ABTA Travel Convention logoCustomers should stop relying on travel firms and the government to help them if they face problems overseas and should “use their initiative” to deal with more situations themselves.


British Airways sales and marketing director Andrew Crawley told the Travel Convention that there should be “less of a nanny state” when it came to delivering consumer protection.


Citing the example of the recent flight ban due to the Icelandic ash cloud, he said customers stuck in short-haul destinations such as France could have done more to help themselves by hiring a car and claiming a refund on their flight tickets.


“At some point it is incumbent on consumers to do a little bit more thinking themselves,” he said.


“The subtext is not that customers are on their own, the subtext is that people can use their initiative.”


He added: “If you run out of petrol you don’t expect the government to bail you out, you deal with it.”