A hard Brexit may deprive 28% of UK air passengers visiting Europe from their rights to compensation from delayed or cancelled flights, claims company Skycop has warned.
Currently, British consumers enjoy legal protections and rights such as compensation for issues with flights under European legislation.
Compensated passengers are provided with meal vouchers, telephone calls, and hotel accommodation, as well as financial payments in the event of unexpected flight delays or cancellations.
Post-Brexit, British airlines will be leaving air passenger rights agreement, in addition to losing all aviation entitlements set under internal EU aviation market policy since 1990, according to Skycop.
Skycop CEO Marius Stonkus said: “The liberal aviation market we have today is one of the main factors that led to the lucrative development of LCCs such as EasyJet or Ryanair. Both sides will have to come to new agreements and UK carriers are at risk of losing free access to their markets.
“However, it’s not only airlines that should take action before it’s too late. UK citizens have no time left to hesitate over flight compensations and should start fighting for it as soon as possible.
“It’s only a year until present and past flight disruptions will lose its right to compensations ranging from £221 to £532.”
The UK Government can agree on a new set of rules or come up with an alternative system with the EU before 29 March 2019. However, any new proposals could be rejected by the 27 remaining EU member states.
Skycop cited examples of airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair, which are trying to avoid the adverse effect of a hard Brexit.
Although EasyJet will retain its head office in the UK, it has recently established a subsidiary in Austria with a separate EU Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
Similarly, Ireland-based Ryanair has applied for a UK AOC. However, the airline has warned passengers about possible changes to their bookings after Brexit.
Others airlines are updating their websites to warn the future travellers about the possible changes for post-Brexit bookings.
In the event of no Brexit deal, UK carriers will lose free access to operate commercial services throughout the EU, which could result in the mass–cancelation of flights.