Navigating the Skies: Recent Changes in Travel Law by Aircraft


The world of travel is constantly evolving, and the laws governing air travel are no exception. With recent updates in the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union, it’s important for frequent flyers and occasional travelers alike to stay informed.

Passenger-Friendly Changes in the US:

The US FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 brought good news for passengers. Here are some key changes:

  • Automatic Refunds: Airlines are now required to automatically issue refunds for significantly delayed or canceled flights. This eliminates the hassle of passengers having to fight for their money back, especially during frustrating travel disruptions.
  • Improved Cockpit Voice Recorders: Accident investigations just got more thorough. The new law mandates that cockpit voice recorders run for up to 25 hours, providing valuable data for analyzing incidents.

Enhanced Accessibility in the UK:

The UK’s “Assisted Air Travel Act” introduced in June 2023 aims to improve accessibility for disabled passengers. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) now has the power to penalize airlines that fail to meet their obligations, ensuring equal rights and a smoother travel experience for everyone.

Liquids in Hand Luggage: A UK Update:

While not technically a new law, the UK is implementing a new system for liquids in hand luggage. By June 2024, all UK airports will require passengers to place liquids under 100ml in a re-sealable plastic bag with a maximum size of 20cm x 20cm and a total volume of 1 liter. This aligns with international standards and simplifies the process for travelers.

The European Union’s “Visa” on the Horizon:

The EU is proposing a new “European Travel Information and Authorization System” (ETIAS) expected to be implemented in 2024. This will require non-EU citizens to obtain a travel authorization before visiting the Schengen Area, similar to the US ESTA system.

Staying Informed: With travel regulations constantly evolving, it’s crucial to stay updated. Check the websites of relevant authorities like the CAA in the UK or the FAA in the US for the most recent information. This ensures a smooth and hassle-free travel experience, allowing you to focus on enjoying your journey.