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EU plan to clip airlines' wings

AIRLINES will be forced to book passengers on rival carriers if they can't provide an alternative flight in less than 12 hours.

Proposed EU reforms to laws governing passengers' rights are due to come into force in less than two years – subject to approval by the European Parliament and the 27 member states.

The reforms also include a ban on charging passengers fees to correct the spelling of their name on tickets; airlines having to inform passengers why a flight has been cancelled within 30 minutes of its departure; complaints having to be acknowledged within a week, with responses within two months.

Passengers will also receive additional rights if they are on a plane stranded on the airport tarmac for more than an hour.

Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus currently charge passengers for changing names on tickets.