• The CAA Consumer Panel is a non-statutory body established to act as a 'critical friend' to the CAA. It provides expert advice to make sure that the consumer interest remains central to CAA policy development. The Panel focuses on the interests of current and potential aviation consumers, and citizen issues, such as noise from flight paths, do not fall under our remit. 

    The key activities of the Panel are to:

    • Help the CAA to understand fully, and take account of, the interests of consumers in its policy development and decisions.
    • Use existing CAA research, request the CAA undertakes new targeted research, and to gather intelligence, to understand the aviation consumer experience.
    • Provide the CAA with feedback from a consumer perspective on the effectiveness of its policies and practices.

    The Panel welcomes correspondence from consumers about their experience of the aviation sector, including the work of the CAA. However, while we may use feedback from consumers to inform our thinking and our advice to the CAA, we are not a complaints handling or consumer advice service and are unable to enter into correspondence with individuals.

    If you need advice and assistance, including if you are not satisfied with a complaint you have made to an airline or an airport, please contact the CAA’s Passenger Advice and Complaints Team.

    Contact us

    Consumer Panel
    Civil Aviation Authority
    CAA House
    45-59 Kingsway
    London WC2B 6TE

    Email: consumerpanel@caa.co.uk

  • The CAA Consumer Panel membership brings together strategic thinking and outstanding analytical aptitude and the ability to apply these in a practical way to improve the experience for commercial air passengers.

    Rt Hon Jenny Willott OBE, Chair

    Jenny was appointed to the Panel in January 2018. Jenny was Member of Parliament for Cardiff Central for ten years, serving as Consumer Affairs Minister, with responsibilities including consumer policy, competition policy and employment law, Women and Equalities Minister and as a Government Whip. She is now the Director of Enterprise and Innovation at St Mary's University, Twickenham, and a Non-Executive Director for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Prior to entering Parliament she worked in the voluntary sector, including as Chief Executive of Victim Support South Wales and Head of Advocacy for UNICEF UK.

    Carol Brennan

    Carol will join the Panel in October 2018. Carol is a Reader in Consumer Policy and Director of the Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Carol's research interests include consumer policy, complaint management, dispute resolution, consumer empowerment and customer experience. Carol is Chair of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission Consumer Panel and is a member of the Office of Rail and Road Consumer Expert Panel. She is also Chair of the Qualifications and Awards Board for the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. Carol conducts research for consumer policy and dispute resolution organisations, and publishes regularly in academic journals. Carol draws on her research to influence new developments in strategy, policy and practice. She recently produced reports on consumer representation, the outcome of complaints and using complaints to transform services.

    Helen Dolphin MBE

    Helen was appointed to the Panel in April 2018. Helen is a committed campaigner on improving transport for disabled people. After becoming disabled in her early twenties Helen trained as a journalist and worked for ITV Anglia News as a news reporter. She followed this by taking up the role of Director of Policy and Campaigns for a national disabled charity. Helen now works as an independent mobility specialist advising government, public, commercial and professional bodies on how to improve accessibility. She recently gained a degree in law and carries out equality law work for Fry Law. Helen is a member of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), Chair of the Joint Committee on the Mobility of Disabled People (JCMD) and Chair of her local mobility assessment centre East Anglia Driveability (EAD).

    Trisha McAuley OBE

    Trisha was appointed to the Panel in October 2015. Trisha is an independent consumer expert and an experienced Non-Executive Director. For over twenty years she was a senior executive in UK and Scottish consumer organisations and is the former Scottish Director of Consumer Futures. She was awarded an OBE for services to consumer affairs in 2015. Trisha is currently the Independent Chair of National Grid's RIIO2 Gas and Electricity Transmission Stakeholder Challenge Groups. She is also Independent Chair of two Electricity Code Governance Panels: the Grid Code Review Panel and the Connections and Use of Systems (CUSC) Panel. She is a Board Member of Northern Ireland Water, a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland Discipline Board, a Member of the Ofgem Gas Network Innovation Competition Panel, a Member of the Ofgem Consumer Progress Panel, a Member of the Office of Rail and Road Consumer Expert Panel, and a Member of the Heathrow Consumer Challenge Board. Trisha is also a Panel Member of the current Independent Review of Legal Services in Scotland.

    Walter Merricks CBE

    Walter was appointed to the Panel in April 2018. Walter's career over the past 20 years has involved work with ombudsman and complaint services, competition and consumer protection systems and regulatory bodies in the retail financial services, gambling, surveying and legal services, press, telecoms, energy, copyright licensing and ATOL protection sectors. He was the inaugural Financial Ombudsman and worked with the Financial Services Consumer Panel between 1999 and 2009. He recently served for six years on the board of the Gambling Commission, and now chairs the boards of IMPRESS (the Independent Monitor for the Press), and of JUSTICE, the law reform charity.

    Jacqueline Minor

    Following a short period lecturing in law at the University of Leicester, Jacqueline Minor joined the European civil service, first at the Court of Justice and subsequently at the European Commission. After more than 20 years' working on Internal Market issues, including a period as Director responsible for Consumer Policy, she served as Head of the Commission's Representation in the UK from 2013 until retirement in 2017. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Brighton, an Honorary Senior Fellow of Regent's University, London and a Governor of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. Jacqueline joins the Panel in October 2018.

    David Thomas

    David is a chartered accountant and an economist. He was appointed a specialist panel member at the Competition and Markets Authority in 2017 and since 2016 has run his own consulting practice focusing on economics, regulation and disputes in the communications sector. David was a director of competition and regulatory finance at Ofcom where he had responsibility for, among other things, price controls. After leaving Ofcom he established and led KPMG's global economics and regulation practice. David will join the Panel in October 2018.

    Claire Whyley

    Claire was appointed to the Panel in October 2015. Claire is a professional researcher and policy analyst, focusing on consumer behaviour and decision-making, consumer protection and consumer-focused regulation. She specialises in user-led, evidence-based and impact-focused policy development, across a range of markets, with a particular interest in vulnerable and excluded consumers. She has delivered a number of research projects focussing especially on people with low or unstable incomes and customers in arrears. Claire is also a member of a number of other Boards and Consumer Panels, including the Advertising Advisory Committee, the Finance and Leasing Association Lending Code Board, and is a Trustee of the Money Advice Trust. Claire previously completed two terms as a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel and was Deputy Director of Policy at the National Consumer Council.