We offer online advice to help you understand your rights when you have a problem with a flight. We can also help you claim from your airline or airport.
Compensation for disruption caused by technical faults
In June 2014 the UK Court of Appeal issued a decision in the Jet2 v Huzar case. The Court found that ordinary technical problems that cause flight disruption, such as component failure and general wear and tear, should not be considered an “extraordinary circumstance” and compensation would be payable in these cases. The Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal on this case and therefore the Court of Appeal judgment applies. For further information please click here
In September 2015 the European Court looked at the same issue in the case of KLM v van der Lans. For further information please click here.
If you have a new claim about a technical disruption, or your airline previously declined your claim due to a technical fault, please contact your airline in the first instance. There is a template letter that you could download here
Please be aware that the legal limit to issue claims at Court is 6 years in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland from the date of the incident but we would suggest you contact your airline as soon as possible. If your claim is nearing the legal limit, you may wish to consider legal action and further information can be found here.
If you have already made a written complaint to an airline or airport, and you are not satisfied with the outcome, the CAA may be able to help. If you are awaiting a response from your airline, please allow six weeks for them to reply before you contact us about your complaint.
The CAA Passenger Advice and Complaints service is not an ombudsman scheme and we are unable to impose our findings on airlines. We will advise whether we think you have a valid complaint and if so will take it up with the business concerned. We use data from the complaints we receive to consider taking enforcement action against a particular business for a pattern of non-compliance with legislation.
Please use this link to see the process if you are dissatisfied with an airline's response to a complaint you have made.
Here is our process for dealing with complaints about airlines and airports.
Please use our online form to submit your complaint. If your complaint relates to a cancellation, delay, downgrading or denied boarding departing from another (not UK) EU country, you can either contact the relevant national enforcement body for aviation in that country yourself or, if you prefer, we will forward the complaint to the relevant national enforcement body for you. if you would prefer us to do this, please do not use the online from but send your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware, due to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling which has extended passenger rights for certain delayed flights, we are receiving a significant increase in demand for our services.This has meant our response is likely to be slower than we would like. We do apologise for this. Please look at our advice on making a complaint and make sure you have written to the company first and provided all the relevant information. We assure you that your complaint does matter to us and we will answer as soon as we can.
If you have been booked on a flight in the last three years that was cancelled or delayed by over 3 hours, we would like to hear how satisfied you were with your airline’s response by filling in our survey.
Your personal data
We will always endeavour to ensure that enquiries involving sensitive personal data about you or another person are handled with care and in accordance with our data protection obligations. Our Fair Processing Notice can be found here.
If it is necessary for you to send supporting documents to our offices, it is important that you do not send original documentation as we routinely destroy all paperwork (using a secure method) once it has been scanned into our electronic systems.
Where were you flying from?
Unfortunately we cannot take up your complaint under the following circumstances:
If it is about a cancellation, delay, downgrading or an instance of denied boarding and your flight is departing from another (not UK) EU country you will need to contact the relevant national enforcement body for aviation in that country or, if you prefer, we will forward the complaint to the relevant national enforcement body for you. If you would prefer us to do this, please send your complaint to email@example.com.
EU rules on delays, cancellations, denied boarding and downgrading do not apply in relation to flights coming from outside the EU on a non-EU airline. For these or any other complaint about such a flight you will need to write to the airline in the first instance. We may be able to help, if you cannot resolve your problem with the airline directly, if you are a UK resident and your ticket was purchased in the UK.
EU in this sense includes all EU Member States plus EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland.
Please use our online form to send us the details of your complaint against an airline or airport. The form will tell you if your complaint is one that we can help with and you don’t have to fill out the form in one go. In order for us to progress your complaint we will need copies of the supporting information listed below. These can be uploaded and attached to the online form. If you are unable to scan the supporting documents to upload them with your online submission, please continue to submit the complaint online. Once your submission has been completed, please email copies of your supporting documents along with your reference number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note this email address is for supporting documents only and cannot be used for submitting new complaints.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS AS THESE WILL BE DESTROYED AFTER SECURE SCANNING.
If you are unable to submit the complaint online, please give us a call on 020 7453 6888 and one of our advisers will try to help you.
We will send you a response by email to let you know we have received your complaint, but we will be unable to progress it until we have received all the relevant supporting documentation.
If you just have a question for us, you can use the online enquiry form or call our advice line. We don’t take up complaints on the basis of a telephone call (but you are welcome to call us first to see if there is anything we can do to help).
Please use our online form to send us the details of your enquiry about an airline or airport. The form will tell you if your enquiry is one that we can help with, and we will send you a response by email.
Other CAA contact details
Phone: 020 7453 6888 Consumer Advice Line Monday to Friday 09.00 – 17.00.
Please could we ask for your understanding and request that you refrain from non-essential contact - including requests for an update on the status of your file. This will enable us to concentrate our resources on making progress with the complaints received.
Fax: 020 7453 6754
If you are requesting information under FOIA please visit our Freedom of Information page. There are set timescales for us to reply to requests under this Act, and it helps us to respond if you contact us through our online request form for FOI requests.
Where information has been provided to us by airlines as part of our investigations into whether compensation is payable for a delayed or cancelled flight, we will generally not be able to provide copies of that information to you if it is obtained by us as part of our statutory functions.
How we can help
CAA has a code of conduct for complaint handling which sets out our role and how we aim to achieve our service standards. If you are polite and reasonable in your dealings with our staff, it will enable us to help you better with your complaint or issue. We reserve the right to end phone calls where abusive language is used.
The CAA Passenger Advice and Complaints service is not an ombudsman scheme and does not have the ability to decide individual cases or impose requirements. We will advise whether we think you have a valid complaint and if so will take it up with the business concerned. We use data from the complaints we receive to consider taking enforcement action against a particular business for a pattern of non-compliance with legislation.
If we take up your complaint but are not able to achieve a satisfactory outcome you may have to consider taking your complaint to court. Once your case has been concluded, we will not re-open it unless there is new information provided.
The CAA has taken over handling complaints from air passengers with a disability or reduced mobility from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. We can help with complaints about the assistance provided by airports and airlines for flights departing from England, Scotland and Wales and the assistance provided by EU registered airlines on flights from outside the EU to the UK. In some circumstances you will need to contact the relevant national enforcement body for aviation in another EU country. However if you prefer, we will forward your complaint to the relevant national enforcement body on your behalf.
It may be worth telephoning our advice line before you write to us to make sure we can help.
Phone: 020 7453 6888 Consumer Advice Line Monday to Friday 09.00 – 17.00
Complaints from Legal Representatives
CAA are unable to progress a complaint submitted by a legal representative on behalf of a complainant until a consent form ST63, signed by the complainant, has been received.
If you need to make a claim under the ATOL scheme or have an enquiry about a holiday company please see our section on ATOL or contact the company's trade association such as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) if the company is a member. These associations have codes of conduct for their members and offer arbitration services through which customers can pursue complaints.
If they are not members of these organisations you could contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
If you have already made a written complaint to an airline or airport on a health matter, and you are not satisfied with the outcome; the CAA Aviation Health Unit may be able to help. We won’t take up a complaint on the basis of a telephone call (but you are welcome to call us first to see if there is anything we can do to help). So you will need to write or email, setting out all the details and including copies of all correspondence.
Aviation Health Unit
CAA Safety Regulation Group
Gatwick Airport South
West Sussex RH6 0YR
Telephone: 01293 573674
Complaints relating to residents of Northern Ireland, where the flight is inbound to or outbound from Northern Ireland, should be addressed to the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. Their contact details are as follows:
Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
116 Holywood Road
Belfast, BT4 1NY
Telephone: 0800 121 6022
Textphone: 028 9067 4892