GATINEAU, QC — The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is asking the public for feedback about proposed refund obligations for airlines.
On Dec. 18, Transport Minister Marc Garneau sent a letter to the CTA’s chair and CEO stating his intention to provide the CTA with the authority to develop new regulatory requirements for airlines to provide passengers with refunds when flights are cancelled, or there is a lengthy delay, for reasons outside airlines’ control and it is not possible to complete the passengers’ itinerary within a reasonable time.
The CTA can only develop regulations if given the appropriate authority by Parliament in legislation, or by the Minister of Transport through a formal direction. It is now seeking input from members of the public, consumer organizations, airlines and experts on the proposed regulation.
After reviewing all feedback, the CTA will develop the regulation, with the goal of having it in place by summer 2021.
“The CTA welcomes the action by the Minister of Transport to give it the legal authority to establish a new obligation for airlines to issue refunds when flights are cancelled or significantly delayed for reasons outside their control, and it isn’t possible for the airline to complete the passenger’s itinerary within a reasonable time,” said Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the CTA. “The CTA will move quickly to consult Canadians, consumer groups and industry on the specifics of the new regulatory provisions, and work to bring them into force by the summer.
“Until these requirements are in effect, airlines are encouraged to adopt policies that ensure no passenger is left out of pocket for the value of a cancelled flights, irrespective of the fare purchased or the reason for the cancellation.”