Following the closure of airspace and airports in more than 8 EU counties including Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, due the volcanic eruption in Iceland, European Commission wants to ensure passengers that their rights continue to apply regardless of the exceptional circumstances.
"The volcanic ash cloud is a very significant threat to air safety. National authorities are required to take decisions to ensure safety under international law, such as closure of airspace and airports, without discrimination between airlines. In this case, the airports and those responsible for air traffic control have taken very swift and appropriate action to safeguard the public. And there is excellent co-ordination and co-operation at European level, notably within Eurocontrol. But even in exceptional circumstances EU passenger rights continue to apply and air travelers should speak up to claim their rights," said vice president of transport Siim Kallas.
The passengers still havethe right to receive information from airlines (e.g. on your rights, on the situation as it evolves, cancellations and length of delays),the right to care (refreshments, meals, accommodation as appropriate),the right to chose between reimbursement of fares or be re-routed to final destination.
In an exceptional circumstance such as this, passengers are not however entitled to additional financial compensation that would be the case where delays or cancellations are the fault of the airline. (BBJ Online)