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South East MEP Sharon Bowles pushes European Commission to conduct 'wide public consultation' on new air travel legislation

January 29, 2010 2:40 PM

Lib Dem MEP Sharon Bowles has secured a significant victory in the fight for cost-effective air travel.

Sharon, who chairs the European Parliament's powerful Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, raised the issue of hand luggage requirements with the Commission this week.

Sharon Bowles said: "Most airlines penalise passengers for having too much hand luggage but when airlines have different rules on hand luggage, this can create problems."

"For example, if you get on a plane where your hand luggage complies with weight and size restrictions, then board a connecting flight with a different airline that has different luggage restrictions, what do you do with your excess hand luggage? In most cases you have to pay what amounts to a hefty fine."

In response to her letter to Transport Commissioner, Antonio Tajani, Sharon received this reply:

"There may certainly be a room for change on this particular issue, either through voluntary agreements or through legislation. In order to receive the views on all stakeholders on this issue and more generally on passenger rights, I have asked the Director General of Transport and Energy to launch a wide public consultation which will end at the beginning of March."

Sharon said: "I am delighted the Commission is going to launch a consultation on the back of my complaint. In the case of unfair baggage costs, I hope passengers get the legislative protection they need."