There's new air passenger protection regulations on the way to help protect the travelling public from unnecessary flight delays and cancellations that leave passengers waiting on the tarmac for an extended period of time if bumped from a seat.
These new rules will ensure airlines are held accountable if they delay passengers for non-mechanical or weather related delays and passengers will be compensated for those delays.
Right Now airlines are able to set their own policies around disruptions, delays and other inconveniences.
The Federal Government does have a few regulations in place, including a requirement that passengers receive meal vouchers after a four-hour flight delay.
The new regulations would require airlines to return to the gate after a three hour delay, with one 45 minute extension allowed.
The CTA consulted broadly for three months with the travelling public, consumer rights groups, the airline industry, and other interested parties through a variety of channels, including public sessions across the country, on-line questionnaires, surveys of passengers in airports, face-to-face meetings with key experts and stakeholders, and the receipt of written submissions and comments.
Here are a few of the new regulations:
A requirement that airlines communicate in a simple, clear way with passengers regarding their rights and recourses, and provide the reasons for flight delays and cancellations.
The obligation for airlines to provide passengers with food, drink, and accommodation when their flights are delayed.
Compensation of up to $1,000 for flight delays and cancellations within an airline's control that are not safety-related.
Compensation of up to $2,400 if a passenger is denied boarding because an airline has over-booked the flight or because of other actions within an airline's control.
Rebooking and refund entitlements when flights are delayed, including, in some cases, the obligation for an airline to use a competing airline to get passengers to their destination.
A requirement that passengers be allowed 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.
A requirement that airlines facilitate the seating of children under 14 years in close proximity to an accompanying adult, at no extra charge.
Compensation for lost or damaged baggage, including a refund of any baggage fees.
Clarity on the policies that airlines must establish regarding the transportation of musical instruments.
Administrative monetary penalties of up to $25,000 for airlines' non-compliance with their obligations under these regulations.
The regulations are expected to come into effect in summer 2019.
Once in effect, the regulations will establish airlines' minimum obligations toward passengers, including standards of treatment, and in some circumstances, minimum compensation for flights to, from and within Canada.
For more on this story click here
Send us your news tips, story ideas and comments at [email protected]