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Airlines (delays etc.)

Airline Dispute Resolution is an independent and impartial organisation that specialises in resolving disputes between consumers and airlines, following a flight to or from a UK airport.

We hear complaints about member and non-member airlines. Our members are bound by our Code of Practice and Membership Rules, part of which states that they will be bound by any decision that we make.

Non-member airlines will not be legally bound by our decisions, although it is likely that they will observe such decisions. However, on occasions where we find in the consumer's favour and the airline does not observe our decision, consumers can take their complaint to the small claims court armed with our decision.

Our role is to ensure all parties receive a fair and reasonable outcome. To ensure that Airline Dispute Resolution maintains this at all times an Independent Standards Board monitors its recommendations and determinations.
Who we can hear complaints about?

We can accept complaints about any commercial flight operated by any airline to or from a UK airport.
We can deal with most disputes between consumers and airlines, including disputes in relation to:

• Denied boarding, delayed or cancelled flights
• Damaged, lost or delayed luggage
• Destruction, damage or loss of items worn or carried by a passenger
• Problems faced by disabled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility
• Issues of unfair trading
• Pricing
• Misrepresentation

Complaints we cannot deal with - IMPORTANT NOTES:

1) Before lodging a complaint with Airline Dispute Resolution you must first have complained direct to the airline and given them up to eight weeks to respond.
2) Complaints to Airline Dispute Resolution can be submitted without the need for any independent advice or third party representation.
We can direct the airline to:

• Pay compensation of up to £500 per person in relation to a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight.
• Issue an apology.
• Pay compensation for lost, stolen or damaged luggage.
• Pay compensation for a breach in relation to an equality or disability issue.
• Provide another appropriate form of remedy.

If the airline is a member of Airline Dispute Resolution, they will be contractually obliged to implement our decision. However, if the airline is not a member it will be within their discretion although in most circumstances we would expect non-member airlines to reconsider their position.
There are two ways to bring your complaint to Airline Dispute Resolution;

1. By post - if you do not have access to the Internet you can telephone 0203 540 8063 and ask one of our team members to post a complaint form to you. Send your completed form to Airline Dispute Resolution, 12 Walker Avenue, Stratford Office Village, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes, MK12 5TW.

2. Online - if you have access to the Internet you can file your complaint via our online portal. To access this, simply go to the homepage of the website and click on 'File your complaint'. As soon as you have filed your complaint you will be taken to your own personal portal page. This page provides you with live information about your claim so that you can check the progress at any time of day.

Note: Upon submission of your complaint one of our Complaint Handlers will firstly determine whether your complaint falls within Airline Dispute Resolution's jurisdiction. If it does not we will not be able to deal with your complaint and we will notify you in writing, within 21 days, of the reasons why.

Once accepted, your complaint will go through a 5-step procedure as shown below. You will be kept up-to-date with the progress of your complaint either via your personal online portal (if you have Internet access) or via post.

We will attempt to resolve your complaint initially by making a recommendation for a resolution to both yourself and the airline. If either party disagrees with the recommendation, your complaint will be passed to an ombudsman for a final determination.

We aim to process all complaints within 60 days.
Consumers are not bound by our recommendations or determination unless you agree to be bound. If you do not agree to be bound and you are unhappy with the outcome, you can still take your complaint elsewhere (such as to court).
It's important that you complete the complaint form as thoroughly as possible and that you provide as much supporting evidence as possible, such as:

- Receipts
- Photographs


How to make a complaint about an airline

Airline Dispute Resolution (a division of The Retail Ombudsman) is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (the aviation regulator) to operate as an ADR body for aviation consumers. If you’ve had a dispute with an airline and are looking to escalate your complaint for a swift resolution we are here to help you get your dispute resolved.

You may have a problem or dispute with a product or service regarding an airline i.e. the flight was delayed or cancelled, loss or damage of luggage or the service you received was unsatisfactory. If this is the case, and you have already complained to an airline, you can use our ‘airline’ complaint form to get your complaint process started.

Before making a complaint

Please note that to be eligible to make a complaint against an airline, you must have already complained to the airline directly in writing and either received a final written response (sometimes referred to as a ‘deadlock letter’) or given the airline eight (8) weeks to respond to your dispute. The Retail Ombudsman can only deal with unresolved complaints.

Which complaints does the airline sector cover?

The airline sector covers complaints against any major airlines, budget airlines or international airlines where the flight in question arrived or departed (or was due to arrive/depart) from a UK airport.

For more information about Airline Dispute Resolution, please view our FAQ page.

image of caa logo

Airline Dispute Resolution scheme rules

Please click here to download the Airline Dispute Resolution scheme rules (PDF)

Airline Dispute Resolution members:

image of ryanair logoimage of egyptair logoimage of turkish airlines logo
image of air astana logoimage of skywork airways logoimage of air canada rouge logo
image of tap portugal logoimage of wizz air logoimage of asiana logo
image of flybe logoimage of air canada logoimage of south african airways logo

image of arik air logoimage of air india logoimage of air china logo

virgin atlantic small png logoimage of cityjet logo

Air Astana
Air Canada
Air Canada rouge
Air China
Air India
Arik Air
Asiana Airlines
SkyWork Airlines
South African Airways
TAP Portugal
Turkish Airlines
Virgin Atlantic
Wizz Air

How to make a complaint?

You can make a complaint online by clicking the red button below or by filling out a paper version which can be downloaded here.

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