Ombudsman criticises EC’s ash-crisis information

European Ombudsman says that information given to passengers was misleading

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros (pictured, right), has criticised as misleading the information given to air passengers by the European Commission during the volcanic ash crisis in 2010. This followed a complaint from the European Regions Airline Association about, among other things, inaccurate information concerning compensation for delayed luggage. The Ombudsman asked the Commission to inform him by the end of May of the measures taken to prevent such a problem from reoccurring in the future.
In April 2010, the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano led to the cancellation of thousands of flights in Europe. On 4 May, the European Commission published on different websites information for affected air passengers, including a Q&A document. One day later, the European Regions Airline Association sent an urgent email to the Commission, drawing its attention to what it considered to be misleading information.
The information in question included a paragraph on delayed luggage. The Q&A document wrongly implied that passengers had an automatic right to compensation in all cases involving delayed luggage. It then took the Commission two weeks to conclude that part of the Q&A document was indeed misleading – and more than a month to remove it from the websites.
European Ombudsman


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