The Guardian - Rob Davies & Lisa O'Carroll

Airlines have been warned they could face fines if they do not tackle “harmful practices” fuelling chaos at UK airports, including selling more tickets than they can supply and not warning passengers about the risk of cancellations.

In an open letter, the aviation and competition watchdogs told carriers they could be penalised if they are shown to be contributing to the misery of passengers hit by this summer’s widespread airport disruption.

The warning from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) follows weeks of last-minute cancellations and chaos at UK airports, with factors including Covid-related staff shortages, strikes and the war in Ukraine all adding to mounting anxiety that this summer’s getaways could now be under threat.

The CAA and CMA told airlines they must fulfil their legal obligation to minimise the pain for customers or else face “enforcement action”, which could include fines.

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