New Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations Put in Action Last Month

The new bylaw would hold airlines more accountable for their actions

Airlines will now have to compensate passengers for damaged luggage and delayed flights. This new protection law took effect on July 15, 2019.

The air passenger protection regulations require airways to meet certain obligations, such as clear communication to passengers about their rights and well-timed updates on delays or cancellations. Passengers can also be compensated with as much as $2,400 if they were to be bumped from a flight.

Transportation Minister Marc Garneau expressed his thoughts on new rule, “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.”

Furthermore, passengers are now entitled to a certain standard of care whilst on the tarmac.

However, this comes with the caveat of the time a plane can spend on the tarmac being nearly doubled from 90 minutes to nearly 4 hours.

Time spent on the tarmac has become a huge point of contention with planes being stranded for up to 6 hours on the tarmac in an Ottawa airport in 2017 because of bad climate. They were trapped on board with no food, water or air-conditioning

Air Transat had to pay a fine as the CTA discovered that the airline broke its agreement with passengers. Garneau used the instance to demonstrate why the brand law is required.

This kind of unpleasant situations have led to the launch of this new rule to ensure passengers are treated with care. Airlines would need to think consciously about how the passenger, their time and their belongings should be taken care of. Lost baggage processes have additionally been updated to allow for repayments of as much as $2,100. There are also clearer rules for transporting musical units.

The guidelines will apply to all flights to, from and inside of Canada, along with connecting flights. Large airways, those that have serviced two million passengers or more within the last two years, may have special regulations to follow than smaller airlines depending on the case.

For delays, smaller airlines will have been reimbursed a smaller amount if delay happened because of the airline’s fault. This, however, does not apply to reimbursements stemmed from safety issues.

“We have recognized that when somebody buys a ticket to take a flight, particularly when they are buying it for the whole family, it’s a considerable expense,” said Garneau.

The rules had been controversial among airways and passenger advocates, and the government will fend off attempts to kill the rules in court docket.

The International Air Transport Association and numerous airways are arguing that the regulations do not take global agreements in consideration and Canada is overstepping its authority. They are asking a federal court docket to invalidate the policies.

The Air Passenger Protection Regulations take effect on July 15.

A disability rights advocate, Bob Brown, who is also quadriplegic, says the rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk by up to 2,000 kilometers. The case is currently at the Federal Court of Appeal.

These are only a few of the modifications coming soon. Beginning in December, more rules will be added.

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