The UK government is planning to introduce new compensation rules for delays on domestic flights.
Under the new proposals, passengers would be entitled to compensation based on the length of the delay, with the amount paid also linked to the ticket price.
Currently compensation is dictated by the European Union rule, known as EU261, which applies if a flight is delayed for at least three hours, with affected travellers entitled to up to £220 for flights of 1,500 kilometres or less.
The UK government is proposing changing this system for domestic flights, which would see airline passengers receiving 25 per cent of the ticket price for delays of between one and two hours, 50 per cent for delays of between two and three hours, and 100 per cent compensation if the flight is more than three hours late departing.
The Department for Transport said that moving to this new system would bring airline delay compensation into line with the current model already being used by rail and ferry passengers in the UK.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps added: “People deserve a service that puts passengers first when things go wrong, so today I’ve launched proposals which aim to bolster airline consumer protections and rights.
“We’re making the most of our Brexit dividend with our new freedoms outside of the EU, and this review will help build a trustworthy, reputable sector.”
The government is also looking at whether to force all airlines to become part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system, which allows consumers to “escalate” disputes with carriers without having to go to court. This system is currently voluntary for airlines to join.
Another change could see the UK’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), receive new powers to enforce consumer protection laws and directly fine airlines for breaches of these rules.
These proposals will now undergo a consultation process before the government decides whether to go ahead with them.
Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the CAA, said: “We welcome the action from the government to improve the rights of air passengers. This consultation is a clear indication of the need to enhance our enforcement powers and bring us in line with other regulators.
“The proposals will improve passenger rights and equip the CAA with the appropriate tools to act swiftly and effectively for the benefit of consumers.
“The ADR scheme has helped thousands of consumers seek redress from their airline or airport, and we welcome the proposal to bring more airlines on to the scheme.”
The consultation will also consider potential new rules mandating airlines to fully compensate wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility for any damage caused to their wheelchairs or mobility scooters during domestic UK flights.