Brexit travel: Britons don’t want to lose passenger rights and get US-style flight delays

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The UK left the EU on January 31 2020, however, the UK is currently in a transition period where the UK remains in the EU customs union and single market. The UK’s transition will end on December 31 2020, when a post-Brexit trade agreement needs to be agreed. If a trade deal is not put in place by this date and no transition extension is agreed, the UK would trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms with the EU.

As well as trade, many Britons are concerned about whether travel to countries in the EU will change.

Currently, countries in Europe are some of the most popular for holidays.

One concern for Britons is whether air travel will change and if passenger rights will change.

According to new data from the British Social Attitudes Survey, 80 percent of Britons would like UK airlines to stick to the EU’s current rules on flight compensation after the transition period ends.

New data from the Association of Passenger Rights Advocates (APRA), has also revealed that in the US, a higher proportion of flights are cancelled and delayed compared to the UK.

They suggest that the UK faces three times fewer delays and two times fewer cancellations compared to the USA.

The data from between 2017 and 2019 suggests that one in 226 flights departing from the UK are delayed for more than three hours.

Meanwhile, one in 82 flights in the USA face lengthy delays.

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Flight cancellations are also less common in the UK as well with 1 in 95 flights being cancelled in the period between 2017 and 2019.

But in the USA, one in 56 flights face cancellation during the same period.

The study is based on flight data of all flights departing from UK and US airports between January 1 2017 and December 31 2019.

When the transition period ends, the UK could lose its EU passenger rights.

However, the UK government has assured passengers that they will have more substantial rights when flying from the UK than from EU airports post-Brexit.

A document called “Beyond the horizon: The future of UK aviation” published by the UK government in April 2018 suggests that this won’t change.

The document reads: “The current system of compensation for delay, cancellation and denied boarding provided by EU Regulation 261/2004 provides strong levels of consumer protection, and the UK will not fall below current standards of protection when we leave the EU, but the process by which compensation is accessed is often difficult for the consumer to navigate.”

The 2018 EU Withdrawal Bill, which was agreed to by both the EU and the UK also means that EC 261 is enshrined into domestic law by the UK government.

At the moment, European regulation called EC 261 means that UK air travellers departing from European airports, stopping over in Europe, or flying into the EU on an EU airline are entitled to financial compensation of up to £510 per person for avoidable disruptions including lengthy delays, cancellations, and overbooking for reasons within airlines’ control.

Other advantages of EC 261 includes if the flight cancellation leaves a passenger stuck waiting at the airport for more than two hours, the carrier must provide passengers with meals and refreshments during the delay.

Carriers must also offer customers access to communications, as well as a hotel room and transport to and from the airport if their disruption requires an overnight wait.

Currently, if a Briton is upgraded on a flight or offered an alternative flight, the carrier cannot charge them any additional payment.

The carrier can also partially reimburse customers if their alternative flight is a class lower or costs less than their ticket.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been contacted for comment.

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