More protection for air passengers

By | Category: Travel news

Last week’s Queen’s Speech was probably not the bedtime reading of most of our readers.

passenger flight delay compensation
better protection for air passengers?

But there were some features that deserve bringing to your attention since they will impact on holidaymakers provided that they are passed and implemented.

Readers will be aware that ATOL binding is limited to the sum of two or more parts parts that could make up a holiday package. Book a flight and the only protection you have is by being able to claim on your credit card – that is if you paid by credit card – or by waiting in the queue for the receivers to distribute any funds.

But in the case of both Monarch and Thomas Cook, the government stepped in to repatriate those that were aboard at the time of the collapse of those two companies.

Now the government has decided that if an airline goes bust (only UK based airlines, one presumes rather than UK citizens on any airline) those airline passengers trapped abroad will be repatriated to the UK in the same manner that those who were bonded have been.

One of the criticism of the Thomas Cook collapse was that all of the planes owned or leased by the airline were parked on the ground instead of being used to bring passengers home. Legislation will be passed so that planes in a similar situation can continue to fly until all passengers are returned home.

As part of an overall review of flying, the government wants better use of our airspace. It wants to make air travel, quieter, faster and cleaner so expect a flurry of ideas on how this might be done. Whether this will go as far as saying only electrically powered planes can operate in UK airspace from a certain data may be a possibility.

With big infrastructure plans on the horizon it could be that we will get improved rail services in key areas such as the north and the midlands of England (rail is devolved to the nations apart from the actual track beds which are the province of Network Rail.)

But the government is also planning that any strikes (that on Southwestern has been continuous since December 2nd) do not cause as much disruption as they might. The thought is that there would be a Minimum Service Agreement so that a minimum service can continue to operate during a strike and that staff will have to work to provide the service.

It also looks – although this wasn’t flagged in the speech – that the current system of rail franchises will be re-examined but how this will affect passengers is hard to say.

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