Important message:
Please note that due to the airport restrictions on daily passenger numbers in the Summer of 2022, CEDR is managing a higher volume of cases. A number of the timelines outlined in the Scheme Rules have had to be temporarily extended. Rest assured that your case will still be completed within 90 days of receipt of the complete case file. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time and we will look to progress the cases from one stage to the next as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

What is the Aviation Scheme?

We cover any flight that departs or arrives in the United Kingdom that is operated by an airline that subscribes to this CEDR Scheme. You can see which providers are covered here. 

You can apply to CEDR for adjudication if you were a passenger of a subscribing airline or airport member. Once you submit an application, an independent adjudicator will be assigned to your case, who will weigh up evidence given from both sides. Where the adjudicator decides in your favour, the airline or airport will be required to do what the adjudicator has directed in their decision within 20 working days of the decision being sent to you, unless an alternative timeframe is stated by the adjudicator in the decision.

We will collate information from you and the company and then the adjudicator will consider the documentation and make a decision. If the adjudicator requires any additional information CEDR will contact you by telephone, email or post. All documentation provided by the passenger and the airline is shared with both parties.

We aim to complete our work on any case within 90 days of receipt of the full case file, but in most cases the process can be completed in as little as 45 days from receipt of a complete case file. Please note that due to covid, some of the timelines outlined in the Scheme Rules have been extended.

The Aviation Adjudication Scheme is administered and managed independently by CEDR, an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution Provider certified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to provide dispute resolution for the aviation sector.

Visit our FAQ section, and if your answer is not there you can get in contact with the team. 

ADR can be a swifter and cheaper alternative to court action to getting your claim resolved. However, if you choose ADR and are not happy with the outcome, then you may decide to pursue your claim through the courts afterwards. If so, you can only do so if you have not left it too long to bring your court claim. Any claim has a limitation period (or time period) after which a claim cannot be brought before the court.

As regards discrimination under the UK Equality Act this is dealt with by the County Court (in England and Wales) and the Sheriff Court in Scotland. County and Sheriff court deadlines for discrimination cases are six months less one day from the date of the incident you are complaining about. Information about how to bring a civil claim in the County Court (England and Wales) can be found on Her Majesty's Court Service, and for Sheriff court claims in Scotland from the Scottish Court website.

There is also the possibility of seeking legal advice as regards compensation under SI No. 2833 / 2014 “The Civil Aviation (Access to Air Travel for Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility) Regulations 2014. The timeframe for taking such a case is also, within 6 months from the date of the incident.
The timeframe for taking a case to court under EU directive 261/2004 is 6 years from the date of the incident The time limit for bringing a breach of contract claim is 6 years from the date of the breach.

Detailed information about the civil procedure rules can be found on the Ministry of Justice website. Practical advice, including a helpline, as regards equality and human rights is available from the Equality Advisory Support. 

The data below is taken from our CEDR Customer Satisfaction Survey for Consumer Adjudication, specifically in relation to our Aviation Scheme. These figures are updated every three months.

To view the survey results please click here

Companies covered

The steps you must take before submitting a complaint

Step 1.

Raise your complaint with the company in the first instance. The airline will try and resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. This may take several weeks but you must allow them sufficient time to assess your complaint and respond. 

Step 2.

If the passenger and airline are unable to find a mutually acceptable resolution to the complaint the airline will issue a ‘final response letter’. This letter will tell you that the airline is unable to take your complaint any further and it should normally say that you may refer the matter to CEDR for adjudication.

Step 3.

CEDR will adjudicate the dispute and an adjudicator will issue a final decision. You are free to either accept or reject this decision.

Things we cannot assist with

  • Personal injury claims
  • Discrimination
  • Where dealing with such a dispute it would seriously impair the effective operation of CEDR
  • Fairness of the terms of a contract for aviation services 
  • Fairness of a subscribing company's commercial practices

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Need additional assistance?

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