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Legal insights & industry updates

| 1 minute read

Airlines issued reminder of consumer law obligations and expectations

In an open letter issued to airlines dated 21 July 2022, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), have (among other matters) outlined concerns that some airlines may not be doing enough to avoid "engaging in one or more harmful practices".  The letter to airlines comes in the wake of recent analytical flight figures (from demonstrating that flights in 2022 are around 2.5x more likely to be cancelled than flights booked during the same period in 2019.    

Whilst the CMA and CAA do acknowledge that some airlines have performed better than others in respect of cancellations, a variety of concerns are raised in the letter, including (but not limited to) airlines; 

  • selling more tickets for flights than they can reasonably expect to supply; 
  • failing to warn customers about the risk of cancellation of flights; 
  • failing to offer customers "re-routing" in the event of cancellation (including an alternative route with a different carrier); and 
  • failing to provide customers with clear (and upfront) information concerning their cancellation rights.

The letter explores each of these concerns in detail and more. It ends with a warning to airlines that should customers continue to experience the serious issues identified to date, the CAA, supported by the CMA, will consider further action, including enforcement action.    


The CMA and CAA have published a joint open letter to airlines about their practices and processes regarding flight cancellations and reimbursements and reminding airlines about their consumer law obligations.


consumer law, aviation, competition, transport