An airline company which flies thousands of Huddersfield people on holiday has never signed up to a passenger dispute resolution service.
Airline Jet2.com based at Leeds Bradford Airport has now been urged to join one of the new passenger dispute resolution services for the airline industry by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which has questioned why it has “so far inexplicably and persistently refused to sign up.”
The CAA said Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has helped resolve more than 10,000 passenger complaints in the first year of its operation and 35 airlines operating in the UK were now signed up.
But the authority urged all carriers to join the scheme, singling out Jet2.com, along with Aer Lingus and Emirates.
It said Leeds-based Jet2.com is the only top 10 UK airline not to have joined.
CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: “ADR is good for UK consumers which is why it is extremely disappointing that Jet2, one of the UK’s largest airlines, has so far inexplicably and persistently refused to sign up, denying their passengers, access to an independent arbitration service.
“Clearly this decision puts Jet2’s customers and those of other airlines that haven’t yet signed up, at a distinct disadvantage and in many cases could mean their passengers are denied the fundamental rights they are entitled to.
“I am therefore calling on Jet2 and other airlines, including Aer Lingus and Emirates, to commit to ADR in the interests of their passengers.”
CAA introduced ADR in 2016 with the aim of ensuring passengers could escalate disputed complaints and receive a legally binding solution without going to court.
On Wednesday, the authority said more than 10,000 airline customers have since escalated a complaint to one of two ADR services approved by the CAA, with 75% of complaints resolved in consumers’ favour.
It said that almost 80% of air passenger journeys are now covered by ADR and seven of the UK’s biggest airports have also signed up, helping resolve complaints around baggage and assistance for disabled passengers.
Mr Haines said: “From the thousands of passengers already receiving positive outcomes from the ADR process, we are confident that complaint handling and resolution has already significantly improved in the last 12 months.”
The CAA said its passenger advice and complaints team now only accepts complaints from passengers of airlines not signed up to ADR schemes.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the association that represents UK-registered carriers, said: “UK airlines work hard to ensure that the passenger experience is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
“However, occasionally things do go wrong and that is why airlines provide support to passengers, including complying with all legal requirements on passenger rights and consumer protection - paying compensation when it is due and offering great customer service to their 270 million passengers, in what is a highly competitive industry.
“Following the ADR Directive and its implementation by the UK Government, ADR was made available in the aviation sector on a voluntary basis.
“The vast majority of UK carriers have already signed up with an ADR provider while others will be carefully considering it as an option, ultimately basing their decision on what is best for their customers.”