The application of Europe’s passenger-rights rules—often referred to as EU261—is being scrutinized by the European Court of Auditors, but a wider revamp remains in limbo.

A lack of clarity in EU261 has resulted in a number of cases being brought to court, setting conflicting legal precedents. This triggered the rules to be redrafted in 2013, but the proposal stalled because Spain and the UK disagreed on whether Gibraltar should now be covered by the legislation.

Speaking at a recent media briefing in London, European Regions Airline Association (ERA) director general Montserrat Barriga said that redraft is still on hold, with no signs of movement and no timeline for when it is likely to be resolved.

“Unfortunately, it’s just more of the same,” she said. “It’s just stuck, which is very frustrating from an association perspective, not to be able to have any impact, or change it.”

However, Barriga went on to explain that the European Court of Auditors is performing a passenger rights audit, which should be finalized by the end of 2018.

Under that process, the European Court of Auditors will be examining the actions taken by the Commission, the inconsistencies between regimes in different modes of transport, the way passengers are informed about their rights and the way they are enforced throughout the EU. The recommendations will be published in the EU’s Official Journal.

“There will be some interpretations and we hope some consistency, so at least airlines will know where they stand,” Barriga said.

During the same briefing, ERA president and ASL Aviation Group director corporate affairs Andrew Kelly also voiced his frustrations with EU261.

“It’s just bad law that’s being made worse over time,” Kelly said. “The situation now is quite frankly ridiculous. Precedents are being set in court, but they are different for each country. It’s impossible for any airline to work like that.”

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@informa.com