CTA getting millions in federal funding to help clear passenger complaint backlog

Mar 14 2023, 4:07 pm

The Government of Canada has been focused on resolving air passenger complaints that have arisen from bad airport and airline management as the country’s travel sector recovers from pandemic-related pressures.

This recovery has been slow and tedious. Thousands of Canadians have experienced travel nightmares — lost luggage, flight delays, lack of prior notices from airlines, and airport chaos. This has led to a large backlog of customer complaints awaiting resolution.

Now, the federal government is taking the next step to help the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) skim the fat off this backlog.

On Tuesday, Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra announced $75.9 million in funding for the CTA.

“With today’s announcement, we will ensure that the CTA has the resources to clear backlogs, address complaints and that travellers quickly get the money they are entitled to,” he said.

The amount will span over three years, beginning in 2023 and ending in 2024. It could be used to hire more support staff or set up new systems of administration that allow for swifter problem resolution.

Hopefully, it means Canadians get their flight refunds without having to be on the phone with airlines, airports, and the CTA for hours.

The Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) was implemented in 2019 to “clarify minimum requirements and compensation based on whether an airline has control over the disruption or not.”

“Travellers have rights, and these rights must be respected by airlines. When airlines do not provide the reimbursement or compensation to which travellers are entitled, the Canadian Transportation Agency is there to ensure passenger rights are respected,” said Minister Alghabra in a statement.

“Today’s announcement helps give the Agency more resources to deal with complaints and ensure the rules are respected. Our government also continues to work to strengthen and clarify travellers’ rights.”

In conjunction, the government is also working on “significant reforms” to the protective Act in action. The changes in the pipeline will be aimed at protecting Canadian passengers better, not just locally but also globally.

Over the past several months, many Canadians found themselves stuck in foreign locations after airlines left them in the deep end due to weather-related conditions or political upheaval, with little to no communication.

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