Showing posts with label Department of Transport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Department of Transport. Show all posts

27 June, 2023

UK looks at new plans to boost protections for airline passengers

Stronger enforcement powers for aviation regulators will lead to improved standards for all passengers on flights operating to and from the UK.

Airline passengers will be better protected when journeys go wrong under new proposals published by the government today - 27th June 2023, strengthening the aviation sector and supporting the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy by increasing passenger confidence.

Under the plans, stronger enforcement powers for the regulator and access to faster and cheaper dispute resolution will lead to improved standards for all passengers on flights operating to and from the UK, increasing passenger confidence and boosting the aviation sector.

Following concerning reports of disabled passengers having their wheelchairs damaged, the measures will mean they can get full and fair compensation for damage caused on UK domestic flights. Airlines will also be encouraged to waive this cap for international flights.

At present airlines are not required to cover the full cost of repairs, even if the equipment is damaged while in their care.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:  "I recognise the work airlines do around the clock in order to provide a good service to customers and today’s proposals set out how we can go even further for travellers.

I’ve heard really concerning examples of passengers’ wheelchairs getting damaged and being left without full and fair compensation. It’s important that everyone can travel with confidence.

A thriving aviation sector is good for passengers, good for the industry and will grow the economy."

Ground handlers will also be offered new training by the Department for Transport to make sure mobility equipment is being handled properly, aiming to avoid these incidents altogether.

Paul Smith, Joint-Interim Chief Executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:  "We welcome the announcement from government today to enhance the rights of air passengers, alongside strengthening the enforcement powers of the Civil Aviation Authority and making ADR mandatory.

We have long called for a stronger enforcement toolkit to bring us in line with other regulators. The plans announced today achieve this and will help ensure that the Civil Aviation Authority is better equipped to hold industry to account in meeting their obligations to passengers.

Everyone should have equal access to air travel and the planned changes to compensation when mobility equipment is damaged will help to improve this. We encourage UK airlines to adopt the proposals immediately for all flights, not just domestic flights, in advance of legislation being introduced.

In addition, ADR provides an essential service to allow passengers to escalate a complaint. Many airlines already provide this option to passengers on a voluntary basis, but some do not. We encourage all airlines that don’t already to introduce this immediately."