© Reuters. Passengers queue inside the departures terminal of Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
LONDON (Reuters) – The British government launched an “Aviation Passenger Charter” on Sunday to help passengers know their rights if they are faced with problems at airports after the widespread disruption seen this year. Long queues and cancelled flights caused by staff shortages have caused chaos at times, prompting airlines to cut back their schedules as the industry struggles to keep up with a surge in demand after the COVID-19 pandemic. The new charter will help passengers know what to do if they are confronted by cancellations, delays or missing baggage, the government said, with guidance on how to complain if they feel they have been treated unfairly. “Passengers deserve reliable services, and to be properly compensated if things don’t go to plan, and the chaotic scenes we’ve seen at airports are unacceptable,” transport minister Grant Shapps said. “The new charter will help to give UK passengers peace of mind as they enjoy the renewed freedom to travel, whether for holidays, business or to visit loved ones.”
Last month, the government published a 22-point support plan to avoid further disruption, including telling airlines to run “realistic” summer schedules and promising to speed up security checks. It said these were now being processed in “record time”. In a sign of the problems, London’s Heathrow Airport this week asked airlines to stop selling tickets for summer departures and capped the number of passengers flying from Britain’s busiest hub at 100,000 a day.