New phone app on instant traveller rights
Passengers stranded at airports or waiting for missing luggage may now use a smartphone application to check their rights immediately. Just in time for the summer holidays, the European Commission has launched an application for smartphones which covers air and rail transport and works on Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android, RIM Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7.
The app is available in 22 EU languages. It currently covers air and rail transport and will be extended to coach and marine travel next year when these rights come into force. It makes use of device local storage to avoid the need for data connectivity while travelling.
For each potential problem, the app explains a passenger’s rights. For example, if a flight is cancelled and the passenger is consequently denied boarding, he or she may be entitled to compensation of between €125 and €600. If luggage is damaged as a result of an accident, passengers may also be entitled to compensation.
Rail and air companies are obliged to provide transparent information on pricing and assist passengers with reduced mobility.
The app provides information on who to contact to lodge a complaint. During a large-scale emergency, like the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis in 2010, the app may also display travel information and advice from the European Commission.
The application is part of the Commission’s ‘passenger rights at hand’ campaign and is downloadable from app stores, by scanning a QR code, or at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/en/index.html .