The Civil Aviation Regulations 2005 seem to have been forgotten by many airlines.
These regulations were brought in by the UK Government to compliment the EU regulations governing late and cancelled flights.
The Civil Aviation Regulations went much further than the EU rules when it came to flights being cancelled or someone with a valid ticket being denied the right to board an aircraft (save where their actions cause the denial). The UK regulations made it a Criminal Offence for the operating carrier where they have failed to comply with the EU regulations. This can result in a criminal conviction for the airline and their CEO plus a fine.
We have come across numerous instances where airlines have failed to comply with their obligations where a flight has been cancelled yet, we are not aware of any reports being submitted to the police for them to prosecute an airline.
Perhaps this is what is needed in order to get some of the airlines to play fair. We are constantly coming up against lame excuses from airlines yet, when we enforce passengers' rights by issuing legal proceedings, the airlines pay up. This is a clear indication that they have failed to comply with the EU legislation despite a letter from us pointing out their obligations. We are now looking to remind airlines of their obligations and, should they continue to act in an unreasonable way, we will report them to the police so that the criminal courts can decide whether or not the airline is acting within the law.