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ICAO Council adopts core principles on consumer protection and new long-term vision for air transport liberalization

The governing Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) established new global core principles on air transport consumer protection. The principles cover three phases of a customer’s experience: before, during and after travel, and will now be considered by ICAO’s 191 Member States when they develop or review their applicable national regimes.

Prior to travelling, the ICAO core principles recommend that passengers should benefit from sufficient levels of advance information and customer guidance, given the wide variety of air transport products in the market and associated legal and other protections which may apply. 

Product and price transparency is also recommended as a basic customer right. During their travel, the ICAO core principles call for passengers to be provided regular updates on any special circumstances or service disruptions which arise, as well as due attention in cases of a service disruption. This could include rerouting, refund, care, and/or compensation. The core principles also call on airlines and other stakeholders to have planning in place for situations of massive disruptions characterized by multiple flight cancellations, and reiterate the fundamental right to fair access for persons with disabilities.

After travelling, the ICAO core principles stipulate efficient complaint handling procedures be established that are clearly communicated to customers. Source: ICAO