Airlines oppose compensation laws. “Airlines already have financial incentives to get their passengers to their destination as planned,” Willie Walsh, the director general of the International Air Transport Association, a lobbying group, said in a statement criticizing the Biden plan. “The added layer of expense that this regulation will impose will not create a new incentive, but it will have to be recouped — which is likely to have an impact on ticket prices.” Steer Group, an independent consultancy, calculated that in 2018, European airlines incurred a combined 5 billion euros in expenses to process the volume of compensation claims and pay out the meritorious ones. For each passenger disrupted, the airline incurred an average cost of 138 euros.
Europe’s air passenger rights regulation hasn’t been a panacea. It can still be time consuming and frustrating to secure claim money. Mr. Zenere, for example, is still arguing with Wizz Air, the airline that delayed his trip to Venice last year. They underpaid, he said, and still owe him 250 euros for the aborted trip. “I know my rights,” he said. — Bernhard Warner
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