Canadian airline passengers have new rights starting today
Starting today, passengers have new rights under the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) Air Passenger Protection Regulations when they travel by air. The new regulations, a major CTA regulatory initiative, require airlines to meet certain obligations towards passengers, such as:
•communicating to passengers, in a simple, clear way, information on their rights and recourses and regular updates in the event of flight delays and cancellations;
•providing compensation of up to $2,400 for bumping a passenger for reasons within the airlines’ control;
•ensuring passengers receive prescribed standards of treatment during all tarmac delays and allowing them to leave the airplane, when it’s safe to do so, if a tarmac delay lasts for over three hours and there is no prospect of an imminent take-off;
•providing compensation for lost or damaged baggage of up to $2,100 and a refund of any baggage fees; and
•setting clear policies for transporting musical instruments.
To help passengers navigate their new rights, the CTA has launched an online service for air passengers at airpassengerprotection.ca. This dedicated website is a one-stop-shop for air passengers to learn about their rights, file an travel complaint, and find tips for hassle-free travel.
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Beginning December 15, 2019, airlines will also have obligationstowards passengers during flight disruptions and when seating children.
“This is an important day for the millions of Canadians who take flights to see family and friends, visit new places, do business, or seek medical treatment. The Air Passenger Protection Regulations establish clear, fair, balanced obligations that will help ensure fair treatment when people travel by air – whether they’re flying from, to or within this vast country.”
Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency
In May 2018, the CTA began developing Air Passenger Protection Regulations to establish airline obligations towards passengers, including minimum compensation levels and standards of treatment in different circumstances.
The CTA consulted broadly for three months with the travelling public, consumer rights groups, and the airline industry through a variety of channels, including public sessions across the country, online questionnaires, surveys of passengers in airports, face-to-face meetings with key experts and stakeholders, and written submissions and comments. Following pre-publication of the regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette, the CTA reviewed all feedback received. The CTA took all consultation input into account in finalizing the regulations.