Which? Responds to Arbitrary limits on Passenger Accommodation Claims

Photo Credit: Buckinghamshire New University

Which? has responded to recent reports on arbitrary financial limits being imposed on the amount claimable for overnight accommodation.

The end of July 2023 saw quite some disruption in the skies of the UK and Europe. At the time of writing some of this is still ongoing and the investigation and lessons learned continue. We are aware of plenty of reports of passengers still stranded in destinations and trying to find new travel arrangements.

Still unresolved

Naturally, this is a stressful and fluid situation for many which isn’t being helped by reports of limits to claims. Some airlines and operators are, apparently, trying to apply limits to what can be claimed.

NATS Air Traffic Control Failure Due to "Flight Data Issue"
Photo Credit: NATS

It would seem that these aren’t necessarily following any convention or legislation and travellers are concerned. A big part of this developing story seems to us that there’s little continuity between how limits are applied.

Which? responds to claims:

The consumer advice organisation “Which?” has put out a statement

“Days after the initial air traffic control failures, countless passengers are still caught up in the chaos. Particularly concerning are reports that some passengers are still waiting to be rerouted by their airlines, despite carriers having a legal obligation to get their passengers on the next available flight. It’s simply not acceptable that customers are being kept in limbo, risking missing the start of school or their return to work because some airlines are refusing to buy their passengers tickets with rival carriers”

Reassurance to consumers

Further trying to reassure travellers, Rory Boland the Editor of Which Travel? continues: “Passengers are also entitled to accommodation and meals if they are stranded overnight, but again some airlines appear not to be fulfilling their obligations as expected. If you’re stranded for multiple days, your airline should be covering the cost of your accommodation for the full amount of time you’re delayed.”

“However, we’ve seen worrying reports of passengers offered a bed for just one night and then left to their own devices, or told that there’s an arbitrary limit on the amount they can claim back – when in fact airlines should cover the cost of accommodation for the duration for the delay, as long the costs are ‘reasonable’.”

It’s understandable that many travellers are finding the situation hard to navigate. Which?’s Rory is clear that consumers have the full backing of the UK authorities to be treated fairly: “The law on what passengers should expect is crystal clear – so it’s absolutely unacceptable airlines continue to play fast and loose with the rules, leaving passengers out of pocket in the process.”

“It’s essential the Prime Minister shows his support for travellers by prioritising legislation for the Civil Aviation Authority to receive direct fining powers in the King’s Speech this autumn. Until the regulator has the enforcement powers it needs, airlines will continue to flaunt the rules without consequences.”

Undoubtedly there will be more as this develops in the coming days and weeks. We will ensure we have all the latest updates for you as they come in.

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