Laws on denied boarding, cancellation and delay compensation
We are the enforcement body in the UK for the laws that cover air passenger rights when flights are delayed or cancelled, or when passengers are downgraded or denied boarding. Our enforcement powers are subject to where the incident happened.
- Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights (Applicable in the UK pursuant to s. 3 European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and amended by The Air Passenger Rights and Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018). This regulation also covers downgrading.
- The Civil Aviation (Denied Boarding, Compensation and Assistance) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/975) This regulation implements EC261/2004 in the UK.
Laws on the rights of people with a disability and those with reduced mobility
We are the enforcement body in the UK for the laws that cover the rights of passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility to have additional assistance at the airport and onto the plane.
- Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (Applicable in the UK pursuant to s. 3 European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and amended by The Air Passenger Rights and Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018)
- Civil Aviation (Access to Air Travel for Disabled Persons and Persons of Reduced Mobility) Regulations 2007 - Statutory Instrument No 1895 2007.This regulation implements EC 1107/2006 in the UK.
Laws on baggage
The Montreal Convention 1999 is a treaty between ICAO member states which provides consistent rules on the carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo. It applies subject to the country where the contract was made having ratified the Montreal Convention.
Laws on transparent information to passengers
- Air Services Regulation EC Regulation No 1008/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (Recast) (Text with EEA relevance) (Retained EU Legislation)
- Carrier Identity Regulation EC Regulation No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2005 on the establishment of a Community list of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the Community and on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier, and repealing Article 9 of Directive 004/36/EC (Text with EEA relevance) (Retained EU Legislation). (provision of information about the airline operating the flight and any changes).
General consumer protection legislation
We are also one of the UK’s enforcement bodies for general consumer law as it applies to air travel. We have this power through Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002.
Where the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) or the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published guidance for business on the legislation covered below we will act in accordance with that guidance:
- Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (known as the CPRs)
- Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (known as the UTCCRs)
- The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002
- The Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992
- Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (
CAA and Competition and Markets Authority joint guidance for the travel industry
The CAA and OFT (now the CMA) have produced joint guidance for the travel industry on the key consumer protection regulations that set out the requirements in relation to the transparent provision of price and other information. The guidance is designed to help businesses understand the requirements of the regulations and to comply with them.
The guidance sets out the requirements of the Air Services Regulation (ASR), specifically the price transparency requirements, the Carrier Identity Regulation (CIR), the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs), the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (UTCCRs) and the E-Commerce Directive.
Two version of the guidance have been produced, a full guidance document sets out each of the regulations and their requirements in detail, and sets out the CAA and CMA’s enforcement powers. There is also a shorter quick reference version of the guidance designed to give a brief overview of the requirements of the regulations. Both versions contain practical example of the requirements of the regulations.
Air passenger rights - European case law
- interpretive guidelines for flight delays, cancellations and denied boarding
- interpretive guidelines for passengers with reduced mobility
Please note that any changes to these guidelines that may be published by the European Commission after the 31st December 2020 will not affect UK law.