• Alternative dispute resolution or ADR means settling your dispute without asking a court to decide on your issue. The ADR Directive is European legislation which required Member States to act to increase consumers’ access to ADR.

    When implementing the ADR Directive the UK government noted in particular that there was an unmet need regarding complaints from consumers that stemmed from aviation contracts. As the UK’s specialist aviation regulator the CAA was appointed by the government to be the UK’s competent authority to approve ADR providers as fit to offer ADR services to consumers of aviation services.

    The CAA‘s role, as a specialist aviation regulator, combined with its strategic objective to improve choice and value for aviation consumers, means it is best placed to consider the competence and suitability of ADR applicants to provide alternative dispute resolution procedures to consumers of aviation.

    Letters to airlines

    We have published the following letters for airlines flying in and out of the UK which set-out the requirements of the UK Regulations, notably as regards the ‘trader information requirements’.

    Trader information requirements

    Airlines should read the letters which contain details on their obligations to provide information to the consumer; what and when.

    It is particularly important to note that since 1 October 2015 airlines needed to have adjusted their complaint handling procedures such that once internal complaint handling in respect of a complaint has been exhausted, the complainant is informed by the airline of the name and website address of an ADR provider competent to deal with the consumer’s complaint. This can be an ADR provider approved by the CAA or a competent ADR provider approved by another EU Member State.

    The airline will also need to inform the complainant whether or not the airline agrees to participate in the named ADR provider’s procedures and if so, the ADR provider’s name and website address must be available on the airline’s website and sales/service contracts.

    Approved ADR providers

    Under the Directive, Member States’ ‘competent authorities’ can approve bodies to act as ADR providers. The CAA is the competent authority to assess, and if applicable, approve ADR providers in respect of consumer disputes stemming from aviation contacts.

    As soon as approvals are granted the CAA will update the following list of approved ADR providers.

    Airlines signed up to CAA approved ADR schemes

    Airlines wishing to signpost to ADR providers approved by competent authorities in other member states as a means of complying with their information requirements

    Guidance is provided in our publication CAA policy on assessing 'competency' of proposed airline ADR schemes with 'EU listed bodies' (competent authorities in other European member states).