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Representation in Ireland
News article29 November 2023Representation in Ireland1 min read

EU passengers rights boost: Travellers to get refunds for cancelled flights within 14 days, according to European Commission proposal

Travellers will get refunds for cancelled flights within 14 days according to a series of legislative proposals, adopted by the European Commission and designed to improve the experience of passengers and travellers by strengthening their rights.

Image of rail passenger checking their phone with text "Improving the passenger experience"

The proposed changes will clarify rules on reimbursement when flights or multimodal journeys are booked via an intermediary, so that passengers are better protected against cancellations. This will be facilitated because package organisers, most of whom are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will have the right to a refund from service providers within 7 days. The fact that they get their refund within one week enables them to, in turn, refund their clients within two weeks in total.

The new rules will also provide for smoother journeys, especially those involving different travel services or transport modes, ensuring that passengers have access to direct support and enhanced real-time information, for example on delays and cancellations. Special attention is also paid to the needs of passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility to address and facilitate the switch between transport modes and improve quality assistance where needed.

The Commission proposals build on lessons learned, including the recent experiences of the COVID-19 crisis and the bankruptcy of the travel group Thomas Cook in 2019, which had a major impact both on travellers and on the travel market.

The EU has the strongest passenger rights frameworks in the world, but that does not mean that we should not do even better, learning from more than a decade of experience in this area. In addition to improving the way existing rules are applied and enforced, we are looking to fix three main gaps with these proposals: First, to ensure passengers are equally well protected and cared for when booking their tickets with intermediaries; second, to extend protections to passengers who combine different modes in one journey; and third, to step up special assistance for passengers with disabilities and ensure that their right to travel in dignity is respected.

Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport

For more information

European Commission press release

2023 Proposal to amend the Package Travel Directive

Webpage - Package travel directive

Q&A on the Review of Passenger's rights framework

Q&A on the revision of Delegated Regulation on EU-wide multimodal travel information service (MMTIS) and a common European mobility data space 

Q&A on revision of Package Travel Directive



Publication date
29 November 2023
Representation in Ireland