82 percent of Brits do not know their passenger rights
Posted on 02/06/2017

EconomyUnited Kingdom

Twitter Facebook 12 shares

Recent research by Travelzoo's 'Understanding Air Passenger Rights' has shown that the vast majority of British consumers are fairly clueless when it comes to their flying rights.

...and only 43 percent know their compensation rights

...and only 43 percent know their compensation rights

A whopping 82 percent of British consumers either do not know or have only a vague idea of their air travel rights. Morever, only 43 percent of the people surveyed knew that if a flight from a European airline departing from Europe is cancelled, all ticket holders are entitled to a full refund except under exceptional circumstances.

Knowing your rights has been especially important in recent months with the reports of passengers being forcibly removed from United Airlines flights and more recently the British Airways IT meltdown, which stranded over 75,000 passengers across the world, dominating the news. Recent reports indicate that British Airways is set to pay out up to 150m pounds in compensation.

Indeed, British passengers said that they think the rules should be made clearer and that the current situation, given recent events, is spiraling out of control. According to 37 percent of respondents airlines should be held more accountable for their actions.

President of Travelzoo Europe, Richard Singer, expressed his concern over the results saying "There is clearly a lack of understanding of passenger rights when flying. While the information is available, it's hard to find, complicated to understand, and even more difficult to submit a claim. Those entitled to compensation are either unaware that they are or don't bother trying to claim because they perceive the process as being too much hassle.

"While clearer information about regulations is required, there is also the chance to be proactive in helping customers claim their rightful compensation. By implementing a system where passengers who are entitled to a claim are automatically notified, airlines stand to reap the benefits of customer loyalty through turning an unavoidable situation of disrupted travel into something that distinguishes them from others."

The research also showed that up to 74 percent of British consumers are unaware that they are legally permitted to claim a refund for a flight that has been delayed by more than five hours. They do not have to take the delayed flight and the airline is also obliged to offer certain services such as food and drink and in certain situations, they must also offer overnight accommodation.

In line with EU regulations, regardless of if it is an inbound or outbound flight, all customers are entitled to compensation rights for cancelled flights. However, 36 percent of respondents thought these rights varied depending on which airline they were taking.

Given the recent airline scandals and the reports that Europe, like the U.S, is also considering introducing a laptop ban, understanding your legal rights as a airline passenger is crucial.

Related articles

Top Holiday Destinations for June
Stunning places which may disappear soon
Record 1.32bn Euro net profits for Ryan air
Glued to Facebook: four in ten Brits are "social travellers"