Consumer Dispute Resolution

Department for Transport written question – answered on 17th October 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the capacity of Consumer Dispute Resolution Ltd to provide effective and appropriate dispute resolution for air travellers during periods of high service disruption.

Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Consumer Dispute Resolution Ltd (CDRL) has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to provide an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service for complaints against airlines or airports.

The purpose of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is to provide effective redress for consumers after events such as a cancellation or a long delay to a flight. In order to escalate a complaint against an airline or airport through ADR, both of the UK ADR schemes approved by the CAA require the consumer to have already complained to the airport or airline directly in writing and either received a final written response or to have given the airline or airport at least eight weeks to respond to the dispute. CDRL’s scheme rules include a commitment to reach a determination within 60 working days of receiving the complete complaint file.

The CAA has not made any assessment of CDRL's capacity to provide effective and appropriate dispute resolution for air travellers during periods of high service disruption. ADR bodies do not have a role in assisting travellers during disruption and an ADR body would not be expected to intervene during a disruption event, for example, as the CAA did recently following the mass cancellation of flights by Ryanair.

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