Brussels forces airlines to treat us nice
When you fly, it often feels like you’re about as appreciated and loved as a discarded Ryanair scratchcard. Your bags are left in Switzerland, and if you want a refund because they’ve cancelled your flight, airlines can get frostier than a wing tip at 35000 feet.
There’s already an EU directive catchily called ‘EU261’, which means that airlines have to refund cancelled flights, but often they like not to tell you about that, and let you go through the courts for compensation instead.
But thanks to new reforms proposed by the European parliament in Brussels, airlines are now going to have to behave themselves and put their bad attitude in the overhead locker.
From 2014, when the laws come into effect, airlines must book you on a rival carrier if they can’t take you to your destination within 12 hours. They also have to put you up in a hotel for a maximum of 3 days if you’re stranded. And if everything goes tits up on the tarmac, airline staff will have to give you water, put on air conditioning and open the bogs. In addition, they’ll be obliged to tell you what the hell is going on 30 mins before your flight is cancelled.
So, basically, airlines might start treating us like human beings, rather than irritating wasps with suitcases on wheels. Hurray!