Airlines operating in the UK have not faced a single fine for breaking consumer law on refunds, delays or cancellations since 2003, consumer organisation Which? has revealed.
Over the same period, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has only used its powers to apply to the courts for an enforcement order – a court order effectively ordering an airline to comply with the law – once.
The regulator was granted the relevant regulatory powers to seek enforcement orders and gain undertakings from airlines in 2003.
However, despite having responsibility for enforcing consumer rights laws on airline cancellations, delays and refunds, the CAA cannot directly fine airlines.
Which? is now calling for the aviation regulator to urgently be given powers to fine airlines, after nearly six months of blatant disregard of the law on refunds for cancelled flights during the pandemic.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Without the ability to issue fines or take swift action against airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority has struggled to effectively stand up for the passengers it is there to protect.
“Several airlines already know this, and there’s a real risk some have felt empowered to break the law as a result – and…