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New rights for EU flight passengers
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AIRLINES which cancel flights will have to book passengers on rival carriers if they cannot offer one of their own within 12 hours, under a new package of EU consumer measures.
A number of new laws to help passengers are being introduced as part of EU aviation rules.
Subject to the approval of member states and the European Parliament, the new laws are due to come into effect in early 2015.
Airlines are already required to refund passengers when flights are cancelled.
However, they have frequently been accused of trying to dodge their obligations by forcing customers to drag them through the courts to obtain compensation.
Under the changes, airlines will have to pay for a maximum of three nights hotel accommodation if passengers get stranded because of cancelled flights.
The reforms will also mean airlines are banned from charging a fee to correct a misspelling of their name.
Ryanair currently charges €150 to correct a flight booking at the airport while easyjet charges around €50.
Airlines will now also be required to hand out water and make the toilets available when a plane is stuck on the tarmac for more than an hour.
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