Government’s 22-point plan to ease disruption
Although the current cancellations are only affecting a small percentage of flights, the delays and queues seem to be a problem for most passengers and there is no sign of any easing. With school holidays only weeks away, the government has come up with a plan to help sort out the problems.
Its plan includes:
- Making sure the schedules are achievable. This includes several weekly groups to review things like immigration and flight operations that will involve all the relevant parties ensuring that they can deliver the schedule.
- The launch of a new Aviation Passenger Charter, a one-stop guide for passengers informing them of their rights, responsibilities and what they can reasonably expect of the aviation industry when flying.
- A proposal to strengthen consumer protection for air passengers such as additional enforcement powers for the CAA.
- The government has changed the law so the airline industry has more flexibility to train staff and allow them to deploy staff quickly and flexibly while maintaining security standards.
- Promoting aviation jobs in various ways.
I think some of these will definitely help such as the cross-party meetings which hopefully should allow more oversight of where things are going wrong. Currently, everything seems to come as a surprise to airlines and airports such as people wanting to fly or the fact that an aircraft hasn’t yet taken off to the airport you are waiting at will mean your flight will be delayed! Hopefully, this will force them to move from being entirely reactive to being more proactive.
However, I think overall it will not stop the issues that are currently happening from continuing over the summer to some degree given the short time frames. It also doesn’t solve the fundamental issues that many airport roles are poorly paid with shift work and dealing with angry passengers which is not something that everyone wants to do. Unless they start to address the changes in working practices and pay cuts that were introduced during Covid, I can’t see there being a big rush for anyone to fill all the jobs.
Curve introduces another level of Curve card and changes the free card benefits
I have used Curve card for a long time and although it’s less useful now you can’t pair it with American Express, it’s still very handy for saving on foreign exchange fees. You can pair most Mastercards and Visa cards with it and then use the single Curve card for your transactions. Most of the time foreign currency transactions are free which saves around 3% of the usual credit card fee. Usually, you pay a small fee for weekend transactions but that is waived until September 2022. You can also pair it with a debit card to withdraw cash abroad. (subject to limits)
Curve also offers cashback offer on the Black and Metal Curve cards. For other cards, there are Rewards which again offer discounts off particular retailers.
There is now a large range of cards to choose from. Whether all these levels stay remains to be seen as it seems rather confusing for the average consumer.
Curve say that the free card was costing them too much, so rather than removing the free tier, they decided to introduce a high-value, low-cost subscription called Curve X.
Here’s what the range of cards will look like from now on:
For most people, the free card will probably still be enough even though some benefits have been reduced such as being limited on the number of cards and the go back in time feature (allows you to change the card you paid with).
If you are currently a free Curve card holder there is a special offer Curve X to existing customers at a 60% discount of £1.99/ month for a full year if you upgrade within 30 days.