The European Commission has published new guidelines on patients’ rights when travelling by air.
People with lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can require oxygen therapy to ease their symptoms. When a person requires constant oxygen and they need to board a plane, they can face problems of unjustified refusal and expensive charges.
The European Commission published a new guideline yesterday (14 June 2012) which seeks to clarify patients’ rights when travelling by air.
The guidelines cover travellers at all EU airports and the operations of EU carriers anywhere in the world. They also cover non-EU carriers within or leaving Europe. It highlights the lack of harmonisation between Member States and airline companies in this field.
The guidelines therefore underline that airlines are entitled to set their own requirements for the carriage of oxygen based on safety reasons. However, this information must be clearly available to passengers. If the airlineprovides oxygen, the guidelines state that this should be done at a reasonable price.