Increased consumer protection when airlines fail

woman boarding a planeThe Department for Transport has published a report making recommendations to protect consumers when an airline or travel company fails.

The report was commissioned in October 2017, when 85,000 passengers were repatriated by the Civil Aviation Authority, following the collapse of Monarch Airlines.  

The key recommendations from the report are:

  • Proposals for a new flight protection scheme, amounting to nearly 50p per passenger, to protect them if an airline becomes insolvent while they're abroad.
  • Reforms to the UK’s airline insolvency regimes, so an airline’s own aircraft can be used to repatriate its passengers if it fails.
  • To improve awareness and take up of safeguards which protect customers with future bookings when airlines collapse.

Peter Bucks, chair of the Airline Insolvency Review, said:

"We know passengers expect to be protected from being stranded overseas if their airline should collapse, but in practice, each year many people fly without any such protection.

"Although airline insolvencies are relatively rare, as we have seen in recent months they do happen – and at times have required government to step in to repatriate passengers at great cost to the taxpayer.

"Our recommendations to government set out a series of practical suggestions to ensure that passengers are protected, particularly in the event of a large-scale collapse like Monarch.

"Ensuring all passengers can get home requires organisation, funding and in many cases more than simply rebooking onto other flights. I hope that the work of the review will – while there is no silver bullet – act as a catalyst to ensure that both passengers and taxpayers are appropriately safeguarded when airlines collapse in the future."

Read the evidence, analysis, conclusions and recommendations: Airline insolvency review final report

Image: Getty images