Passengers in line at security - London Heathrow Airport
Travellers have been subject to stressful delays, long queues and cancellations when attempting to travel in recent months. | © Frank Augstein / AP

Today, the British government launched a new ‘Aviation Passenger Charter’ to protect passengers by ensuring that they are aware of their fights if they are confronted with issues at airports. 

This charter has become a necessity considering the significant disruption dominating the industry in recent months. 

Greater protection whilst travelling

Disruption in the form of long queues, delayed, and cancelled flights have been caused and worsened by staff shortages at airports and airlines this year. The surge in traffic at airports didn’t help the matter – the bounce-back post-pandemic was furious and it is reasonable to suggest that most airlines and airports were not expecting travellers to be as keen to travel after a year of turmoil. 

Various European airlines have been forced to cut their normal summer schedule as an attempt to alleviate the disruption and ensure the peak summer season isn’t as affected by the staffing issues as previous months have been. 

Low-cost carrier Wizz Air announced this week that it will be cutting its summer schedule by 5% due to “ongoing external disruptions”. Netherlands flag carrier KLM announced on 11 July that it will also be cutting down its summer schedule to hopefully reduce last-minute flight cancellations. 

KLM aircraft
KLM is a part of the Air France-KLM group and a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. | © Mauvries/DepositPhotos

In the states, Atlanta-based carrier Delta Air Lines decided to remove 100 daily flights from its initial summer schedule as a pre-emptive measure. 

The new charter imposed by the UK government will help passengers know what they should do if they are confronted by delays, cancellations or missing baggage caused by any sort of disruption. According to the government, the charter will also feature guidance on how best to complain if travellers feel as if they have been mistreated by their airline.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps commented on the charter, which will act as a welcome helping hand for travellers this summer and beyond:

“Passengers deserve reliable services, and to be properly compensated if things don’t go to plan, and the chaotic scenes we’ve seen at airports are unacceptable. The new charter will help to give UK passengers peace of mind as they enjoy the renewed freedom to travel, whether for holidays, business or to visit loved ones.”

Last month, the UK government published a 22-point plan to avoid further disruption after it became apparent that airports and airlines were seriously struggling. Airlines were advised to run “realistic” summer schedules, hence why we have seen an influx of reductions over the past couple of weeks. 

London Heathrow
London Heathrow Airport has asked airlines to stop selling tickets for the summer season and has capped the number of passengers flying from the busy hub to 100,000 a day. | © Jon Arnold / Getty Images

Have you been affected by any delays or cancellations when travelling this summer? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.


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