Holidaymakers get just £57 if their flight is delayed or canceled due to restructuring

Proposed government reforms for canceled and delayed flights would result in broken journey payouts being reduced by £163 per passenger – from £220 per to just £57

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Martin Lewis on how to get compensation after delays in 2019

Airlines will be the biggest winners from the new plans Reform flight compensation ruleshas warned a consumer group.

Plans to change compensation rules for delayed and canceled flights in the UK will save airlines thousands but could cost passengers dearly, a report warns today.

Consumer advocates Which? said the proposed reforms would result in broken journey payouts being cut by £163 per passenger – from £220 per to just £57.

That means airlines could save tens of thousands of pounds in compensation on a single flight.

And which one? fears the cheaper payouts “could encourage airlines to act with impunity” – which could lead to more disruption at airports.

Under current EU261 rules, someone on a UK domestic flight can claim £220 once their flight is delayed by three hours


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under power EU261 rulessomeone on a UK domestic flight can claim £220 once their flight is delayed by three hours.

The government is considering scrapping this in favor of compensation based on ticket price and length of delay – similar to rail travel Delay refund system.

A Department of Transportation (DFT) consultation is due to end on Sunday.

Holidaymakers may face disruptions at various UK airports (file image)

Which? used data from online travel agency Skyscanner to calculate how much airlines would save on payouts for long delays on some of the UK’s most popular routes.

At the moment, an airline would have to pay £39,600 to passengers who have full flights delayed by three hours or more from Gatwick to Belfast or Edinburgh to London.

But below the system proposed by the governmentthe maximum total payout for the flight to Belfast would be reduced to £9,900.

And the maximum amount it would have to pay back to passengers on the London flight would be cut to just £7,920 as tickets for that trip are slightly cheaper.

Which? Fears that a reduction in compensation payments will remove a significant deterrent against airlines that let passengers down.

It also says moving to a system similar to that used by the rail industry would be unfair to passengers – as canceled flights can also mean canceled holidays, which would be far more costly than missing a train.

And it warns the changes could disproportionately hit people in the UK’s remote nations and other regions where people are more likely to take domestic flights.

Which? calls on the government to step up enforcement instead in a market that has been persistently flouted by airlines for many years.

It supports separate proposals in the same DFT consultation to give the Civil Aviation Authority powers to impose fines and make it compulsory for airlines to join the alternative dispute resolution system.

She also calls for the introduction of a statutory aviation ombudsman.

Rory Boland, editor of which? Travel, said: “Tearing up the compensation rules would be a major blow to passenger rights and would encourage airlines to act with impunity.

“Unfair practices such as overbooking and denied boarding could become commonplace again if this key deterrent is removed, leaving passengers out of pocket.

“The government should … give passengers the confidence that they are protected if their journey is disrupted by giving the aviation authority the powers it needs to take action against airlines that break the rules.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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