The aim of this article is to identify why air passengers travelling in the European Union, endowed with the highest standard of consumer protection in the world under EU law, are still being denied their rights and finding it difficult to seek effective legal redress. This article argues that the principal cause of airlines’ non-compliance is the poor regulatory design of Regulation 261/2004, which has been compounded by inadequate application by the Member States and regulatory resistance by the airlines. This contribution will then demonstrate how the European Commission (‘Commission’) has responded through the adoption of both deterrence and compliance-based enforcement strategies, and maps out the mechanisms, tools and actors harnessed by the Commission to create a complex hybrid, multi-layered system of enforcement. The article reveals that enforcement gaps persist and argues that the effectiveness of the regime is unlikely to improve without legislative reform.
Sara Drake, Delays, cancellations and compensation: why are air passengers still finding it difficult to enforce their EU rights under Regulation 261/2004?, Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law. First Published March 30, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/1023263X20904235.