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MPs' group demands 1 flight levy

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  • andrewm
    Rank 2 Registered User
    • Jan 2000
    • 4456

    MPs' group demands 1 flight levy

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4680026.stm

    The government is being urged by a group of MPs to reconsider calls for a 1 levy on flights abroad to protect passengers if their airline goes bust.
    The Commons transport committee said millions of Britons travel without insurance each year, and criticised the government for a lack of action.

    It cited last year's collapse of EUjet as an example of what could go wrong.

    But a Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman said consumers should be free to make their own decisions.

    Low fare airline EUjet collapsed last summer, leaving thousands stranded.

    The industry's regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said it could cost passengers up to 200 to return home to Britain in the wake of such an event.

    'Amateurish'

    Last October, ministers rejected a proposal by the CAA for a 1 levy which would ensure passengers could be brought home if their airline collapsed.

    A DfT spokesman commented that the government felt consumers should make their own choices over insuring against airline failure, as they do for medical cover or loss of luggage.

    "The dynamics of personal travel are changing. Consumers are now much more empowered to make their own arrangements and should likewise decide for themselves about any risk involved and the value of appropriate insurance," he said.

    "In the rare event of airline failures, UK airlines have committed to helping passengers return home at moderate cost, as they did in the recent EUjet example."

    But committee chair Gwyneth Dunwoody attacked the government's decision as "wrong".

    "To fail to implement the CAA's advice amounts to allowing the present policy of protection to wither on the vine.

    "Plans for voluntary arrangements for repatriation are amateurish.

    "Millions of air travellers continue to fly unprotected against the risk of an airline collapse," she said, adding that the advantage of the levy far outweighed the additional cost.

    Industry benefits

    The committee said 90% of travel insurance policies failed to cover air carrier insolvency and that the number protected by ATOL, which provides financial protection for some air travel, is "in free fall".

    Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Tom Brake is backing the committee by setting up a campaign under the slogan One Pound Per Flight For a Piece of Mind.

    Last year Mr Brake drafted an unsuccessful amendment to the Civil Aviation Bill to introduce the 1 levy.

    He said the levy would not only protect passengers but would also have a "positive deregulatory impact".

    "The travel industry estimates a saving to tour operators and travel agents of up to 100 million a year," he said.

    "My campaign will aim to bring together all of the key players in the industry to look at how we can work together to make the Government change their mind on their decision before even more passengers are left high and dry and stranded when their airline goes bust next summer."

    *************************************

    Cue FR advert....
    Regards, Andrew
  • cloud_9
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Sep 2005
    • 2418

    #2
    I am missing something here, or does an ATOL licence not cover passengers if the company goes bust?

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    • exmpa
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • May 2005
      • 321

      #3
      It cited last year's collapse of EUjet as an example of what could go wrong.
      Registered in The Republic of Ireland

      The industry's regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said it could cost passengers up to 200 to return home to Britain in the wake of such an event.
      The CAA had no regulatory oversight iro EUJet, this was the responsibility of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

      The committee said 90% of travel insurance policies failed to cover air carrier insolvency
      Then it is up to the customer to buy a policy which provides adequate cover. If they don't want to pay for it then they take the risk.


      the number protected by ATOL, which provides financial protection for some air travel, is "in free fall".
      ATOL - Air Tour Operator's Licence, not generally held by airlines anyway. The demise of ATOL is in line with the reduction of the Inclusive Tour Operators' proportion of the total leisure travel market. If you want the protection that an ATOL confers then you pay for it in the price.

      The bottom line is that if you want to travel independently and make your own arrangements and your choice of carrier is "Real Cheap Airways" registered in Ruritania then you must accept the element of risk involved. If you don't like the risk then insure against it or book with BA, DLH, Air France bmi, Easy etc. Why should the passengers of these companies underwrite "Real Cheap Airways" punters?

      Freedom of choice implies a responsibility to look after yourself, caveat emptor.

      exmpa

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