New independent watchdog to represent airline passengers

 

Passengers involved in disputes with airlines over issues such as delayed flights and lost luggage will soon be able to take their complaints to an independent ombudsman for the first time.

Following consultation, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to end its role as a complaint handler and establish an independent ombudsman or “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) scheme towards the end of the year.

The new system would be modelled on how ombudsman work in the energy and financial services sectors and would focus on delayed or cancelled flights, lost luggage, poor service and accessibility problems for disabled passengers. It could also be used to handle complaints about airports.

The move comes after claims that some airlines were not paying compensation despite CAA rulings.

Currently, CAA decisions are not binding as the body has no legal powers to force airlines to pay compensation or other redress, forcing passengers to pursue civil claims through the courts. Under the proposals, airlines using ADR would have to abide by the decisions.

Membership would be voluntary but the government could be asked to legislate to make it compulsory if the majority of airlines don’t sign up, the CCA said.

Iain Osborne, group director of regulatory policy at the CAA, said: ‘It can’t be right that many air passengers have to go to court to get a concrete resolution to their complaint - especially when they can easily go to an independent ombudsman with an unresolved telecoms, energy or financial services problem.

‘We are not prepared to let that situation continue and moving towards an ombudsman-style approach for aviation will make sure air passengers benefit from the quick, fair and certain approach to dispute resolution that has long been the norm in other major consumer markets.’

The ADR will be directly funded by the businesses that use it and is likely to be set up by the airline industry with the CAA providing regulatory oversight.

In a statement, the CCA said: ‘By 1 September 2015, the CAA wants to see firm commitment to ADR from airlines that together carry at least 50% of passengers to and from UK airports. If this milestone is reached, the CAA will begin to wind down its own passenger complaint handling service, although it will continue to use intelligence from passenger complaints to support its consumer enforcement work.’

The changes have also been prompted by a European Directive on ADR, which requires schemes to be available to help settle any dispute that cannot be resolved though a business’s own complaint handling procedure.

The CAA is now welcoming applications from organisations interested in setting up ADR schemes ahead of implementation of the ADR Directive in July 2015.

 

Also see

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Director, Governance and Improvement

City of York Council
£85-95k plus relocation package
We are looking for an exceptional individual to be appointed to the position of Director of Governance and Improvement. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Senior Team Leader

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 to £38,994 per annum inclusive
Looking for individuals with initiative, evidence of experience in managing a street cleansing service and motivating... Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Road Safety Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
We are looking for a candidate who can participate in developing and delivering technically sound highway engineering solutions. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Information Management Officer x 2 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £26,317
Looking for better and smarter ways to operate and you will play a key role working across a broad range of service... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Graduate Engineer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
This is an exciting new opportunity in the Highway Services team to play a pivotal role in creating a safe and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Chief Fire Officer

West Sussex County Council
Competitive Salary plus Financial Support for Recruitment and Retention
We are looking for an exceptional individual who can lead our Fire & Rescue Service Chichester, West Sussex
Recuriter: West Sussex County Council

School Crossing Patrol

Brent Council
£21,591 - £22,377 p.a. inc. pro rata.
Looking for someone that is friendly, has great communication skills and enjoys working with children. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Engineer (Highway Design)

Darlington Borough Council
£31,371 - £33,799
Looking to employ an experienced person within the Highway Design team to meet the challenge of enabling development... Darlington, Durham
Recuriter: Darlington Borough Council

Project Manager – Major Maintenance and Infrastructure Projects 

Liverpool City Council
£42,683 - £47,491 
The successful candidate will ensure that effective procurement and delivery of highways maintenance and improvement. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Green Space Development Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£45,504 - £52,786
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Green Space Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for the people of Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Principal Planning Officer - Fixed Term

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£39.774 - £42.684
Looking for key members of the team that will be instrumental in transforming the Borough and opportunities available for residents.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Career Grade Planner

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27228 - £36711
In this role you will deal primarily with small-scale planning applications covering a wide range of planning issues. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Career Grade Planning Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27.228 - £36.711
We offer a great opportunity to develop your career with a positive approach to development and a desire to put... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Director of Place and Communities

Ashfield District Council
£79,070
As the Director for Place and Communities you will provide strategic and operational leadership across a range of key services including Waste... Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Ashfield District Council

Highways Operative - 3 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£18,426 - £21,166 (plus 20% enhancement if working in the night team)
You will be responsible for providing effective maintenance and development of the Kirklees road network carrying out a range of highway works. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Rights of Way Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£26,470 - £28,221
The purpose of the role is to implement and advise on the maintenance, protection, improvement and promotion of access... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Road Safety and Sustainable Transport Assistant

Telford & Wrekin Council
£11.41 - £12.35 per hour
Are you passionate about Road Safety, and want to help educate road users and develop their skills? Wrekin, Telford
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
As an Engineer, you will be required to lead the delivery of a wide range of highway improvements and maintenance projects to... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Highways Infrastructure

Leeds City Council
£72,397 - £79,637
Seeking an exceptional candidate for the position of Head of Highways Infrastructure to lead on the authority’s duty to... Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Leeds City Council