Canada Makes Major Changes to Air Passenger Protection Regulations

On the 15th of July 2019, the Canadian Transportation Agency introduced the first part of consumer protection rules for air travelers, with the aim of bringing up the standard of consumer protections to match those of the United States and the European Union.

The second part of these regulations has come into effect from the 15th of December 2019, and together the regulations will cover all flights and carriers, which operate from and within Canada. The regulations of July include changes such as informing passengers of their rights in a clear, accessible and timely way including detailed information about delayed flights, including the use of Braille wherever applicable.

Other regulations include mandatory compensation amounts for passengers bumped from a flight, lavatory, food and drink access to passengers stuck on the tarmac, compensation for damaged or lost baggage, among others.

New Rules Focus on Standards, Refunds, and Children

From the 15th of December, the flight will be held responsible for informing passengers about compensation rights, with compensation primarily being offered in monetary form. In addition, for delayed flights for more than 2 hours, airlines have to provide food, and a means of communication such as free Wi-Fi.

In cases where the delay is overnight, passengers have to be given free transport and accommodation. In cases of delays or cancellation, airlines are now responsible to get the passengers to their final destination. For cancellations or delays of more than 3 hours, carriers have to conduct rebooking in the next available flight in the same airline or a partner airline.

In fact, if the delay is in the control of the carrier, and the delay extends to more than 9 hours, major carriers have to rebook the passenger on any airline alternative, even if it is on a competing airline. If the arrangement does not meet the requirements, passengers can also request a refund. In addition, they can also be compensated up to CAD 400 for the troubles.

Lastly, the new rules have also set strict requirements about how far an airline can seat children under the age of 14 years from their parents.