Frustrated air travellers who’ve been bumped from their flight or stuck on the tarmac for hours because of mechanical failures will soon see their right to compensation enshrined in law, HuffPost Canada has learned.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau is scheduled to unveil on Monday the details of the government’s long-promised passenger bill of rights. The details will be published online in the Canada Gazette, and Canadians will be able to provide input.
The new rules will ensure travellers are treated with “respect” when their flights are cancelled or postponed because of overbooking, or when an airline company loses their baggage, said Garneau’s spokes woman Delphine Denis.
“Buying a plane ticket is a big investment for the majority of Canadians. It is important to ensure that the rules are in place to ensure the best possible experience for them,” she told HuffPost.
Some of the changes expected in the new regulations include:
- Passengers will receive compensation when the delay is caused by the airline — for example, overbooking — but not for weather-related delays.
- Parents will be allowed to sit next to their children without having to pay a fee.
Denis said the government would ensure compensation based on “delay time” and that the rules will be adapted according to the size of the airline.
The Liberals passed legislation last spring to establish a passenger bill of rights, with minimum service standards. The Canadian Transportation Agency was charged with querying passengers throughout the summer.
The European Union passenger bill of rights, for example, provides compensation for flights delayed more than three hours. It forces airlines to cover the cost of overnight accommodations if passengers are rerouted the day after their planned flight, and it sets out the conditions under which meals and monetary compensation may be provided.
Many of the changes Garneau previously discussed were already standard practices for many airlines.