Consumer protection for Airline Passengers

By | Category: Travel rumblings

A couple of weeks ago another airline company went bust. Sky Europe only flew out of two UK airports so you can be forgiven for thinking it is of little consequence. But it follows in the wake of others including XL and Zoom which has a much bigger impact. After those collapses as well there were calls for a tightening up of customer protection and nothing happened. In fairness Ryanair and easyjet offered special fares to help passengers return home which neither of them needed to do.

Two weeks after Sky Europe, we have a silence again.

The EU Consumer Commissioner, Meglena Kuneva, made a speech in 2008 saying that customer protection needed thought. She said the same thing in Dublin about 10 days ago. When she released a report in early August her department said that most of the complaints received were about air transport. In total they had 62,000 complaints about service issues so about 17,000 concerned transport. To me this number seems odd. Odd because out of all the millions in the EU these were all that complained? On this basis in terms of numbers you could almost argue there was no problem to speak off. I think this understates the problem.

Where I agree is that most are transport related and most relate to air transport where the protection afforded by an ATOL bonding doesn’t exist. The cost per passenger charged goes up shortly and it still doesn’t cover air passengers.

What does it take for some protection to be afforded to aitrlines passengers in the event of an airline collapse because as sure as night follows day, there will be another collapse and we’ll hear cries for change go up again. To more platitudes or silence?

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