- better protection for plane passengers when the journey goes wrong under new government plan
- including stronger enforcement, faster and cheaper access to dispute resolution, and increased compensation for damaged wheelchairs
- Priority government support to develop the economy, boost the aviation sector by increasing passenger confidence
Airline passengers will be better protected in the event of a cruise failure under new proposals announced by the government today (June 27, 2023), strengthening the airline industry and supporting development priorities economy by the Prime Minister by improving passenger confidence.
Under the plan, stronger enforcement powers for regulators and faster and cheaper access to dispute resolution will lead to improved standards for all passengers on flights operating to and go from UKincrease passenger confidence and promote the aviation sector.
Following relevant reports of disabled passengers with wheelchair damage, these measures will mean that they can receive full and fair compensation for damages caused on UK domestic flights. Airlines will also be encouraged to remove this limit on international flights.
Currently, airlines are not required to pay the full cost of repairs, even if equipment is damaged during maintenance.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:
I recognize the work that airlines do around the clock to provide good service to customers, and today’s proposals set out how we can go even further for travelers.
I have heard truly disturbing examples of passenger wheelchairs being damaged and left without full and fair compensation. It is important that people can travel with confidence.
A thriving aviation industry is good for passengers, good for the industry, and will boost the economy.
Ground handlers will also receive new training from the Department of Transport to ensure mobile devices are handled properly, in order to avoid these incidents altogether.
Paul Smith, Interim General Manager at UK The Civil Aviation Administration said:
We welcome the announcement from the government today to enhance the rights of air passengers, in addition to strengthening the enforcement powers of the Civil Aviation Authority and implementing ADR obligatory.
We have long called for a stronger enforcement toolkit to help us align with other regulators. The plans announced today achieve this and will help ensure that the Civil Aviation Authority is better equipped to hold the industry accountable in meeting its obligations to passengers.
Everyone should have equal access to air travel, and planned changes to compensation for damaged mobile devices should help improve this. we encourage UK airlines passed proposals immediately for all flights, not just domestic flights, before the law was enacted.
Besides, ADR provide an essential service to enable passengers to escalate complaints. Many airlines already offer this option to passengers on a voluntary basis, but some do not. We encourage all airlines that have not introduced this immediately.
Tanvi Vyas, Aviation team leader at the Disability Transportation Advisory Committee (DPTAC), said:
We welcome the government’s plans to step up and enact legislation to provide better protections for passengers with disabilities on domestic flights.
Offering compensation for damaged mobile devices is certainly a step in the right direction to increase consumer confidence. Understanding the international element to this and encouraging this waiver for international flights is important so that travelers with disabilities can travel reliably and consistently.
When equipment breaks down, this doesn’t just frustrate short-term travel plans. Understanding the long-term physical, emotional, and financial impact is really important. This is why I hope offering REAL training for free and creating ground handling staff training videos will raise standards, enhance existing knowledge and train minds. to understand the severity of the situation when damage occurs.
The training course aims to reinforce the importance of due diligence and care by sharing the actual impact of damage.
The proposals shape the government’s response to the aviation consumer policy reform consultation, published in January 2022 and aim to improve UKstandards for airline passengers.
Airlines will be required to be members of the approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), giving consumers a way to escalate certain unresolvable claims between themselves and the airline without going to court.
Currently there are 2 ADR suppliers in UK and airlines can participate voluntarily. Under the new proposals, all airlines flying to, from and within UK, will have to participate, allowing customers to access this contested route regardless of who they fly with. This can help people who are having a hard time getting a refund when they’re entitled to it.
The measures are also aimed at strengthening UK regulatory authority to further protect the interests of both consumers and airlines. Like UKaviation authority, SHIFT works to ensure consumers are protected and treated fairly. Under the new plans, it will increase powers to enforce consumer protection laws, such as fines for violations where appropriate.
After receiving feedback during the consultation, the government will proceed with further work on how to compensate passengers who experience disruption due to cancellations and delays.