The basis for this is in particular three EC Regulations. The German Federal Aviation Office (LBA) monitors compliance with these regulations by airlines, airports and tour operators.
Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 entered into force as early as on 17 February 2005. The so-called “Denied Boarding Regulation” laid down the claims of passengers for compensation and assistance in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.
If airlines do not comply with this Regulation, passengers can report to the LBA. If the reports are substantiated within the framework of administrative offence proceedings, the LBA can impose fines on the respective air carriers. This is to ensure that the air carriers comply with the Regulation in the future.
Passengers have to bring any compensation claims under the Denied Boarding Regulation directly against the airlines or assert the claims within the framework of civil proceedings. As these claims are claims under civil law, the LBA will not take action.
According to the judgement of the European Court of Justice of 19 November 2009, passengers can now also claim compensation under the Regulation in case of so-called arrival delays:
In interpretation of the Denied Boarding Regulation and in application of the principle of equal treatment, the ECJ found that, just like in the case of cancellation, compensation was due also in the case of arrival delays.
The ECJ expressly links this compensation with the delayed arrival at the point of destination, starting with a delay of more than three hours.
Another major basis for comprehensive passenger rights is Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. This regulation will make it possible to permanently ensure reliable and barrier-free mobility also for these air travellers.
This is guaranteed by Europe-wide information and assistance obligations that air carriers and airports need to meet.
In this context, airports are responsible for organizing the provision of continuous assistance to persons with reduced mobility from their arrival at the airport to their departure and vice versa. Moreover, during the flight, air carriers are obliged to provide to passengers certain assistance free of charge.
Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 is the most recent European regulation and established, among others, important requirements for price transparency when consumers book flights.
With regard to pricing, the Regulation requires air carriers to increase transparency. From now on, carriers will have to specify taxes, airport charges, other charges, surcharges or fees in addition to the indication of the final price. Other price supplements for optional services (e.g. travel cancellation insurance) have to be communicated in a clear, transparent and unambiguous way at the start of any booking process. What is more, the Regulation prohibits any price discrimination based on the nationality or place of residence of the passenger.