The Civil Aviation Authority is calling on the airline industry to improve how it handles complaints.
New research shows 89% of consumers are satisfied with air travel but the industry falls down when it comes to dealing with common problems.
Only 29% of consumers said they were satisfied with how airlines responded to issues such as flight delays, while a third of complainants said they were not satisfied.
The CAA has approved a number of Alternative Dispute Resolution schemes, which means passengers can get an independent and legally binding resolution, where disputes occur.
A total of 27 airlines have signed up to the scheme so far but the CAA is urging the remaining 30% of the UK airline market to agree to the terms.
The CAA’s consumer tracker survey questioned more than 7,000 people in 2016.
The CAA’s policy director Tim Johnson said: “The consumer tracker survey helps inform our ongoing work to protect UK consumers, ensuring they are treated fairly, are aware of their rights and get value for money when buying air travel.
“It is clear there are many aspects the industry is getting right but there are some areas, including how passengers are treated during and after disruption and how they manage complaints, where some of the industry is currently falling short.
“In order to encourage better complaint handling at UK airlines, we approved a number of Alternative Dispute Resolution services, which ensures airline passengers can get an independent and legally binding resolution, where disputes occur.
“However, while many of the largest UK airlines have now signed up to ADR, we are now urging all remaining airlines to get on board with ADR, and improve the passenger experience when complaints are made.
“If improvements are not delivered and we continue to see dissatisfaction we will not hesitate to use our regulatory and enforcement powers.”
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