EasyJet and British Airways passengers face £25 charge for complaints about delays and lost luggage

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August 22, 2016

Air passengers could be force to pay £25 ($32) to make a complaint against airlines including British Airways (BA) and easyJet under new procedures being adopted by the aviation industry.

The move comes as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the airline regulator, cuts back on the services it offers.

August 22, 2016

Air passengers could be force to pay £25 ($32) to make a complaint against airlines including British Airways (BA) and easyJet under new procedures being adopted by the aviation industry.

The move comes as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the airline regulator, cuts back on the services it offers.

The CAA adjudicates disputes between passengers and airlines over delays, cancelations, lost or damaged luggage and compensation requests.

Previously, passengers who complained to airlines and were unhappy with the outcome of their case could pursue the matter with the CAA, who would then mediate with airlines on customers’ behalf.

But as the service is reduced, airlines are registering with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) schemes.

Some of these services charge customers if their claim is unsuccessful.

One of these firms – the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution – charges £25 ($32) for unsuccessful claims and registered users include British Airways, easyJet, Thomas Cook and cruise company TUI.

Other ADR companies services include the Retail Ombudsman and German firm Sop, neither of whom charge passengers. Meanwhile, a third firm, NetNeutrals, charges passengers £10 if their case is not successful.

The CAA will now only continue to work for those airlines not registered with an ADR scheme, according to The Sunday Times.

The CAA has successfully won £17m ($22M) in compensation for passengers who have complained about carriers.

Labour MP Rob Flello, who is a member of the Commons Transport Committee, told the Sun the plan to charge customers whose complaints are not upheld was “disappointing and outrageous in equal measure”.

He said: “There are certain airlines I have had cause to complain to in the past that haven’t even shown the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

“Some airlines have no concept of customer service. Anything that puts a further barrier in the way for passengers who have a complaint is unacceptable.”

In a statement, easyJet said: “easyJet, like other airlines, BA, Thomson and Thomas Cook uses a CAA-approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) company, who are also the designated company by the Department of Transport to handle air travel complaints, to offer dispute resolution services as an alternative to a court process.

“easyJet’s current ADR was chosen based on its competence and suitability to provide alternative dispute resolution procedures for us. This is a service easyJet pays a higher fee for than other ADR’s charge.”


Courtesy: The Independent

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