Ben-Gurion Passengers Get New ´Bill of Rights´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) 08/16/12)
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Beginning Thursday, travelers flying out of Israel are likelier to
have a better chance of taking off on time – otherwise, the airline
they are flying on will have to compensate them, or perhaps even give
them a refund or pay them for the waiting time. The new sanctions on
airlines are part of the Airline Passenger Rights law, which comes
into effect Thursday.
The law applies to scheduled airline flights as well as charter
flights, and was prompted after scenes several summers ago of
Israelis stuck in Ben Gurion Airport for hours or even days as they
waited for their charter companies to fill flights or negotiate
better deals with the carriers they were renting planes from. It
applies to all flights leaving Israel, including flights by foreign
carriers, as well as layovers. Airlines or charter operators that
fail to comply will be subject to stiff penalties, and could be
banned from using Ben Gurion Airport altogether.
Passengers will be compensated with food and drink, cash, or a full
refund, depending on how many hours their flight was delayed. If a
flight is delayed up to five hours, airlines must provide food and
drink for passengers, and provide them with money to make two phone
calls. If a flight is delayed between 5 and 8 hours, the passenger
can decide to cancel their reservation, receiving a full refund from
the airline. For delays beyond eight hours, airlines will have to
compensate passengers between NIS 1,250 and NIS 3,000, and if the
flight is delayed until the next day, the airline will also be
required to put passengers up in a hotel.
Passengers will also receive compensation if their flight is moved up
by more than eight hours, in cases where the passenger was notified
less than two weeks before the flight´s departure. Compensation will
also be required for passengers who are bumped, or who are forced to
move from business class to coach because of overbooking.
The law is seen as being directed especially against charter
operators, who often have a very poor on-time departure record.
Sources in the industry said that in recent weeks, charter operators,
in preparation for their being forced to depart on time, have begun
issuing tickets only 48 hours before flights, on the theory that the
closer the time of departure, the less likely a delay.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2011 08/16/12)
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