COUNCIL REGULATION (EEC) No 2299/89
of 24 July 1989
on a code of conduct for computerized reservation systems
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic
Community, and in particular Article 84 (2) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (1),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (2),
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee
Whereas the bulk of airline reservations are made through computerized
Whereas such systems can, if properly used, provide an important
and useful service to air carriers, travel agents and the travelling
public by affording easy access to up-to-date and accurate information
on flights, fares and seat availability, making reservations
and, in some cases, issuing tickets and boarding passes;
Whereas abuses in the form of denial of access to the systems
or discrimination in the provision, loading or display of data
or unreasonable conditions imposed on participants or subscribers
can seriously disadvantage air carriers, travel agents and ultimately
Whereas this Regulation is without prejudice to the application
of Articles 85 and 86 of the Treaty;
Whereas Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2672/88 (4) exempts for
the provisions of Article 85 (1) of the Treaty agreements for
the common purchase, development and operation of computerized
Whereas a mandatory code of conduct applicable to all computerized
reservation systems and/or distribution facilities offered for
use and/or used in the Community could ensure that such systems
are used in a nondiscriminatory and transparent way, subject
to certain safeguards, so avoiding their misuse while reinforcing
undistorted competition between air carriers and between computerized
reservation systems and thereby protecting the interests of consumers;
Whereas it would not be appropriate to impose obligations on
a computerized reservation system vendor or on a parent or participating
carrier in respect of an air carrier of a third country which,
alone or jointly with others, owns and/or controls another such
system which does not conform with this code or offer equivalent
Whereas a complaints investigation and enforcement procedure
for non-compliance with such a code is desirable,
HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:
This Regulation shall apply to computerized reservation systems
(CRSs) when offered for use and/or used in the territory of the
Community for the distribution and sale of air transport products
- the status or nationality of the system vendor,
- the source of the information used or the location of the relevant
central data processing unit,
- the geographical location of the air transport product concerned.
For the purpose of this Regulation:
(a) 'air transport product' shall mean a scheduled passenger
air service, including any related ancillary services and additional
benefits offered for sale and/or sold as an integral part of
the air service;
(b) 'computerized reservation system (CRS) shall mean a computerized
system containing information about, inter alia, air carriers'
- fares, and
- related services
with or without facilities through which
- reservations can be made or
- tickets may be issued
to the extent that some or all of these services are made available
(c) 'distribution facilities' shall mean facilities provided
by a system vendor to a subscribor or consumer for the provision
of information about air carriers' schedules, availability, fares
and related services and for making reservations and/or issuing
tickets, and for any other related services;
(d) 'system vendor' shall mean any entity and its affiliates
which are responsible for the operation or marketing of a CRS;
(e) 'parent carrier' shall mean an air carrier which is a system
vendor or which directly or indirectly, alone or jointly with
others, owns or controls a system vendor;
(f) 'participating carrier' shall mean an air carrier which has
an agreement with a system vendor for the distribution of its
air transport products through a CRS. To the extent that a parent
carrier uses the distribution facilities of its own CRS, it shall
be considered a participating carrier;
(g) 'subscriber' shall mean a person or an undertaking, other
than a participating carrier, using under contract or other arrangement
with a system vendor a CRS for the sale of air transport products
directly to individual members of the public;
(h) 'consumer' shall mean any person seeking information about
and/or intending to purchase an air transport product;
(i) 'principal display' shall mean a comprehensive neutral display
of data concerning services between city pairs, within a specified
time period, containing inter alia all direct flights by participating
(j) 'elapsed journey time' shall mean the time difference between
scheduled departure and arrival time;
(k) 'service enhancement' shall mean any product or service offered
by a system vendor on its own behalf to subscribers or consumers
in conjunction with a CRS other than distribution facilities;
(l) 'scheduled air service' shall mean a series of flights each
possessing all the following characteristics:
- it is performed by aircraft for the transport of passengers
or passengers and cargo and/or mail for remuneration, in such
a manner that on each flight seats are available for individual
purchase by members of the public (either directly from the air
carrier or from its authorized agents),
- it is operated so as to serve traffic between the same two
or more points, either:
1. according to a published timetable; or
2. with flights so regular or frequent that they constitute a
recognizably systematic series.
1. A system vendor offering distribution facilities in respect
of scheduled passenger air services shall allow any air carrier
the opprotunity to participate, on an equal and non-discriminatory
basis, in these facilities within the available capacity of the
system concerned, subject to any technical constraints outside
the control of the system vendor.
2. (a) A system vendor shall not
- attach unreasonable conditions to any contract with a participating
- require the acceptance of supplementary conditions which, by
their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection
with participation in its CRS and shall apply the same conditions
for the same level of service.
(b) A system vendor shall not make it a condition of participation
in its CRS that a participating carrier may not at the same time
be a paritipant in another system.
(c) A participating carrier shall have the right to terminate
his contract with a system vendor without penalty on giving notice
which need not exceed six months, to expire no earlier than the
end of the first year.
3. Loading and processing facilities provided by the system vendor
shall be offered to all participating carriers without discrimination.
4. If the system vendor adds any improvement to the distribution
facilities provided or the equipment used in the provision of
the facilities, it shall offer these improvements to all participating
carriers on the same terms and conditions, subject to current
technical limitations. Article 4
1. Participating carriers and others providing material for inclusion
in a CRS shall ensure that the data submitted are comprehensive,
accurate, non-misleading and transparent.
2. A system vendor shall not manipulate the material referred
to in paragraph 1 in a manner that would lead to inaccurate,
misleading or discriminatory information being provided.
3. A system vendor shall load and process data provided by participating
carriers with equal care and timeliness, subject to the constraints
of the loading method selected by individual participating carriers
and to the standard formats used by the said vendor.
1. A system vendor shall provide a principal display and shall
include therein data provided by participating carriers on schedules,
fares and seats available for individual purchase in a clear
and comprehensive manner and without discrimination or bias,
in particular as regards the order in which information is presented.
2. A system vendor shall not intentionally or negligently display
inaccurate or misleading information and, subject to Article
9 (5), in particular:
- the criteria to be used for ranking information shall not be
based on any factor directly or indirectly relating to carrier
identity and shall be applied on a non-discriminatory basis to
all participating carriers,
- no discrimination on the basis of different airports serving
the same city shall be exercised in constructing and selecting
3. Ranking of flight options in the principal display, for the
day or days requested, shall be as set out in the Annex unless
requested in a different way by a consumer for an individual
A system vendor shall provide information, statistical or otherwise,
generated by its CRS, other than that offered as an integral
part of the distribution facilities, only as follows:
(a) information concerning individual bookings shall be made
available on an equal basis to the air carrier or air carriers
participating in the service covered by the booking;
(b) information in aggregate or anonymous form when made available
on request to any air carrier shall be offered to all participating
air carriers on a nondiscriminatory basis;
(c) other information generated by the CRS shall be made available
with the consent of the air carrier concerned and subject to
any agreement between a system vendor and participating carriers;
(d) personal information concerning a consumer and generated
by a travel agent shall be made available to others not involved
in the transaction only with the consent of the consumer.
1. The obligations of a system vendor under Articles 3 to 6 shall
not apply in respect of a parent carrier of a third country to
the extent that its CRS does not conform with this Regulation
or does not offer Community air carriers equivalent treatment
to that provided under this Regulation.
2. The obligations of parent and participating carriers under
Article 8 shall not apply in respect of a CRS controlled by air
carriers of a third country to the extent that a parent or participating
carrier is not accorded equivalent treatment in that country
to that provided under this Regulation and under Commission Regulation
(EEC) No 2672/88.
3. A system vendor or an air carrier proposing to avail itself
of the provisions of paragraphs 1 or 2 must notify the Commission
of its intentions and the reasons therefor at least 14 days in
advance of such action. In exceptional circumstances, the Commission
may, at the request of the vendor or the air carrier concerned,
grant a waiver from the 14-day rule.
4. Upon receipt of a notification, the Commission shall without
delay determine whether discrimination within the meaning of
paragraphs 1 and 2 exists. If this is found to be the case, the
Commission shall so inform all system vendors or the air carriers
concerned in the Community as well as Member States. If discrimination
within the meaning of paragraph 1 or 2 does not exist, the Commission
shall so inform the system vendor or air carriers concerned.
1. A parent or participating carrier shall not link the use of
any specific CRS by a subscriber with the receipt of any commission
or other incentive for the sale of or issue of tickets for any
of its air transport products. 2. A parent or participating carrier
shall not require use of any specific CRS by a subscriber for
any sale or issue of tickets for any air transport products provided
either directly or indirectly by itself.
3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be without prejudice to any condition
which an air carrier may require of a travel agent when authorizing
it to sell and issue tickets for its air transport products.
1. A system vendor shall make any of the distribution facilities
of a CRS available to any subscriber on a non-discriminatory
2. A system vendor shall not require a subscriber to sign an
exclusive contract, nor directly or indirectly prevent a subscriber
from subscribing to, or using, any other system or systems.
3. A service enhancement offered to any other subscriber shall
be offered by the system vendor to all subscribers on a non-discriminatory
4. A system vendor shall not attach unreasonable conditions to
any contract with a subscriber and, in particular, a subscriber
may terminate his contract with a system vendor, without penalty,
on giving notice which need not exceed three months to expire
no earlier than the end of the first year.
5. A system vendor shall ensure, either through technical means
or through the contract with the subscriber, that the principal
display is provided for each individual transaction and that
the subscriber does not manipulate material supplied by CRSs
in a manner that would lead to inaccurate, misleading or discriminatory
presentation of information to consumers. However, for any one
transaction a subscriber may re-order data or use alternative
displays to meet a preference expressed by a consumer.
6. A system vendor shall not impose any obligation on a subscriber
to accept an offer of technical equipment, but may require the
use of equipment compatible with its own system.
1. Any fee charged by a system vendor shall be non-discriminatory
and reasonably related to the cost of the service provided and
used, and shall, in particular, be the same for the same level
2. A system vendor shall, on request, provide to interested parties
details of current procedures, fees, systems facilities, editing
and display criteria used. However, this provision does not oblige
a system vendor to disclose proprietary information such as software
3. Any changes to fee levels, conditions or facilities offered
and the basis therefor shall be communicated to all participating
carriers and subscribers on a nondiscriminatory basis.
1. Acting on receipt of a complaint or on its own initiative,
the Commission shall initiate procedures to terminate infringement
of the provisions of this Regulation.
2. Complaints may be submitted by:
(a) Member States;
(b) natural or legal persons who claim a legitimate interest.
3. The Commission shall immediately forward to the Member States
copies of the complaints and applications and of all relevant
documents sent to it or which it sends out in the course of such
1. In carrying out the duties assigned to it by this Regulation,
the Commission may obtain all necessary information from the
Member States and from undertakings and associations of undertakings.
2. The Commission may fix a time limit of not less than one month
for the communication of the information requested.
3. When sending a request for information to an undertaking or
association of undertakings, the Commission shall forward a copy
of the request at the same time to the Member State in whose
territory the head office of the undertaking or association of
undertakings is situated.
4. In its request, the Commission shall state the legal basis
and purpose of the request and also the penalties for supplying
incorrect information provided for in Article 16 (1).
5. The owners of the undertakings or their representatives and,
in the case of legal persons or of companies, firms or associations
not having legal personality, the person authorized to represent
them by law or by their rules shall be bound to supply the information
1. In carrying out the duties assigned to it by this Regulation,
the Commission may undertake all necessary investigations into
undertakings and associations of undertakings. To this end, officials
authorized by the Commission shall be empowered: (a) to examine
the books and other business records;
(b) to take copies of, or extracts from, the books and business
(c) to ask for oral explanations on the spot;
(d) to enter any premises, land and vehicles used by undertakings
or associations of undertakings.
2. The authorized officials of the Commission shall exercise
their powers upon production of an authorization in writing specifying
the subject matter and purpose of the investigation and the penalties
provided for in Article 16 (1) in cases where production of the
required books or other business records is incomplete. In good
time before the investigation, the Commission shall inform the
Member State, in whose territory the same is to be made, of the
investigation and the identity of the authorized officials.
3. Undertakings and associations of undertakings shall submit
to investigations ordered by decision of the Commission. The
decision shall specify the subject matter and purpose of the
investigation, appoint the date on which it is to begin and indicate
the penalties provided for in Article 16 (1) and the right to
have the decision reviewed in the Court of Justice.
4. The Commission shall take the decisions mentioned in paragraph
3 after consultation with the Member State in the territory of
which the investigation is to be made.
5. Officials of the Member State in the territory of which investigation
is to be made may assist the Commission officials in carrying
out their duties, at the request of the Member State or of the
6. Where an undertaking opposes an investigation ordered pursuant
to this Article, the Member State concerned shall afford the
necessary assistance to the officials authorized by the Commission
to enable them to make their investigation.
1. Information acquired as a result of the application of Articles
12 and 13 shall be used only for the purposes of the relevant
request or investigation.
2. Without prejudice to Articles 11 and 20, the Commission and
the competent authorities of the Member States, their officials
and other servants shall not disclose information of a kind covered
by the obligation of professional secrecy which has been acquired
by them as a result of the application of this Regulation.
3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not prevent publication of general
information or of surveys which do not contain information relating
to particular undertakings or associations of undertakings.
1. When an undertaking or association of undertakings does not
supply the information requested within the time limit fixed
by the Commission or supplies incomplete information, the Commission
shall by decision require the information to be supplied. The
decision shall specify what information is required, fix an appropriate
time limit within which it is to be supplied and indicate the
penalties provided for in Article 16 (1) as well as the right
to have the decision reviewed by the Court of Justice.
2. At the same time the Commission shall send a copy of its decision
to the competent authority of the Member State in the territory
of which the head office of the undertaking or association of
undertakings is situated.
1. The Commission may, by decision, impose fines on undertakings
or associations of undertakings from ECU 1 000 to 50 000 where,
intentionally or negligently:
(a) they supply incorrect information in response to a request
made pursuant to Article 12 or do not supply information within
the time limit fixed;
(b) they produce the required books or other business records
in incomplete form during investigations or refuse to submit
to an investigation pursuant to Article 13 (1).
2. The Commission may, by decision, impose fines on system vendors,
parent carriers, participating carriers and/or subscribers for
infringements of this Regulation up to a maximum of 10 % of the
annual turnover for the relevant activity of the undertaking
In fixing the amount of the fine, regard shall be had both to
the seriousness and to the duration of the infringement.
3. Decisions taken pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not be
of a penal nature.
The Court of Justice shall have unlimited jurisdiction within
the meaning of Article 172 of the Treaty to review decisions
whereby the Commission has imposed a fine; it may cancel, reduce
or increase the fine.
For the purposes of applying Article 16, the ecu shall be that
adopted in drawing up the general budget of the European Communities
in accordance with Articles 207 and 209 of the Treaty. Article
1. Before taking decisions as provided for in Article 16, the
Commission shall give the undertakings or associations of undertakings
concerned the opportunity of being heard on the matters to which
the Commission takes, or has taken, objection.
2. Should the Commission or the competent authorities of the
Member States consider it necessary, they may also hear other
natural or legal persons. Applications by such persons to be
heard shall be granted when they show a sufficient interest.
1. The Commission shall publish the decisions which it adopts
pursuant to Article 16.
2. Such publication shall state the names of the parties and
the main content of the decision; it shall have regard to the
legitimate interest of undertakings in the protection of their
1. This Regulation shall apply from 1 August 1989 to all CRSs
for scheduled passenger air services.
2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, Articles 5 (3) and 9 (5) shall
not apply until 1 January 1990 to CRSs which have established
their central administration and their principal place of business
in the Community before 1 August 1989. The Commission may grant
a further 12 months' waiver to CRSs which for technical reasons
are unable to comply with these provisions by 1 January 1990.
This Regulation shall be without prejudice to national legislation
on security, public order and data protection.
The Council shall decide on the revision of this Regulation by
31 December 1992, on the basis of a Commission proposal to be
submitted by 31 March 1992 accompanied by a report on the application
of this Regulation.
This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly
applicable in all Member States.
Done at Brussels, 24 July 1989.
For the Council
(1) OJ No C 294, 18. 11. 1988, p. 12.
(2) OJ No C 158, 26. 6. 1989.
(3) OJ No C 56, 6. 3. 1989, p. 32.
(4) OJ No L 239, 30. 8. 1988, p. 13.
1. A principal display shall, wherever practicable, include connecting
flights of participating carriers constructed by using a minimum
number of nine connecting points. A participating carrier may
request the inclusion of an indirect service unless the routing
is in excess of 130 % of the great circle distance between the
two airports. Connecting points with routings in excess of 130
% need not be used.
2. A system vendor shall not use the screen space in its principal
displays in a manner which gives excessive exposure to one particular
travel option or which displays unrealistic travel options.
3. Where a system vendor chooses to display information for any
city-pair in relation to the schedules or fares of non-participating
carriers, such information shall be displayed in an accurate,
non-misleading and non-discriminatory manner as between those
4. If information as to the number of direct air services and
the identity of the air carriers concerned is not comprehensive,
this shall be clearly stated on the relevant display.
Criteria for scheduled air services
1. Ranking of flight options in principal displays for scheduled
air services, for the day or days requested, shall be in the
following order unless requested in a different way by a consumer
for an individual transaction:
(i) all non-stop direct flights between the city-pairs concerned;
(ii) other direct flights, not involving a change of aircraft,
between the city-pairs concerned;
(iii) connecting flights.
A consumer shall at least be afforded the possibility of requesting
the principal display ranked by departure or arrival time and/or
elapsed journey time. Unless a consumer preference is expressed,
a principal display shall be ranked by departure time for group
(i) and elapsed journey time for groups (ii) and (iii).
2. Scheduled flights involving stops en route, change of aircraft,
change of airport and/or code-sharing shall be clearly identified.
Code-sharing flights shall be treated as connecting flights.