Passengers stranded at airports or awaiting missing luggage may now use a smartphone application to check their rights immediately and on the spot. Just in time for the covers air and rail transport and works on four mobile platforms: Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android, RIM Blackberry and Microsoft Windows Phone 7. The app is available in 22 EU languages. It currently covers air and rail transport and will be extended to bus / coach and marine travel in 2013 when these rights come into force.
European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas, responsible for Transport said: "How many of us have stood in an airport and felt the frustration of people telling you that you have no rights when you know you have! With this application millions of travellers can have easy access to the right information about their passenger rights when they most need it, when unexpected situations arise."
When a journey does not go as expected, it is often a stressful experience. Whether a flight is cancelled, a package holiday hotel is not as advertised or a train time is changed – the situation is much easier to deal with if the passenger knows his or her entitlements.
For each potential problem, the app explains the passenger’s rights. For example, if a flight is cancelled and the passenger is consequently denied boarding, he or she may be entitled to compensation of between €125 and €600. If your luggage is damaged as a result of an accident, you may also be entitled to compensation. It is also good to know that rail and air companies are obliged to provide transparent information on pricing and assist passengers with reduced mobility.
If you feel that your rights have not been respected, the app also provides information on who to contact in order to complain.
During a large-scale emergency, such as experienced following the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis in 2010, the app may also display travel information and advice from the European Commission.