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Airlines amend compensation rules after CAA pressure

Wizz Air adds London Luton to Sibiu route

Aer Lingus, Wizz Air and Jet2 have agreed to change their rules on how passengers are compensated in the event of delayed and cancelled flights, following intervention from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA was concerned the airlines were not paying compensation for flights disrupted by ‘ordinary technical faults’, despite a court of appeal decision last year meaning airlines are legally obliged to pay compensation in these circumstances.

The aviation watchdog had threatened enforcement action against the airlines, but has withdrawn this after they changed their policies.

The CAA also had evidence that both Wizz Air and Jet2 were imposing a two-year time limit on passengers making claims following disruption. Hungarian airline Wizz Air is still challenging this ruling and the CAA has referred the matter to the Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection.

Jet2 has agreed to process compensation claims dating back six years and both Jet2 and Aer Lingus have now agreed to improve the quality of information they provide to passengers during disruptions and have signed legal undertakings confirming this.

Andrew Haines, chief executive of the CAA, said: “We’re now in the busiest time of the year for air travel and UK passengers are right to expect that if they experience disruption their airline will look after them. Our work is about making sure that is exactly what happens.

“During the last year we’ve stepped in to make sure a number of major airlines change their approaches and improve the support provided to their passengers.

“The results of our recent action are a further boost for UK passengers and we are very pleased to see the changes the airlines involved have made. But our work is not done.

“We are determined to stand up for passengers and will continue to review how airlines are treating, and responding to, their customers in practice.

“Furthermore, while we recognise not every claim for compensation will be eligible, we are keen to hear from people who feel they have not been treated fairly and where we believe airlines are not complying with the law, we will pursue all available enforcement options.”

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