Easier and fairer travel bookings

Victory for passengers as EU travel ticketing rules set for take off

Brussels, 29th May 2008 — Passengers in the EU will be soon be able to book tickets more easily and with more confidence that they are paying a fair price following new EU proposals.

European air and rail travellers were handed this boost today following a vote in the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee on reforms to the Code of Conduct that governs computerized reservations systems (CRS). The report shows a strong consumer focus, and aims to bring down air and rail fares that are kept artificially high by the current system.

Currently, when tickets are booked through travel agents and other CRS-run distribution channels they are not getting the benefits of a wholly open market. The report balances the benefits of liberalisation with safeguards that benefit the passenger and is said to be gaining praise from consumer groups for its balanced approach in what is a very technical area.

Following the vote, Sir Robert Atkins MEP and member of the Transport and Tourism Committee, said:

“We have tried throughout the process to listen to the different interested parties involved, and there has been considerable interest. The airlines, the CRS themselves, and of course the voice of passengers have been taken into account when drafting the Report. Now, after the overwhelming support it has received in the Transport and Tourism Committee, this is clearly a victory for passengers throughout Europe.”

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