The Regulation establishes minimum rights for passengers when they are denied boarding against their will, their flight is cancelled or their flight is delayed. Depending on the circumstances, passengers are entitled to a combination of assistance (meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation if necessary, etc.), compensation ranging between 250€ to 600€ and/or a right to reimbursement or rerouting.

Visit the EU website for further information on National Enforcement Bodies and EU complaint form.

In 2013 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a revision of Regulation 261/2004 as well as Regulation 2027/97 regarding air carrier liability in respect of the carriage baggage by air. Until the adoption of the new Regulation, the Commission has published Interpretative Guidelines on the current Regulation. 


The Regulation aims at reinforcing air safety within the Community and information to passengers by (1) establishing and publishing a Community black list of air carriers which, for safety reasons, are subject to an operating ban, and (2) informing passengers of the identity of the air carrier operating the flights on which they travel.

[ View updated EU Air Safety list ]


Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when traveling by air

The above Regulation establishes rules to protect disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility against discrimination and to ensure that they receive appropriate assistance free of charge.

[ View obligations of tour operators and travel agents ]

[View Commission guidelines on the application of Regulation 1107/2006]


The two Regulations above transpose into Community law the rules outlined by the Montreal Convention, which established the liability scheme of air carriers in cases of delay, damage to baggage, passenger injury and death.

In 2013 the European Commission adopted a proposal for a revision of Regulation 2027/97 as well as Regulation 261/2004 on establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.


When a tour operator or a travel agent goes bankrupt, there are financial guarantees in place to protect passengers, under the EU Directive on package travels and in the framework of the IATA Passenger Agency Programme . However, no such mechanism is in place for airline failures despite the increasing number of airline failures, which cause serious detriment to passengers.

Since 2010, ECTAA has been stressing to the European institutions the importance of introducing in European legislation provisions obliging airlines to protect passengers in case of bankruptcy.

In the meantime, the European Commission commissioned two studies on passenger protection against airline bankruptcy. 

[ View the 2011 study ]

In 2013 the Commission issued a Communication on passenger protection in the event of airline insolvency. In light of the difficult situation of the airline industry in Europe, the Commission has decided against the introduction of legislation and proposed instead a number of non-legislative measures. In 2015 the Commission reviewed the effectiveness of the measures and assessed whether a legislative initiative is needed to guarantee the protection of passengers in case of airline insolvency. Possibilities available for passengers. Financial monitoring should be increased. 

[ View Commission Communication ]

In 2014, IATA announced a new arrangement to help passengers impacted by airline bankruptcy. There has been a voluntary agreement on behalf of its members flying to, from and within Europe covers the repatriation of passengers unable to return home due to an airline ceasing operations as a result of financial failure.

ECTAA deeply regrets that the protection of EU passengers against airlines failure has not been addressed in the Aviation Strategy adopted on 7th December 2015 by the EU Commission. Between May 2017 and June 2019, there have been 35! airline failures, many in the EU - Monarch, Air Berlin, Germania and FlyBMI, just to name a few. 


This Regulation constitutes the recast of the third package for air transport liberalization in the Internal Market, which provides for a simplified and updated framework concerning the grant and oversight of operating licenses of Community air carriers, market access, aircraft registration and leasing, public service obligations, traffic distribution between airports and pricing. 

Concerning the price of air tickets, the Regulation provides an obligation on all operators to present a final price including the air fare, taxes, charges, surcharges and fees that are applicable, foreseeable and unavoidable at the time of publication of the price. It also provides for the specification of the composition of the price and for a clear presentation of optional supplements on an opt-in basis. It prohibits any discrimination with regard to the access to fares based on the nationality or the place of residence of the customer or on the place of establishment of the travel agent or ticket seller within the Community.

There is currently a parallel evaluation and impact assessment conducted with a revision likely coming up.


Computerized Reservation Systems (CRSs) are systems that centralize schedules and fares of participating air and rail carriers and enable subscribing travel agents to provide instantaneous information on fares and availability to customers, to confirm customers' bookings and issue tickets.

The CRS code of conduct aims at guaranteeing that CRS operate in a transparent and non-discriminatory way, preventing distortions of competition in the air transport supply chain for air and rail transport.

CRSs must provide information on fares and availability in a neutral manner without bias. The CRS code of conduct prohibits carriers that can have decisive influence on a CRS from discriminating against other CRSs and carriers. The marketing data resulting from the use of a CRS, directly or through third parties, must not identify travel agents, corporate clients or travellers. The identification of a travel agent is however possible with the latter’s agreement.

On 7th December 2015 the European Commission adopted an Aviation Strategy to boost the competitiveness of the EU airlines and announced a number of legislative initiatives to be taken in coming years. Regarding the CRS Code of Conduct, the Commission pointed out that the EU rules governing airline ticket distribution as provided in the Regulation may no longer be suited for today's market. The Commission is currently evaluating the existing rules in light of the changes observed in 2018. A revision is likely coming up. 


Directive (EU) 2016/681 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime

The EU PNR Directive obliges airlines to hand EU countries their passengers' data in order to help the authorities to fight terrorism and serious crime. The Directive aims to regulate the transfer from the airlines to the Member States of PNR data of international flights, as well as the processing of this data by the competent authorities.

The obligation for travel agents to transfer passengers’ data was removed from the scope of the Directive. However, Member States have the possibility to impose it under their national legislations.

At the international level, the Commission adopted a strategy on the global approach to transfers of PNR data to non-EU countries and elaborated a set of principles in 2010. Since then the EU concluded bilateral agreements on PNR transfers with US, Canada and Australia. The Court of Justice in its Opinion of 26 July 2017 decided that the agreement between the EU and Canada signed on 25 June 2014 may not be concluded in its current form. New PNR negotiations with Canada were launched in June 2018. More third countries request PNR data, namely South Korea, Russia, Japan, Brazil or Mexico.


IATA Passenger Sales Agency resolutions and procedures

IATA accredited travel agents are subject to a set of rules, laid down in the Passenger Agency Programme, which are established by a conference composed of IATA member airlines (Passenger Agency Conference). ECTAA participates in IATA consultative bodies at global level to monitor and provide input on the developments of the Passengers Agency Programme.

The Travel Agent’s Handbook (TAH818g), as well as a separate information handbook on the Programme (TAH General Information) and the BSP Manual are to be downloaded for from the IATA website.

Following the adoption of the New Gen ISS scheme by the Passenger Conference in October 2015, IATA revised Resolutions and adapted them to the new accreditation scheme. ECTAA was actively involved in the Working Group in charge of the revision and contributed actively to protect travel agents' interests.

During PAConf/41 in 2018 two very critical items were voted despite agents’ strong opposition and despite being discussed. As a consequence, ECTAA decided to temporarily disengage from the global consultative body (PAPGJC).

In May 2019, ECTAA filed a complaint against IATA with DG COMP for breach of articles 101 and 102 of the EU Treaty. This follows years of failed negotiations with IATA to modernize the distribution programme and make it more balanced.


IATA accredited agents can refer to the Travel Agency Commissioner to settle disputes with IATA, BSP and/or an airline. See more details on the Travel Agency Commissioner’s website


Since 1 January 2012, all flights arriving at or departing from an EU airport are included in the EU greenhouse gas emission trading system (ETS). 


Directive 2009/11/EC on airport charges

The Directive on airport charges defines a number of principles to be respected by airport operators when they determine their airport charges, such as non-discrimination between carriers and between passengers, consultation and remedy of airport users, transparency of airport charges, etc.

In the Aviation Strategy Report adopted in December 2015, the Commission pointed out that stakeholders have questioned the suitability of the current legal framework in the Commission's report in 2014. In   April 2019, the Commission stated an Impact Assessment on a possible revision of Directive 2009/12/EC on Airport Charges.


As a protection against the new threat of liquid explosives, the EU has adopted security rules that restrict the amount of liquids that passengers can take through security checkpoints. They apply to all passengers departing from airports in the EU whatever their destination.

[ View further information ]



Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of 23 October 2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations

The Regulation introduces a set of rules for reinforcing and improving the rights and obligations of passengers in rail transport, such as compensation and assistance in disruptive events, rights of persons with reduced mobility, etc.

[ View obligations of tour operators and travel agents ]

[ View EU summary of passenger rights ]

Visit the EU website for further information on National Enforcement Bodies and EU enquiry form

In 2017, the Cmmission adopted a proposal to revise the ral passenger rights Regulation 


The FSM (Full Service Model) initiative aims at facilitating online distribution services to the benefit of the travellers and can contribute to offering door-to-door travel solutions. To this end, ticket vendors and railways have developed an Open-IT-framework (IT specifications) that can be integrated in already existing IT-distribution systems. When implemented, FSM can be used like an adapter and enable data exchange between different distribution systems. 

With FSM, ticket vendors and railways want to complement the diverse range of individual bilateral solutions necessary to connect distribution systems. FSM covers the whole value chain of distribution services including after sales processes. It is open to all businesses offering travel services or travel distribution services.

The FSM specifications can be downloaded from



Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of 15 March 2006 on the harmonization of certain social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EEC) No 3821/85 and (EC) No 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85

The Regulation provides a common set of Community rules for maximum daily and fortnightly driving times as well as daily and weekly minimum rest periods for all drivers of road haulage and passenger transport vehicles, subject to specified exceptions and derogations.


Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 of 16 February 2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004

The Regulation establishes rules as regards to rights of PRMs, rights of passengers in cases of cancellation or delay, minimum information to be provided to passengers , liability in the event of accidents for death or injury of passengers, as well as for loss of or damage to their luggage, etc.

[ View obligations of tour operators and travel agents ]

[ View EU summary of passenger rights ]

Visit the EU website for further information on National Enforcement Bodies and EU enquiry and complaint form



This Regulation incorporates into European law the Athens Convention of 2002 on the carriage by sea of passengers and their luggage.

It applies to international carriage and to carriage by sea within a Member State on board specific ships.

The Regulation sets up the liability regime and maximum compensation amounts in case of death or personal injury as well as in case of damage to luggage. The carrier who actually performed carriage has also an obligation to make an advance payment of at least 21,000 € when death or personal injury was caused by a shipping incident. Carriers must also inform passengers on their rights under the new Regulation.


Regulation (EU) No 1177/2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea or inland waterway

The Regulation introduces a set of rules for reinforcing and improving the rights of passengers when travelling by sea or inland waterway, such as non-discrimination between passengers with regard to transport conditions, compensation and assistance in disruptive events, non-discrimination and mandatory assistance for persons with reduced mobility, etc.

[ View obligations of tour operators and travel agents ]

[ View EU summary of passenger rights ]

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