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Australian Watchdog Says Airlines Should Be Fined For Cancelling Flights

 |  June 5, 2023

The competition regulator of the country suggests that the federal government create an independent agency for handling consumer complaints against airlines. They have advised the government not delay taking action on the rising dissatisfaction regarding flight cancellations and delays until next year.

Gina Cass-Gottlieb stated her opinion on airline performance and profit, suggesting that airlines should be penalized for flight cancellations and compensate passengers, similar to European regulations.

Despite the easing of pandemic-related pressures on fares and staff shortages, the airline industry continues to experience high levels of customer frustration. Delays and cancellations remain significantly higher than average, with smaller airlines reporting difficulty accessing certain routes due to competition from Qantas and Virgin Australia.

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“We can see enough of a sustained level of failure on service reliability and the level of complaints from customers that we think there should be definitive, independent and external scheme that will hold them to account,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recommended airlines face financial penalties for flight cancellations in a review of gate access management at Sydney Airport. Some industry sources claim that Virgin and Qantas alternate cancellations among their services in order not exceed the 80% threshold for slot surrender.