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UK: possible changes to compensation for delays

The executive evaluates new reimbursement system for inefficiencies on domestic flights

The Department of Transport of the United Kingdom stated it is considering changes to the system of economic compensation for delays in scheduled commercial flights in recent days. This action is aimed at creating a fairer system. The compensation model is the one adopted by rail and maritime operators.

The proposals "aim to strengthen airline consumer protection and rights" and "would help build a reliable and respectable industry", said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

The minimum delay threshold to receive a partial refund could drop from the current three to one hour, while after two half the ticket price would be paid, up to a full refund after a three-hour wait. If this change comes to fruition, more passengers on domestic routes could receive compensation and complaints could be resolved more easily and quickly.

Airlines could also be required to pay full compensation to passengers with disabilities for any damage caused to their device in flight. The government could also force airlines to be part of the peaceful dispute resolution (PDR) program, membership in which is now voluntary. In addition, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) could see its sanctioning powers for airline breaches enhanced.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency