Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-10-23-Speech-3-291"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, all of us here in this room spend far more time than we would like on planes and at airports. These issues affect us all too often, either because we ourselves are affected by delays or cancellations, overbooking and the like or because we experience at second hand what happens to other passengers and that is not always pleasant. Often it is even very unpleasant. In this situation, the European legislator has to act in the interests of consumers, but also in the interests of the air transport sector as a whole. Much has already been said about the rules that we are examining here at first reading and on which we will vote tomorrow, about how best to tackle the problem of denied boarding, and about reasonable rules in the case of delays. Naturally, all these rules and regulations bring the industry little joy, particularly in the current difficult economic climate. But this is of course not only about the airlines; it is also and above all about the passengers. They in any case are repeatedly and increasingly frequently finding themselves to be the weaker party, and we need to protect and support them with European law. There is one other player that we should consider here; I refer to the airport operators. They have been experiencing many problems recently because of increased concerns about terrorism and security. They have resolved a number of them, but in some cases their activities have become extremely expensive. There is another problem that remains unresolved: how passengers are treated. Nowadays flying is a massive business; there is no doubt about it. This should not mean, however, that passengers are treated like herds of animals. Perhaps we could also address these aspects of flying in the foreseeable future and regulate them accordingly. Passengers will thank us for it."@en1

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