Michael Trout - Jul 19, 2010
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European Parliament proposes new rights for bus, ferry and ship passengers, which would be similar to those of air passengers. Passengers should be compensated if their bus, ferry or ship is late. The EU member states do not have any problems with the sea transport but they are not able to reach agreement with respect to regulations on buses.


Bus, ferry and ship passengers may in future have right to claim compensation in case of delays or cancellations. The European Parliament has proposed regulations about the passengers' rights when their means of transport is delayed. Similar rules are already enforced on planes and trains. Unlike sea transport there has not yet been a consensus among the member states about the same rights for bus passengers.

According to Czech MEP Jan Březina, passengers should get refund of a quarter of the price they paid for their ticket if the company in question is responsible for the delay that is longer than one hour. Half of the ticket price should be paid if the delay is longer than two hours. A transport company should be also responsible for the loss of baggage up to €1,800 and up to €1,300 for hand luggage.

MEPs agreed on the new rules with member states because their consent is necessary for the regulation to be enforced. This is, however, only the case of sea transport in which area the new rules should come into force two years after the states formally agree with it.

As reported, bus transportation is a more complicated question because states would like it to be defined in a different way than the EP proposed. They want to redefine what kind of busses or routes the new rules would apply on. The question is whether the rules would apply also to intercity buses or only to buses traveling between states. It is still unsure if the rules will be enforced as the negotiations are likely to continue in weeks and months to come.

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