Answers to frequently asked questions about complaints can be found below.
I can’t make a complaint in writing, who should I contact?
If you are disabled and require assistance in making a complaint, it is important that you let us know as soon as possible. We will make all reasonable adjustments to the complaints process to ensure that you are not disadvantaged in making your complaint.
We normally expect complaints to be submitted to us via our online complaints form. However, if your impairment makes it difficult for you to complain to us in writing, we can take the details of your complaint over the telephone or arrange for you to be interviewed by calling 01293 573781. It may, however, be that a friend or relative, your solicitor, local Citizen's Advice, Law Centre or other organisation can assist you in making your complaint and communicating with us generally.
Can I e-mail you my complaint?
We prefer you to complete our on-line complaints form rather than e-mail us your complaint. This is to help us deal with complaints quickly and efficiently by collecting all the relevant information we need right from the start.
If you experience any problems with the online complaints form please contact the complaints department.
How will I know you’ve received my complaint?
If your complaint meets our complaints policy criteria and you have submitted your complaint via our online complaints form or emailed us we will aim to acknowledge receipt within five working days. Our complaints policy does not cover:
- Matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaints procedure
- Anonymous complaints
- Complaints about the CAA's Passenger Advice and Complaints service
- Complaints about access to information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or the Data Protection Act 1988
- The manner in which regulatory decisions have been conducted and processes have been followed where the procedures and remedies for these are set out in legislation (such as Regulation 6 of the Civil Aviation Authority Regulations 1991 and Part 5 of the Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) Regulations 2012)
- Complaints about the behaviour or actions of third parties or bodies we regulate
Will you keep me informed of the progress of my complaint?
We will always let you know the outcome of your complaint. We aim to provide a full response within 20 working days of receipt of your complaint but, if we are unable to do so, you should expect an update on progress to confirm what is happening.
Is there a time limit on making a complaint?
No, but if considerable time has elapsed it may not be possible for us to conduct a comprehensive investigation and, therefore, to provide a complete response
Can I make a confidential complaint?
Our view is that confidentiality should be observed where appropriate. However, in the majority of cases where a complaint is made about the service received from the CAA, the identity of the complainant and how they have interacted with the CAA will be central to the issue and the complaint handler will need to refer to the complainant's information in order to fully investigate their complaint.
If we were asked by a complainant to handle their complaint confidentially we would consider the request carefully. In deciding how to proceed we would take into account the nature of the complaint made, whether it would be possible to investigate it fully on a confidential basis, and any protective measures that could be put in place. Our central complaints handling team are fully trained in matters such as the protection of personal data.
Who will deal with my complaint?
Your complaint will be allocated to the relevant business manager(s) who will make a decision about your case and respond. We ensure that these designated complaint handlers are impartial, independent and accountable when making their decisions. Our complaint handlers are specifically identified as being sufficiently senior to handle such complaints.
What are the criteria for upholding a complaint?
We take the view that each complaint should be considered on a case by case basis, primarily because we need to recognise the different needs of individuals and be flexible and responsive to those needs where possible. As such, there are no fixed criteria because each complaint will be different and will need to be judged by reference to the facts of the case.
How will the CAA change policies, procedures or previous rulings, based on feedback from complainants?
Information from complaints will be used to identify trends or concerns and to highlight particular problems, in both cases so that they can be addressed before they have a chance to escalate further. Our overall purpose is to contribute to the continuous improvement of the delivery of our services.
We are able to change our policies or procedures to respond to problems that arise, although sometimes it may be appropriate or necessary to carry out public consultation before doing so.
In legal terms, whilst we may wish or need to adopt a particular interpretation of the law voluntarily or in response to a court ruling (whether the case involves us or is of general application), we cannot change legislation without the involvement and agreement of the Department for Transport and, depending on the nature of the issue, other government departments.
What data is available about complaints made to the CAA?
We will publish information in our annual report about the number and types of complaints we receive, and the percentage upheld.
Requests for specific information should be directed to Information Rights.
How do I make a complaint to the CAA about an airport, airline or aircraft operator?
The CAA's complaints policy does not cover complaints about organisations we regulate. Details of how to complain to the CAA about other organisations can be found in our "Make a report of complaint" section.
How do I complain about the way the CAA has dealt with a complaint about an airline not paying compensation after my flight was delayed or cancelled?
This doesn't meet the criteria of the CAA complaints policy, but is covered by the Passenger Advice and Complaints Team's Code of Practice.
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