(Independent.co.uk) – Airlines in the UK are reportedly drafting contingency plans to account for changes in consumer rights post-Brexit, which will see customers lose various protections held under EU law.
Under current laws, EU citizens are entitled to claim compensation in certain circumstances, for example, if their flight is delayed or cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. Current rights also extend to more unusual scenarios such as an unplanned downgrade, with a 30 percent reimbursement for flights up to 1,500km to or from an EU airport, rising to 75 percent on flights over 3,500km.
However, with Britain set to leave the EU in March 2019, such rights will no longer apply to UK citizens, reports Travel Weekly. An aviation deal has yet to be agreed upon to replace or replicate the current set of rights.
Airlines are said to be updating their websites to inform customers of the changes, notifying them that bookings will no longer be guaranteed post-Brexit, with proposed contingency plans reportedly due to come into effect as of Spring 2018 should talks continue to be deadlocked.
The changes would apply to tickets sold to EU destinations, but also 17 other countries, such as the US, where Europe-wide agreements oversee the legal flight rights of British airlines.
Airlines would continue to refund customers the cost of their tickets, but would be unlikely to compensate them for other costs incurred should a flight be cancelled, as they are currently obliged to do under EU law.
Industry insiders are said to be “optimistic” that a deal will be reached, but numerous airlines have responded with plans to mitigate for changes to the industry, while there are concerns efforts to secure a deal will be hamstrung should the EU insist that the UK continue to follow rules set out by the European Court of Justice.