It is Sweden and the Netherlands turn in the analysis on how European member states enforce Regulation 1107/2006.
Holland enforces 1107/2006 by means of reparatory and punitive fines. Reparatory fines are unlimited and in proportion to the amount of loss and to the severity of the violation. Punitive fines cannot exceed Euro 74,000.
The Dutch enforcement body is the Inspectorate for Environment and Transport (ILT).
"Within the framework of Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility two complaints are handled by the Inspectorate in the Netherlands in 2010 and 2011. In addition, one complaint was withdrawn because this one was satisfactorily resolved according the passenger," says Anne van der Vliet of the ILT. "All three complaints showed that good communication is very important, also the communication between tour operator and airline."
According to the ILT, Dutch passengers with reduced mobility are well informed about their rights and about procedures in place to make their travel plans, hence the low number of complaints.” Airlines and airports in the Netherlands comply very carefully with the Regulation 1107," adds Mrs van der Vliet.
The Swedish Transport Agency, national enforcer of EU 1107/2006, also report remarkably few complaints. Sweden has been the European pioneer in facilitating travel for passengers with disabilities. In Sweden, airports have been responsible for the assistance service to prms since 2001, seven years prior to 1107/2006 coming into force.
"Since 2005 we have only had a few complaints and in 2011 only one. No complaints were enforced by us," says Annelie Sjölund, responsible of travel facilitation for disabled passengers at the Swedish Transport Agency. "Four complaints were made due to that it was impossible for a wheelchair user (WCHR) to book a ticket on routes operated by aircrafts with only 19 seats and no cabin staff. The complaints were not enforced due to safety rules and size of aircraft. One complaint was filed by a passenger had to pay an excess baggage fee for medical equipment. The passenger got his money back from the airline with the help from the Spanish NEB. One complaint concerned the delayed availability of wheelchair assistance. The passenger was compensated by the airline and the airport updated their procedures in order to prevent this from happening again."
"When we meet airports and airlines at various inspections they tell us that they have none or very few complaints from disabled passengers," Mrs Sjölund adds. "For about 15 years we have had an active reference group with stakeholders from airlines, airports and disability organizations. The group has meetings twice a year. This might be an explanation for the low number of complaints."