Daily Management Review

Airlines In UK Do Not Want To Stop Passenger ‘No-Show’ Clauses


Airlines In UK Do Not Want To Stop Passenger ‘No-Show’ Clauses
Calls to airlines to eliminate the “no-show” clauses for passengers have been turned down by a host of major airlines, which includes the likes of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, in the United Kingdom. Under the “no-show” clauses where in passengers are essentially bumped off the second half of a return trip. There has been severe criticism of the clauses by regulators along with calls for a stop ot the practice by airlines.
Airlines were warned in December by some consumer bodies that such business practices could amount to violation of the consumer laws because the airlines were upholding the clause which gave t hem the self right to cancel the second leg of a return flight for a passenger if that same passenger did not travel the first leg of the same booking. This policy by most airlines has cost some passengers hundreds of pounds in the UK to book themselves replacement flights. In some cases, airlines have also given themselves the right to rebook the same tickets which essentially gave them the opportunity to make double the earnings from a single seat.
Flybe was the only airline out of the nine airlines operating in the UK that confirmed that it would alter the clauses even though the company is yet ot completely remove them. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, KLM, Air France, Singapore, Qatar and Swiss are the airlines that still retained the clauses.
In one of the cases that was reported widely in the media and on social media as well, more than £600 to had to be paid by a passenger to British Airways after the airline did not allow the passenger and his wife from boarding the second leg of their return trip from London to Pisa. After the first leg with British Airways was cancelled because of an airline strike, the customer booked an outbound flight with an alternative airline and the passenger was offered a replacement two days later.
The failure of the airlines to remove the no-show clauses was cause of concern for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the regulator said last week which ostensibly added more pressure on the airlines. On Friday, the FAA again called for an end to the no-show clauses and urged airlines to follow a similar clause being scrapped by airlines in Australia in April this year.  
“It’s totally unreasonable for an airline to cancel a passenger’s return flight – often without warning – simply because they’ve missed the first leg of their journey. Airlines have been able to cash in with this tactic for too long, leaving people miserable, stranded and hundreds if not thousands of pounds out of pocket,” said Caroline Normand, the consumer group’s director of advocacy.
The CAA however claimed in a report that it had limited powers in this issue which meant that the onus was now on the government to take action. The CAA said that simple key terms documents could not be created by the airlines which was a shame and added that the tendency of airlines to force passengers to adhere with terms and conditions that were not transparent was unfair.