Earlier this year, the government of Canada launched a new set of air passenger rights that outline how airlines are to handle situations that negatively impact travelers, including bumping from overbooked flights and lost or damaged luggage.
As of July 15, 2019, airlines across the country are required to provide financial compensation to travellers who have been inconvenienced by overbooked flights or lost or damaged luggage. Airlines must also provide clear communication that explains passenger rights and how travellers can submit claims.
Despite this new program, more than half of Canadians are still unaware of the new rights they possess while travelling. With additional regulations set for implementation on December 15, 2019, CAA Niagara strongly urges Canadians to educate themselves so that they fully understand what their protections include – especially those travelling over the holidays.
“The latest finding makes it clear that the government and airlines should be doing more to ensure Canadians know their rights,” said Lisa Boardman, Associate Director of Travel Sales and Experience. “CAA Niagara would like to remind anyone travelling during the holidays to take the time to learn their new rights.”
This second wave of regulations will include cash compensation for long delays and cancellations; will require airlines to re-book or refund flights that are delayed more than three hours or cancelled; and will require airlines to facilitate the seating of children under the age of 14 with their parents at no additional cost.
However, the regulations will not force airlines to cover flights that have been delayed or cancelled due to uncontrollable factors (ie. inclement weather or mechanical issues discovered outside of regular maintenance checks).
“Be aware, if you feel your rights have been breached, you are responsible for sending the claim,” said Boardman “CAA is committed to keeping the public’s travel rights top of mind.”
In the event an airline does not respond to a passenger’s claim accordingly, travellers are encouraged to visit the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) at www.airpassengerprotection.ca for more information or to file a complaint. The CTA will be monitoring each situation closely and will require airlines to record the reasoning for flight delays and cancellations.
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