Flight complaints soarComplaints in Europe more than double in past year

29 June 2006

More consumers than ever are complaining about a problem they suffered while in another EU country - and most concern flights.

Citizens Advice has revealed it's dealing with more complaints about air travel in its European Consumer Centre (ECC) than any other type of problem.

The advice centre handles complaints from UK consumers who've encountered a problem in another EU country. Such complaints more than doubled last year, with the vast majority relating to the new European flight rules covering cancelled and delayed flights, and lost or delayed baggage.

Compensation

Under the rules, passengers are entitled to compensation if their flight is cancelled or delayed in certain circumstances, as well as food and drink while they wait.

The ECC, which is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and the European Commission, says that many people are confused about their new flight rights. It wants to see better information for passengers.

The service also reported that passengers were sometimes not being given the free food and drink if their flight was delayed.

Extraordinary circumstances

Airlines can avoid compensating passengers if a cancellation is caused by 'extraordinary circumstances, but the ECC found that airlines interpreted this in different ways.

Which? travel expert Bob Tolliday said: 'Airlines are clearly not doing enough to let passengers know their rights. Our concern is that this is just the tip of the iceberg.'