Passengers delayed by more than an hour on domestic flights may be entitled to compensation | Business news

Domestic airline passengers will be able to claim compensation for flights delayed by more than an hour according to plans prepared by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Under European Union rules that the UK currently follows, customers can only do this for flights delayed by three hours or more – limited to £220 for flights of 1,500 km (932 miles) or less.

The government said it is in a position to propose changes after Brexit.

The changes are proposed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

It is considering moving to the system used by train and ferry companies, linking fees to travel costs.

According to the plans of the Department for Transport, passengers would receive 25% of the ticket price for a delay of one to two hours.

That would increase to 50% for a delay of two to three hours and 100% for a delay of more than three hours.

The DfT also plans to require airlines to pay the full cost of repairing or replacing wheelchairs and scooters that are lost or damaged on domestic flights.

Currently they are required to pay up to around £1,200, although some wheelchairs cost upwards of £25,000.

The proposals also include forcing airlines operating in the UK to join an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme, which will allow more people to get refunds and compensation without going to court.

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What happens at an airport if your flight is delayed?

Membership in the scheme is currently voluntary for airlines.

Mr Shapps said: “People deserve a service that puts passengers first when things go wrong, so today I launched proposals that aim to strengthen airlines’ consumer protections and rights.

“We are making the most of our Brexit dividend with our new freedoms outside the EU, and this review will help build a reliable, reputable industry.”

Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at consumer group Which?, said confidence in travel has plummeted during the pandemic “when some airlines ignored their legal obligations and refused to pay refunds for canceled flights”.

She added: “These consultations are a welcome first step to improve and strengthen consumer rights and protections, so that complaints are handled fairly and promptly and passengers receive the money they owe quickly and without unnecessary hassle.”

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