent traditional airlines bumping off passengers through overbooking has become a bad piece of legislation and will cause unnecessary confusion and conflict between airlines and their customers”.