Improved rights for Canadian air travellers are now here
New national airline consumer code has taken effect – more to come later this year
The United States and the European Union long ago put in place strong consumer protection laws for air passengers. We believe Canadians deserve no less, so that when something goes wrong, you know what your rights are and how to claim them. And 90% of Canadians agree with us.
Some new consumer rights for Canadians came into effect on July 15 and a second wave will come on December 15. The new system is far from perfect, but also much better than what we had before. For the first time, Canadians will have standardized, publicly-accessible passenger rights.
As of July 2019
- Airlines must inform travellers in simple, clear and concise language what their rights are on all itinerary-related documents and messaging;
- Overbooking: Compensation up to $2,400 for being involuntarily bumped from a flight and no cost re-booking;
- Increases to an airline’s maximum liability on domestic flights for lost or damaged baggage to match current international flight limits and the requirement to refund any baggage fees paid;
- Tarmac delays: Airlines are required to provide standard of treatment (access to toilets, heating/cooling, refreshments, etc.) beginning at the time of the delay. Airlines will also have to disembark passengers no later than 3 hours after the delay starts; and
What is coming in December 2019:
- Cash compensation for delays and cancellations of more than three hours within the carrier’s control;
- Airlines will be required to rebook and/or refund travel that is delayed or cancelled, depending on circumstances.
- Airlines will also have to facilitate seating of children under the age of 14 with their parents, at no cost.