Over 15% of the complaints that were received by the UK European Consumer Centre during the first six months of this year were made about transport services. This included all types of complaints that ranged from being charged for a car parcel shelf to trouble obtaining an airline ticket refund that was originally made via a third party booking agent. UK consumers often have problems with EU traders within the transport sector, but some of the countries that they complained about the most included Ireland, Spain, Germany, and France.
In an effort to improve the rail service for EU passengers new legislation came into practice in December of 2009 that offers better protection to the passengers. The intent of the new legislation was to offer higher quality services. These rights spread across all of the international routes throughout the EU although there are a few countries in the EU that have not yet acknowledged and implemented them.
In some cases the rights also extend to domestic train services dependent on the decisions that were made by national governments. The EU transport website offers a clearer picture of all the rail services that are covered by the legislation.
In terms of flying, a passenger carries EU air passenger rights so long as the flight leaves from a country in the EU or arrives at a country within the EU flown by a carrier that is licensed within the EU.
This also applies to the countries of Iceland, Switzerland, and Norway. If a flight is delayed for over two hours then under a regulation passed by the EC in 2004 passengers can claim reimbursement for refreshments and meals although some airlines will simply offer vouchers. In addition, depending on the length of the delay you may be entitled to an overnight hotel stay.