Ministers have quietly scrapped plans to hand the airlines watchdog new powers to tackle carriers that refuse to issue refunds, The Times can reveal.
The government promised to give “enforcement powers” to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) after British Airways, Ryanair and other airlines refused to give refunds to customers for flights they were not legally allowed to take during coronavirus lockdowns.
Customers who book flights directly with airlines only receive an automatic refund if the flight is cancelled.
However, as carriers were not cancelling flights, passengers did not get their money back despite it being illegal for them to board.
Ministers accepted that tougher powers were needed because while the CAA has the power to launch court action against airlines, it can take several