Jet2, BA, TUI, RyanAir, easyJet: ‘Full refunds’ for flight delays over three hours in rules overhaul

More passengers will receive compensation for delayed domestic flights under plans announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

As reported by The Mirror, the government is proposing to give travelers the right to refunds for flights within the UK that arrive at their destination more than an hour late.

The UK currently uses EU law, which means passengers on flights of less than 1,500km (932 miles) can claim £220 for delays over three hours, but nothing for delays shorter.

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Due to new powers due to Brexit, the government is considering replacing this system with a model similar to that used by rail and maritime operators, which links compensation to the cost of travel.

Under the Department for Transport (DfT) plan, which is currently being consulted, passengers would be entitled to:

  • For a delay of more than one hour but less than two hours – 25% of the ticket price

  • For a delay of more than two hours but less than three hours – 50% of the ticket price

  • For a delay of more than three hours – 100% of the ticket price

Airlines avoid paying compensation for disruptions caused by events beyond their control, such as severe weather, security alerts and restricted air traffic control operations.

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Other proposals to protect passenger rights include requiring airlines operating in the UK to sign up to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system, which could help more people receive refunds and compensation to which they are entitled.

ADR programs have helped thousands of passengers file complaints without going to court, but carrier membership is currently voluntary.

The government is also considering giving the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) more power to enforce consumer protection laws through the ability to directly fine airlines for breaches.

Mr Shapps, also MP for Welwyn Hatfield, said: “People deserve a service that puts passengers first when things go wrong, so today I launched proposals to strengthen the protection and rights of airline consumers.

“We are making the most of our Brexit dividend with our new freedoms outside the EU, and this review will help build a trustworthy and reputable industry.”

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of industry body Airlines UK, said carriers “work hard to ensure the passenger experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible”.

His organization will respond to the consultation.

CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty said the plans are “a clear indication of the need to strengthen our enforcement powers and align ourselves with other regulators”.

He added: “The proposals will improve passenger rights and equip the Civil Aviation Authority with the right tools to act quickly and effectively for the benefit of consumers.”

Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at consumer group Which?, said trust in travel agencies “dropped” when the coronavirus pandemic began, with some airlines “ignoring their legal obligations and refusing to refund canceled flights.

A passenger walks through departures at Stansted Airport

She continued: “This consultation is a welcome first step that should improve and strengthen consumer rights and protections so that complaints are dealt with fairly and quickly, and passengers receive the money they are owed quickly and without hassle. unnecessary.

“It is also vital that the system is backed by a regulator with the powers to take swift and forceful action against any company that breaches consumer law.”

Mr Shapps also proposes making airlines pay the full cost of repairing or replacing wheelchairs and mobility scooters lost or damaged during domestic flights.

They are currently only liable to pay passengers up to around £1,200 for damage to or loss of their property under the Montreal Convention, although some wheelchairs cost over £25,000.

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