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Canada’s air passenger ‘bill of rights’ in effect

This ‘bill of rights’ comes into effect just in time as hundreds of Canadian travellers have run into problems with airlines and until now have not been able to do much about it. This ‘bill of rights’ gives them another tool to seek compensation.

The new regulations cover compensation for being denied boarding (being bumped), delays on the apron and damaged luggage — come into force.

Under those rules, passengers bumped from boarding due to overbooking are entitled to $2,400 in compensation, and up to $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage.

The remainder of the rules, which cover how much an airline must pay a traveller if their flight is delayed and specifying the level of service they’re eligible for, come into force on December 15.

Under the December regulations, passengers held up between three and six hours stand to get $400, held for six to nine hours can get $700 and travellers delayed more than nine hours could get $1,000.

But critics say the new regulations don’t go far enough because the amount of time a passenger can be held on the apron without disembarking has more than doubled from the current 90 minutes to three hours and 45 minutes.

Passengers trying to get a decent compensation for being bumped from a flight will find it hard to prove that a flight is overbooked is virtually impossible without access to the airline’s reservation system.

Meanwhile airlines have also gone to court in a bid to quash the regulations.

Air Canada and Porter Airlines, along with 17 other applicants including the International Air Transport Association — which boasts 290 member airlines — claim the regulations violate international standards and should be rendered invalid.

In a court filing made in late June, the airlines say the regulations guarantee compensation without any reference to “actual damage suffered.” -CINEWS

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