Alternative dispute resolution

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

    Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) within the European Union for the protection of air transport users will continue to ensure passengers‘access to the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA) to resolve their claims, while strengthening companies’ compliance with AESA’s decisions.

    This will prevent the passenger from having to go to court proceedings that are often costly for the parties and which causes many consumers to refuse to enforce their rights at the cost of court proceedings. This measure will also contribute to the decongestion of the courts of possible claims.

    Once the procedure has been authorised, the decision to be taken by EASA as a result of the alternative dispute resolution procedure shall be binding on air carriers. If after the 1 month period granted to the company to comply with the decision of AESA, the company does not satisfy the rights recognised to the passenger, the passenger may request its enforcement before the commercial court.

    Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) will not be a prerequisite for access to courts of law, but a faster and completely free option offered to air transport users to resolve their disputes with airlines.

When will EASA be accredited as an ADR authority for air transport users?

    The first step has been the publication and entry into force of Ministerial Order TMA/201/2022 of 14 March which regulates the procedure for alternative dispute resolution of air transport users concerning rights recognised at European Union level in the field of compensation and assistance in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or long delay, as well as in relation to the rights of persons with disabilities or reduced mobility.

    Since the entry into force of the Order, EASA is adapting its operation and procedures in order to be accredited as an alternative dispute resolution body in the field of protection of air transport users. The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) will be the authority that, by means of a resolution published in BOE, accredits the Agency to start using the procedure. Until such time as this occurs, passenger rights claims shall be dealt with in accordance with the usual procedure.

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