Travel

Airlines told by UK government to prioritise passengers and treat them sensitively amid travel chaos

Business Insider US
People wait in long queues for security at Heathrow Airport on June 1. Carl Court/Getty Images.
People wait in long queues for security at Heathrow Airport on June 1. Carl Court/Getty Images.
  • The UK government has demanded airlines treat passengers properly as travel disruptions continue.
  • Passengers should be provided essential information, the DfT and CAA wrote in a letter to airlines.
  • Further legislative reforms will be considered if passengers are not appropriately treated, the letter said.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The UK government has ordered airlines to put passengers first and treat them with decency amid the summer travel chaos.

Top officials of the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) wrote a joint letter to airlines, asking them to communicate with passengers properly and provide them with enough information. The Independent first reported the letter.

"We hope you would agree that we need to prioritise passengers and treat their needs sensitively as air travel recovers," they wrote in the letter. The officials said they want to make sure that passengers can easily access information about their rights if their flight is delayed or cancelled.

Airlines were ordered to contact passengers ahead of their flight to tell them about what they could expect during travel. The letter said this information should include recommended arrival times at the airport, what to do if luggage is lost or damaged, what to do if the flight is cancelled or delayed, and what passengers' rights for compensation are.

The officials wrote in the letter that these details should be the minimum amount of information airlines provide to passengers.

"If we consider that passengers are not being appropriately treated further legislative reforms will be considered," said the letter.

The DfT and CAA also asked airlines to ensure they have suitable resources at airports and call centres to help passengers.

Insider has reported on various accounts of passengers' luggage getting lost, connecting flights being cancelled in midair, and flights being delayed 10 times. The stories indicate the mayhem that is occurring in the aviation industry as staffing shortages cripple airlines' services.


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