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Aviation: Passengers

Volume 707: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government which department has responsibility for airline passengers and their baggage; how many officials work on the subject; and in what units. [HL1104]

The department with responsibility for civil aviation policy matters is the Department for Transport.

An air passenger’s contract is with the airline, not with HMG. Compensation for baggage which gets lost or damaged is the responsibility of the airline, under the Montreal Convention 1999. Air passengers can complain to the industry complaints body, the Air Transport Users Council (the AUC), if issues cannot be satisfactorily resolved between the passenger and the airline. Occasionally baggage issues are raised in ministerial correspondence and drafts are prepared by departmental officials; there are no officials who work exclusively on baggage.

More widely, the Department for Transport is actively looking into how the overall experience of air passengers may be improved. This includes passenger survey work commissioned from the CAA and the department's review of the economic regulatory regime at airports.