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Airlines suggest compensation culture threatens safety of passengers

The UK Board of Airline Representatives (UK BAR) has said that a compensation culture amongst passengers will lead to higher fares and can ultimately damage their safety.

The chief executive of UK BAR, Dale Keller, said: “Consumers feel they do not need travel insurance, since they hear that the airlines will pay out should anything go wrong. This is leaving more consumers exposed to other risks, including medical.” He added: “The evidence comes from airline customer-care departments dealing with consumer claims.”

It seems that more and more Brits are travelling without insurance as they believe that the risks of travel are covered when they purchase an airline ticket.

The latest information shows that approximately a quarter of Brits are travelling without insurance, rising to nearly half among younger travelers. Many people mistakenly believe that treatment will be free if they fall ill. Malcolm Tarling of the Association of British Insurers said: “We always advise people to take out travel insurance, especially to cover the cost of any emergency medical treatment.” With the average cost of treatment abroad coming in at £914, it is well worth it.

Under existing laws, airlines are obliged to provide meals, accommodation and phone calls to passengers affected by severe delays. However, the expectations of passengers when delayed are now causing airlines to look into other ways of covering these costs, including passing them on to the consumers.

The airlines also argue that no other forms of transport are subject to the same legal obligations when faced with delays.

It seems like the European Commission is looking into ways to reduce the sense of entitlement of passengers, so compensation may not be as lucrative in the future. The bottom line is always to make sure you have the right travel insurance. That way you know you will be protected in the case of an emergency.

Date Created: 28 August 2013

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