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UJHELYI: CONSUMER PROTECTION ACTION PLAN DRAFTED FOR LOW-COST AIR PASSENGERS

 

A draft action plan for the protection of consumer rights tailored for low-cost air passengers has been completed after a lengthy coordination process, MEP István Ujhelyi, of the opposition Socialists, said. Ujhelyi, who had initiated the proposal, said he had submitted the document to European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean. “It is important that minimum expectations should in the future apply not only to low-cost airlines but also to conventional services,” he said. “The low-cost business model is a welcome development but scandals in the recent period have made it necessary to prepare a ‘code of ethics’ for consumer protection,” he added. The package submitted to the commissioner covers issues such as the smooth transfer of bookings, ways to effectively inform travellers about changes to flights and providing drinking water to passengers onboard in case of delays in departure, he said. It also proposes that airlines should not be allowed to charge premium rates for customer service by telephone and they should be obliged to transfer compensation within thirty days in the cases of justified claims, he added. Ujhelyi expressed hope that the code of ethics could become legislation in the future and it could be expanded to apply to the whole of a new and sustainable “ecosystem of air transport” currently under formation.