European Union regulators vowed to seek tougher oversight of airlines and airports for lost luggage as part of a campaign to bolster passenger rights.
The European Commission said it would propose that each EU nation establish an agency to monitor incidents of lost or damaged bags and enforce compensation rules. The commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, also left open the possibility of increasing the compensation of up to 1,100 euros ($1,566) that carriers must pay travelers for lost or damaged luggage.
The pledge for more EU regulation accompanied a commission survey saying that 13 bags went missing for every 1,000 passengers on Europe’s main airlines between November 2008 and March 2009. Europe’s carriers may on average lose one bag for every 64 passengers, according to the study.
“It’s a serious problem,” European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani told reporters today in Brussels. “We have to act.” The commission plans to outline new legislative proposals, which would need the support of national governments and the European Parliament, in mid-2010.
The 27-nation EU is bolstering passenger rights following airline deregulation in Europe. Over the past five years, the bloc has boosted compensation for travelers stranded because of overbooked or canceled flights and given disabled voyagers the right to free assistance in airports.
The EU has also published a blacklist of unsafe airlines worldwide, required travel agents such as TUI AG to disclose the carriers booked for customers and forced operators to include taxes and fees in advertised fares to prevent hidden costs for travelers.