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HolidayTravelWatch Creates an Action Plan for Air Passengers Affected by a Fume Event or Aerotoxic Syndrome


HolidayTravelWatch welcomes the forthcoming BBC Panorama program, due to be broadcast on Monday 21 April 2008. The program will raise questions and concerns on the issue of poisonous fumes entering aircraft cabins.

HolidayTravelWatch has advised returning holidaymakers following their exposure to a fume event or smoke event, on board an aircraft. Some of the cases where we have assisted air passengers can be found in our ’Call to Arms’ section.

Air supplies on board aircraft are fed through what is known as a ’bleed air supply’ This means that a portion of the air that enters an aircraft engine, is siphoned off, cooled and then circulated into the aircraft cabin and cock-pit area. Problems arise when the seals which form part of the ’bleed air supply’, fail to prevent the combusted oil product (which lubricates the engine) from mixing with the ’bleed air’. Aircraft engine oil products contain Organophosphates, one product in particular, which is alleged to create health problems is Tri-Cryslphosphate (TCP).

HolidayTravelWatch hears regularly from passengers who allege that they have been affected by contaminated air within aircraft. Many complain of the following symptoms:

Respiratory problems;
Chest Crackles;
Stomach Cramps;
Gastro-Intestinal Difficulties;
Pins & Needles;
Chest Pain;
Memory difficulties.

Many passengers and professional air crew report that they still suffer with many of the aforementioned symptoms, and some are continuing to receive medical assistance.

HolidayTravelWatch is concerned that many Consumers and Professional Air Crew are either unaware of the effects of exposure to toxic fumes, or fail to report serious incidents to the relevant authorities.

HolidayTravelWatch recommends that the following action plan be employed by Travel Consumers.

Frank Brehany, the MD of HolidayTravelWatch states:

"If any passenger is affected by illness on board any aircraft, either departing or arriving in the UK, then I would recommend that the following action is taken:

1. Notify the Airline and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) immediately of any smells or fumes experienced on your flight - and in any event before you leave the airport. (Pilots should complete a Mandatory Occurence Report (MOR) which is submitted to the CAA. Cabin Crew should complete a Flight Report for submission to their airline);

2. Notify the Airline and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of any illness suffered during your flight, or immediately following your flight, or any period following that flight - where possible you should do so before you leave the airport;

3. Make a record of the events you are complaining of - retain that record;

4. Obtain the contact details of fellow passengers and/or crew who are also affected by these issues - do not give this information to the Airline or the CAA;

5. Obtain immediate and ongoing medical attention from your own medical practitioner;

6. Do not provide access to medical notes and records to any Airline, the CAA or any Solicitor without receiving independent advices;

7. Do not accept any compensation/vouchers without receiving independent advices;

8. Contact HolidayTravelWatch for free and confidential advice.

Frank Brehany concludes:

“The Panorama broadcast is timely; highlighting what I believe is not just a National Scandal but a Global Scandal. In January 2008, there were 264,083 aircraft movements in the UK. In a recent Facebook Small Survey (9/11/07), we discovered that 15% of those surveyed had experienced a fume event or smoke event on board an aircraft cabin, and, 5% reported that they had suffered illness following exposure to a flight fume event or smoke event. If you translate those figures into the January 2008 aircraft movements statistics, our survey would suggest that some 39,612 flights over the UK were affected by smoke or fumes in aircraft cabins. With the information already available on this topic, and the results of our survey, this presents a potentially terrifying scenario; the public and professional alike deserve immediate action on this issue”.

All holidaymakers affected by any of these issues should call the National Helpline 08450179229 or make Contact through the Organisation’s website -

HolidayTravelWatch is a National Consumer Organisation which provides Information, Advice and Assistance to the Holidaymaker or Independent Traveller, who experience problems with their travel arrangements. In 12 years, 145,000 people have benefitted from the help provided by HolidayTravelWatch, with over 46% being empowered to resolve their own claims through the information the Organisation provides on their Consumer Rights. HolidayTravelWatch has campaigned in the past for improvements in travel safety and is proud to have been associated with some of the leading broadcast and print media projects aimed at informing the Consumer.

HolidayTravelWatch continues with that campaigning spirit, and continues to work closely with the media and government departments alike.

Full details of the work of HolidayTravelWatch can be found on

For further information on this press release and any other associated matters contact Frank Brehany on 08450179229 or through the website of HolidayTravelWatch.


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