Australia needs flight delay and cancellation compensation

20th Oct 2022

It is time for Australia to have its own flight delay and cancellation compensation regime to protect the rights of passengers, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“Rather than Australian passengers having to jump through legal loopholes to get flight delay compensation in the rare instances where it is available, it is time for Australia to have its own flight delay compensation regime,” said Ms Victoria Roy, spokesperson for the ALA.

“Australia is the only country that covers an entire continent making air travel essential, and yet air passenger rights are archaic compared to other jurisdictions such as the UK, EU, US and Canada.

“Too many passengers seek legal advice regarding compensation for travel disruption only to find the Australian Consumer Law does not adequately protect them.  

“The consumer protective measures in EU law are a stark contrast to the limited rights in Australia under the Australian Consumer Law. There is an urgent need for Australia to step up and develop a compensation regime that is, at least, equal to the protections offered in so many other jurisdictions.”

On 6 October 2022 the Court of Justice of the European Union extended its interpretation of EU law in a way which helps Australian passengers.  In Flightright v American Airlines the court found that connecting domestic flights (in that case in the US) are covered by the compensation rules even when a travel agent sold the flight combination as a single ticket rather than the airline.

“Australians travelling to and from Europe have compensation rights under EU law which airlines should uphold without delay,” said Ms Roy.

Tags: Compensation travel law