Guidance on our role, and the service we aim to offer passengers.
One of the CAA’s strategic objectives is to improve choice and value for aviation consumers now and in the future by promoting competitive markets, contributing to consumers' ability to make informed decisions and protecting them where appropriate.
Our role in helping the CAA to achieve this objective is by providing advice and assistance to air passengers. We aim to give passengers the best advice to take up any complaints against airlines and airports. We try to help resolve disputes between passengers and airports, and between passengers and airlines. We aim to ensure passengers get their legal entitlements. We aim to resolve complaints wherever possible. This may mean that we will advise you to send your complaint to a more appropriate organisation where necessary. We aim to update passengers on the progress of their complaint and to let passengers know when we are unable to help, or where our intervention has been unable to resolve their complaint.
Information and openness
We will keep you informed about the status of your complaint. Where possible we will share information that has been provided by airlines or airports. 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.
We will let you know in a timely manner when we have been unable to help.
We aim to handle complaints in a consistent manner and to give the same good service to all passengers.
Courtesy and helpfulness
Our aim is that your letters, emails and telephone calls are answered promptly and politely. We aim to resolve complaints or give advice efficiently and effectively. We aim to be helpful and courteous. Unfortunately we are unable to advise you face to face on your complaint.
You can help us give you the best service possible by:
General service standards
Achieving our service standards
The number of complaints we receive can be affected by major disruptions, for example volcanic ash and snow. This may affect the length of time it takes to answer your complaint. If major disruption may affect the length of time it takes for us to review your complaint to us, we will let you know this. If an airline gives us information which is confidential, we will not be able to share that with you.
Please be aware, due the recent 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 if you have recently contacted us. We do apologise for this. Please look at our guidance 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.
The Civil Aviation Authority is the enforcement body for some consumer law. We will normally take enforcement action where non-compliance affects the collective interest of consumers or a specific group of consumers. Our enforcement work includes informal dialogue with businesses, as well as formal action. Although we are unlikely to take enforcement action on your complaint alone, the information about your complaint may help to decide which cases we enforce. We will normally publish the results and details of any compliance or enforcement action such as compliance agreements (including details of signed undertakings), Enforcement Orders and court action. Enforcement action will normally lead to changes in the way a business operates and ensure future compliance, it may not lead to a resolution of your complaint.
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. Another reason is that after investigation we may consider that the airline has met its legal obligations to you. Another reason that we may not be able to resolve your complaint is 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:
Consumer Affairs Manager
Or by email on email@example.com.
We will endeavour to investigate your complaint promptly. We will aim to send a reply to you within ten working days. If we are not the appropriate body to resolve your complaint we will advise who you need to complain to.
If you are not satisfied with our response about the handling of your complaint you can write to:
Sandra Webber, Director of Consumer Support at the same postal address or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Iain Osborne, Group Director, Regulatory Policy Group at the same postal address or by email at: email@example.com.
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,
Great Minster House,
76 Marsham Street,
You can also write to your MP or your MEP.