The European Commission has published new information explaining to all travellers the role of claim agencies (business offering to claim compensation for disrupted travel on behalf of the passenger) for air passenger rights.
Passengers should always try first to contact the airline before considering any other action. In addition, National Enforcement Bodies, which are public authorities responsible for the enforcement of passenger rights rules at national level exist in all Member States. They can be contacted freely and can provide all necessary information. Alternative Dispute Resolution processes can also help to mediate between passengers and air carriers.
According to EU rules, passengers are allowed to be represented by another person or entity when claiming compensation for disrupted travel. However, a number of allegations of incorrect practices and misbehaviour by some claim agencies have been brought to the attention of the Commission.
Passengers should pay special attention to these key legal obligations of claim agencies:
Claim agencies must clearly display the price of their services, i.e. showing an initial price on their website which includes all applicable fees.
Claim agencies must be able to produce a clear power of attorney, i.e. a lawyer entitled to practice such profession.
Claim agencies should not resort to persistent unsolicited telemarketing.
No ticket vendor, tour operator or travel agent is allowed to transmit the passenger personal data to claim agencies, unless specifically permitted by the passenger.
For detailed legal information read the Information note Air Passenger Rights on Claim Agencies.