Canadian Transportation Agency finalizes Air Passenger Protection Regulations for 2019

New Air Passenger Protections set to take effect in 2019 thanks to Canadian Transportation Agency Regulations!

Canadian Air Passengers can expect greater protections from airlines by the end of 2019!

It was announced this week by the Federal Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, that there will be 2 phases of new air passenger protection regulations will be implemented this year, with the first starting on July 15th, 2019.

(Small Plane on runway at sunset)

Some of the new guidelines for airlines after this first implementation date focus on the treatment of passengers while they are still on the tarmac and include:

  • 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; and
  • Set clear policies for transporting musical instruments.

(Terminal Escalator)

Airlines will now need to be sure that their planes are properly ventilated, kept at comfortable temperatures, have working toilets and that food and drink is available to all.

Overbooking will be addressed in this first set of regulations as well with passenger’s being financially compensated based on the length of time they must wait to get to their final destination with the maximum being a delay of more than 9 hours which would cost the airline $2,400.

And get this…they will be required to pay it within 48 hours and in cash!

(View from plan when landing at Los Angeles)

The second round of regulations will come into effect on December 15th, 2019 and after that date 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; and
  • Facilitate the seating of children under 14 years in close proximity to an accompanying adult, at no extra charge.

(Planes lining up on runway)

This final set of regulations came out of consultations with the public, consumer rights groups and the airline industry in mid-2018 as well as during the 60 day comment period following the publication of the draft regulations in late December 2018.

According to Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency, “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.”

Marc Garneau said in a statement, ”Our goal was to provide a world-leading approach to air passenger rights that would be predictable and fair for passengers while ensuring our air carriers remain strong and competitive, after a long and thorough consultation process, I am proud to say these new regulations achieve that balance and will give air travellers the rights and treatment they pay for and deserve."

What do you think about these regulations? Do they achieve a “balance” for you or do you think they are too lenient?

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