Thursday, 16 July 2015

ICAO Council Adopts Core Principles on Consumer Protection

The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has adopted global core principles on air transport consumer protection. The principles cover three phases of a customer’s experience: before, during and after travel.

 Before travel:
- Passengers should receive adequate advance information and customer guidance.
- Product and price transparency is recommended as a basic customer right.

During travel:
- Passengers should receive regular updates on any special circumstances or service disruptions
- In cases of a service disruption passengers should be provided with due attention, e.g. rerouting, refund, care, and/or compensation.
- Airlines and other stakeholders (like airport operators) should have contingency plans in place for situations of massive disruptions due to multiple flight cancellations.
- Persons with disabilities have a fundamental right to fair access.

After travel:
- Efficient complaint handling procedures should be established.
- Passengers should be clearly informed on such procedures.

According to the ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin the above principles aim at harmonizing air transport regulation. They serve as guidance to ICAO’s 191 Member States when they develop or review their applicable national laws.

You can find ICAO’s press release here and more information about ICAO’s work on consumer protection there. On the airline industry position on consumer rights, check the IATA website.

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