TORONTO — The news reports coming in from Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands are heartbreaking, and the images even more so.
GATINEAU — The Canadian Transportation Agency has finalized the long-awaited Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
The CTA says the regulations will come into effect in two stages.
Starting July 15, 2019, airlines will have to:
. Communicate to passengers in a simple, clear way information on their rights and recourses and regular updates in the event of flight delays and cancellations;
. Provide compensation of up to $2,400 for bumping a passenger for reasons within their control;
. Ensure passengers receive standards of treatment during all tarmac delays and allow them to leave the airplane, when it’s safe to do so, if a tarmac delay lasts for over three hours and there’s no prospect of an imminent take-off;
. Provide compensation for lost or damaged baggage of up to $2,100 and a refund of any baggage fees; and
. Set clear policies for transporting musical instruments.
As of Dec. 15, 2019, airlines will have to:
. Provide compensation of up to $1,000 for flight delays and cancellations within an airline’s control that are not safety-related;
. Rebook or refund passengers when flights are delayed, including, in some cases, using a competing airline to get passengers to their destination;
. Provide food, drink and accommodation when passengers’ flights are delayed; and
. Facilitate the seating of children under 14 years in close proximity to an accompanying adult, at no extra charge.
The CTA says the final regulations reflect input that it received from the public, consumer rights groups, and the airline industry during extensive consultations May 28 -Aug. 28, 2018 and during a 60-day comment period following the publication of draft regulations on Dec. 22, 2018.
It says the regulations are being made by the CTA under the Canada Transportation Act, as amended by the Transportation Modernization Act on May 23, 2018.
“The Air Passenger Protection Regulations establish a clear, consistent set of minimum airline obligations towards passengers if, for example, their flight is delayed or cancelled, they’re bumped from an overbooked flight, they sit on a plane during a tarmac delay, or their bag is lost or damaged,” says Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency.
“Thousands of Canadians participated in the consultations that helped shape these new rules. We’re grateful for their input, and confident that these groundbreaking regulations will help ensure passengers are treated fairly if their air travel doesn’t go smoothly.”