Abta cut back on flight delay compensation payments

Following December’s snow disruption of last year, Abta is revising their Code of Conduct with regard to unavoidable delays to flights. The clause that requires Abta members to compensate passengers for departure delays no matter the cause will be removed before the end of the year.

Paula Macfarlane senior solicitor of Abta says that generally a passenger is entitled to compensation for 12 hour or more delay or an alternative holiday but it is a problem as to how far tour operators accept responsibility for force majeure events. Those events refer to events or circumstances beyond control of parties to a contract.

Abta code requires its members to refund customers for significant changes to their holiday arrangements which were taken from Package Travel Regulations (PTRs). But they go further in detail as to what constitutes that type of change and includes a change or delay in flight of more than 12 hours.

The purpose of the code was to maintain or improve the industry behavior but tour operators have no control over any part of flight delays. It needs to be accessed as to whether of not people are being penalized for no purpose says the head of legal services at Abta Simon Bunce. What is in question is how the code is formulated and what members are to do about flight delays.