Compensation for victims of airline delays and lost baggage on the cards

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Soon Canadian travellers who find themselves bumped off a flight or have to deal with lost or damaged luggage, could soon be eligible for compensation.

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) outlined today a proposed new regulatory regime with specific financial entitlements for travellers. The proposed regulations include:

    • A requirement for airlines to provide clear communications about flight delays or cancellations with regular updates by email, text or other methods.
    • Compensation for flight delays or cancellations, which will vary depending on the circumstances and how much is in the control of the airline. For larger airlines, compensation can range from $400 for a delay of three to six hours, to $700 for delays of six to nine hours, and $1,000 for a delay of more than nine hours. There also will be new standards for passenger treatment during flight delays, including requirements to supply food and drink and access to electronic communications.
    • Compensation for boarding denied a result of commercial decisions, such as overbooking. That compensation will be $900 for circumstances that lead to a late arrival of up to six hours, $1,800 for arrival delays of six to nine hours and $2,400 for delays of more than nine hours.
    • Compensation for lost or damaged baggage of up to $2,100.
    • Clear policies for tarmac delays. For delays of up to three hours, those policies require airlines to provide working washrooms, proper ventilation, food and drink and electronic communications. After a tarmac delay lasts more than three hours, the aircraft must return to the gate.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau unveiled the first version of the long-awaited air passenger bill of rights Monday morning. The regulations will apply to all airlines flying into, out of and within Canada.

Canadians will have two months to comment on the draft regulations. The final regulations must be approved by cabinet and the new regulations could come into force in the coming summer. -CINEWS

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