New law will protect airline passengers in Israel

By ARIE EGOZI

 

 

Israel has made a move to protect air travellers against problems that occur on the way to a destination. The new law should have been made years ago, but better late than never. Now, for the first time, airlines operating in Israel will have to compensate travellers whose flights are significantly delayed or cancelled.

Under the new law, passengers will be entitled to different immediate benefits, depending on the length of their delay. These include food and drink, two telephone calls and a fax or cell phone text message. If the flight is delayed overnight, the airline must provide hotel accommodation and transportation to and from the hotel.

If a flight is cancelled, travellers will be entitled to their money back and additional compensation, depending on the passenger’s final destination. Those going to long-haul destinations will get a greater amount of money as compensation.

This is the first time that passengers in Israel have been protected by a law. This law will facilitate the process of getting compensation, which until now has been very difficult.

Airlines that fail to compensate their passengers will be subject to paying damages of up to new Israeli shekel (NIS) 10,000 (US$2,400).

The airlines are worried because passengers look at their watches when the flight is delayed and their lawyers are on standby. The first test case will show how effective the new passengers’ protection law is.

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