Sarah Joanna Haas November 9 2022 Will passengers rights be extended to luggage time waiting limits in Germany? Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein | Aviation - Germany Sarah Joanna Haas Aviation Differing political viewsCommentIn view of the sometimes-chaotic conditions at German airports, there has been discussion among politicians from various parties in Germany about extending passenger rights to include waiting times at baggage claims.Differing political viewsStefan Schmidt, representative for tourism policy for the environmental party, commented to the Bavarian Media Group that airports and airlines have a responsibility to make improvements. He emphasised that current efforts are insufficient and therefore proposed the integration of waiting times at baggage claims into air passengers' rights. He stated that where passengers have to wait for two or three hours for their luggage, their flight can no longer be seen as punctual, even if it landed on time. According to his party's position, a waiting time of up to one hour after disembarkation is acceptable – anything longer should lead to recourse claims. He left open the question of what such claims or compensation could look like.The tourism policy spokesperson of the Social Democrats party, Stefan Zierke, went one step further, halving Schmidt's proposed one-hour waiting time to a maximum of half an hour. He demanded rules in consumer protection laws to guarantee shorter waiting times than the current situation can provide.Anja Karliczek, tourism policy representative of the Christian Democrats party, has a similar view. She stated that in view of the increasingly frequent delays at baggage claims, the extent to which customer-friendly deadlines for claims for damages should be introduced should indeed be examined.For Nico Tippelt, Free Democratic Party tourism minister, the expansion of air passenger rights would be "the last resort, but not to be ruled out". However, according to Karliczek, such measures would have to be introduced across the European Union through an EU regulation in order not to further exacerbate the competitive situation for the German air transport industry.CommentThe politicians mentioned above omitted to share ideas on how to assist the industry in preventing longer waiting times. They concentrated on penalising airlines and the airport industry for the current situation and they failed to consider the fact it has not yet been possible to replace the staff who left the industry during the covid-19 pandemic, including airport staff and ground handlers.Karliczek's view is correct, insofar as she points out that such rights must be introduced at EU level. However, this is currently not to be expected in view of the items on the agenda at Brussels.For further information on this topic please contact Sarah Joanna Haas at Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein by telephone (+49 403 177 9756) or email ([email protected]). The Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein website can be accessed at www.asd-law.com.