Canadian air passengers will soon have new regulations that protect their rights.
According to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), the Air Passenger Protection Regulations are now finalized and will come into effect in two stages.
Starting this summer, on July 15, airlines will have to:
- Communicate to passengers in a simple, clear way information on their rights and recourses and regular updates in the event of flight delays and cancellations
- Provide compensation of up to $2,400 for bumping a passenger for reasons within their control
- Ensure passengers receive standards of treatment during all tarmac delays and allow them to leave the airplane, when it’s safe to do so, if a tarmac delay lasts for over three hours and there’s no prospect of an imminent take-off
- Provide compensation for lost or damaged baggage of up to $2,100 and a refund of any baggage fees
- Set clear policies for transporting musical instruments
That’s right, passengers will finally be provided compensation for lost or damaged bags.
And that’s just the first stage.
The second stage is set to begin on December 15, 2019.
At that point, airlines will have to:
- Provide compensation of up to $1,000 for flight delays and cancellations within an airline’s control that are not safety-related
- Rebook or refund passengers when flights are delayed, including, in some cases, using a competing airline to get passengers to their destination
- Provide food, drink and accommodation when passengers’ flights are delayed
- Facilitate the seating of children under 14 years in close proximity to an accompanying adult, at no extra charge
“The Air Passenger Protection Regulations establish a clear, consistent set of minimum airline obligations towards passengers if, for example, their flight is delayed or cancelled, they’re bumped from an overbooked flight, they sit on a plane during a tarmac delay, or their bag is lost or damaged,” said Scott Streiner, chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency.
“Thousands of Canadians participated in the consultations that helped shape these new rules. We’re grateful for their input, and confident that these groundbreaking regulations will help ensure passengers are treated fairly if their air travel doesn’t go smoothly.”
Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced the new rules were coming in December of 2018.
“Our government’s goal is simple, it’s to provide air travellers with fair and balanced passenger rights, the ones that they deserve,” said Garneau, at the time.
“Buying an air ticket can be a big expense for Canadian families, and we expect the airline to honour their end of the deal. An airline ticket is a contract for service and it imposes obligations on both the airline and the traveller.”