Code of practice | Civil Aviation Authority

Learn about our role, and the services we offer to airline passengers.

The CAA oversees and regulates civil aviation in the UK. This code of practice explains our role, when we can help you, and the levels of service we provide.

Improving choice and value

One of our key objectives is to improve choice and value when you fly. We aim to promote competitive markets, help you make informed decisions and help you if you have a problem or complaint against an airline or airport.

Dealing with your complaints

We aim to give you the best possible advice about  your complaint against the airline or airport. We try to help resolve any disputes you have with an airline or airport and ensure you receive what you’re legally entitled to. To do this we aim to be:

  • Open. We will share all the information we can about your complaint. If we can’t help, we’ll tell you promptly and advise if there are any other organisations able to offer assistance.
  • Helpful. We aim to answer  emails and telephone calls politely and constructively. We are always helpful and courteous, although we are unable to provide face-to-face advice.

Although we always strive to provide a response as soon as possible, this is subject to receiving  a speedy response from the airline in most cases.  We also receive many more enquiries during widespread disruption – for instance, if UK airports are closed due to snow.

Please note the CAA is currently receiving high levels of complaints from passengers following a ruling in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that extended the rights of passengers to seek compensation for lengthy flight delays.  Unfortunately we have not been able to deal with complaints as quickly as we would wish or provide passengers with timely updates. However, whilst we now have measures in place to deal with the increased volume of complaints we have been receiving, as ever, we are reliant on prompt replies from the airlines.

You can help us too  


If you are planning to contact us, please review the information on our website first. You may be able to find the answer to your question here, saving your time and ours.

In particular, if you want to contact us regarding a complaint about a flight, first make sure you:

When you contact us, there are some things you can do to help us deal with your query quickly:

  • Be clear about what help you need from us
  • Have your flight details and any correspondence to hand

We always aim to be calm and polite on the phone, so we appreciate it if you can do the same too!

Data protection

The information you supply to us will be used by us to provide advice or resolve your complaint. We aim to hold your personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. If you have a complaint about how we manage your personal information, please tell us first, but if we cannot resolve your complaint about how we handle your personal data, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Complaints about our service

We hope we are able to give you the appropriate advice that you need on your complaint. We also aim to resolve your complaints for you wherever possible. However, we are not able to resolve all complaints. One reason is we may not be the correct organisation to do so depending on where the event you are complaining about happened. You may need to contact another organisation to make your complaint. Also after investigating your complaint, we may consider that the airline has met its legal obligations to you. Please be aware that we do not have the power to impose decisions upon airlines and airports in the way that an ombudsman-type scheme does.

If you feel your complaint has not been properly handled, please write to Tina Dunkin, Consumer Affairs Manager (including the reference number you’ve been allocated by us for your case) at:

Tina Dunkin,
Consumer Affairs Manager
4th Floor,
CAA House
45-59 Kingsway
Or by email on

If you are still not satisfied please write to   
Jonathan Berlusconi, Director - Shared Services Centre,  at the same postal address or by email at:

You may wish to write to the government department responsible for aviation, for instance about the applicable legislation and processes for looking after passengers:

Civil Aviation Division,
Department for Transport,
1/27-29 Great Minster House,
33 Horseferry Road

You can also write to your MP or your MEP.