If you have already made a written complaint to an airline or airport and you are not satisfied with the outcome or have not received a reply within 8 weeks, the CAA's Passenger Advice and Complaints Team (PACT) may be able to help.
PACT is only likely to consider your complaint if the airline or airport you've complained to is not a member of a CAA-approved ADR body.
Following a review of our complaint handling activities the Passenger Advice and Complaints Team (PACT) will only handle complaints related to:
PACT will advise on whether we think you have a valid complaint, and if so will take it up with the business concerned, but we do not have the legal powers to impose a solution on an airline.
If you are dissatisfied with the opinion the CAA has provided, you can
take legal action against the airline or airport, but you cannot appeal against the CAA's decision.
In addition, there are strict time limits in relation to taking legal
action therefore, we will not handle complaints where there is less than a year
to take legal action.
Please use our online form to send us the details of your complaint against the airline or airport, this will tell you if your complaint is one that we can help you with. You don't have to fill it out all in one go.
In order for us to progress your complaint, we will need copies of your supporting information:
Scans of these can be uploaded and attached to the online form.
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 of the relevant supporting documentation.
If you have a question for us, you can use our online enquiry form and we will advise you if your enquiry is one that we can help with. We will send you a response by email.
Our initial assessment of your complaint will take
about one week if we have received all of the correct supporting documents from
you. If your complaint is within our scope, we will then ask the airline or
airport to reassess it in light of the relevant legislation and guidelines.
We should receive a response from the airline or
airport within four weeks, although this may vary, and if we challenge the
airport or airline for further information it can take another two weeks.
Once we have received all the information we require
it will take us five weeks to contact you with a final assessment of your
situation. For a visual representation of this process, see our process diagram.
If you are dissatisfied with the opinion the CAA has
provided you can take legal action
against the airline or airport, but you cannot appeal against the CAA’s
Ordinary technical problems that cause flight disruption, such as component failure or general wear and tear, should not be considered an 'extraordinary circumstance' and compensation should be payable in these cases.
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. If you want, you can use our template letter.
Please be aware that in the UK the legal limit to issue claims at Court is 6 years from the date of the incident in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland, but we would suggest you contact your airline as soon as possible. If your claim is nearing the 6 year limit, you may wish to consider legal action.
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 from outside the EU to the UK. Contact us to check what we can do for you.
The CAA are unable to process a complaint submitted by a legal representative on behalf of a complainant until a consent form 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 ATOL section.
If they are a member of one, you can also contact the company's trade association (e.g. the Association of British Travel Agents or Association of Independent Tour Operators) - these associations have codes of conduct for their members and will offer arbitration services through which you can pursue complaints.
If they are not a member of any 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.
They will need a written letter or email containing all relevant details, and copies of any correspondence, before they can officially take up a complaint, but you are welcome to call them first with any queries.
Aviation Health Unit
CAA Safety Regulation Group
Gatwick Airport South
West Sussex, RH6 0YR
01293 573 674
Complaints relating to this should be addressed to the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.
Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
116 Holywood Road
Belfast. BT4 1NY
0800 121 6022 / 028 9067 4892
Unfortunately we cannot handle your complaint if it is about a cancellation, delay, downgrading or an instance of denied boarding from another (not UK) EU country. EU in this sense includes all EU Member States plus EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland.
You will need to contact the relevant National Enforcement Body (NEB) for aviation in that country or, if you prefer, we will forward the complaint to the NEB for you. If you would like us to do this, please send your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EU rules do not apply in relation to flights coming from outside the EU on a non-EU airline.
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.
PACT has a code of practice for complaint handling which sets out our role and how we aim to achieve our service standards.
Enquiries involving sensitive data about you or another person are handled with care and in accordance with our data protection obligations. For further information see our Fair Processing Notice for more information.
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.
If you wish to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please visit our FOI web pages.
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