Airlines have been read the riot act by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority.
In an open letter, the watchdogs warned airlines they face ‘enforcement action’ which may include fines if they violate their legal obligations.
“We are concerned that some airlines may not be doing everything they could to avoid engaging in one or more harmful practices,” they wrote.
This includes wilfully ‘selling more tickets for flights than they can reasonably expect to supply and failing to warn consumers about the ensuing risk of cancellation.’
Some airlines are not offering alternative flights, including with other airlines, when a booked flight is cancelled.
“If we receive evidence that consumers continue to experience these serious problems, the CAA, supported by the CMA, will consider further action,” they said.
A shortage of airport staff has led to weeks of travel chaos with no end in sight.
Which? welcomed potential long overdue action for the ‘appalling treatment passengers have endured’
Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: “This letter comes after Which? reported BA and EasyJet to the Civil Aviation Authority over their handling of delays and cancellations.”
“It’s good to see regulators setting out their concerns and raising the prospect of enforcement action, but we know they have limited powers to effectively hold airlines to account.”
“Passengers need the CAA to be more proactive in its approach to enforcement.“