Cape Town: In a bid to make air travel experience better for passengers in case of flight disruption, global airlines body IATA Tuesday asked governments to consider adopting consumer protection regulations without territorial limitations.
"Airlines are aligned with governments in wanting to get their passengers to their destinations on time. But sometimes that is just not possible. Governments should set some simple guarantees on what passengers should expect in such situations. But un-harmonised and extra-territorial regulations can cause utter confusion for international travelers," IATA chief Tony Tyler said here.
"Being stuck in Europe on a disrupted trip from the United States to Israel is bad enough for a passenger. Regulation shouldn't worsen the situation by presenting them with a bewildering array of three conflicting passenger rights regimes," he said at IATA annual conference which unanimously endorsed a set of core principles for governments to consider when adopting consumer protection rules.
Tyler said the governments were "turning a blind eye to the problems that they are creating. We want regulators to understand that travelers are our customers. And we want customers to have the best possible experience because our businesses depend on customers coming back."
Observing that the industry was providing a fresh solution which should be considered by governments, he said the core principles on consumer protection, adopted at the meet, would help governments harmonise their various regimes.
The core principles, included in the resolution, addressed a variety of "uncoordinated and extra-territorial passenger rights legislation and regulation that is the cause of confusion among passengers."
Some 50 countries have passenger rights requirements affecting air transport and several more are considering imposing them, Tyler said, adding that these principles should be unambiguous and without extra-territorial implications, ensure transparency about tickets and other charges.
These should also reflect the impact of extraordinary circumstances when determining compensation in case of flight disruptions.