Canada's new air passenger regulations officially kick in today

Jul 15 2019, 7:45 pm

Canadian airline passengers have new rights starting today, now that the first round of rules from the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) have come into effect.

Under the new Air Passenger Protection Regulations, Canadian air passengers who experience travel disruptions that are within an airline’s control, such as flight and tarmac delays, cancellations, and lost or damaged baggage will be compensated.

The new regulations will be launched in two phases, with some regulations coming into effect on July 15, while others will not be lawful until December 15.

The new regulations, which apply to all airlines flying to and from Canada, require carriers to provide a certain standard of treatment or compensation to passengers without the customer first complaining to the Canadian Transportation Agency.

See also

Starting 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

The second stage is set to begin on December 15, 2019. At this time, 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.

In order to receive compensation, an airline passenger must file a request for compensation with the carrier before the first anniversary of the day on which the flight delay or flight cancellation occurred.

Then, the carrier must, within 30 days after the day on which it receives the request, provide the compensation or an explanation as to why compensation is not payable.

The carrier must also provide compensation to the passenger as soon as it is operationally feasible, but not later than 48 hours after the time of the denial of boarding.

Ainsley SmithAinsley Smith

+ News
+ Canada