Airline passengers now have rights set out in black and white in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, a passenger bill of rights that partially entered into effect on July 15 and covers cancelled and delayed flights, lost baggage, and other travel mishaps. CAA-Quebec campaigned to make sure the new regulations would reflect public needs and will now work to get the word out.
To that end, CAA-Quebec is publishing a free guide to the airline passenger bill of rights that summarizes the scenarios, requirements, and compensation set out in the new regulations, backed by examples. The idea is to make sure travelers know whether they are entitled to compensation and what to do to claim it.
The Honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, said as Canada’s Minister of Transport, he was pleased to see the first phase of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations in effect. “With input from air travelers and the air industry, we have created a world-leading approach to air passenger rights that is clear, consistent, transparent and fair.”
Airlines are now required to:
Communicate information to passengers in a simple, clear way about their rights and recourses, and provide regular updates in the event of flight delays or cancellations;
Provide compensation of up to $2,400 for denial of boarding for reasons within the airlines’ control;
Ensure passengers receive prescribed 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; and
Set clear conditions regarding the transportation of musical instruments as checked or carry-on baggage.
CAA-Quebec is disappointed that only part of the traveler bill of rights is coming into effect this summer, and it’s not perfect. “Nevertheless, it’s a major step forward and Canada is at least catching up with the European Union and United States, which have had similar rules in place for years now. We’re optimistic because they’ve seen real improvements in airline practices,” says Philippe Blain, Vice President of Travel Services at CAA-Quebec.
“Phase 2, related to flight delays, cancellations and seating children in proximity of a parent or guardian, will come into effect on December 15, 2019.