June 8, 2017

What to Know About the Passenger Bill of Rights

Authored by: Summer Student Jimmy Bray Posted in: Government Regulation

Many air travelers have experienced frustration resulting from delays, cancelled flights or denial of boarding. In the past few months we have seen several stories of airlines forcing passenger to give up their seats and in one scenario forcibly removing a passenger from the plane.  In response to this the Government of Canada is working to amend the Canada Transport Act to lay the groundwork for a Passenger Bill of Rights. These changes will authorize the government to make regulations that will require airlines to meet certain standards related to passenger comfort and convenience.

This Bill of Rights will set a minimum standard for how airlines can treat passengers who experience delays or cancellations, will clarify the obligations that airlines have to passengers who use their services, and will provide a mechanism for passengers to file complaints against airlines that they think have breached their rights.

The exact details of the Passenger Bill of Rights will be established through regulations developed by the Minister of Transport over the coming months. At a minimum, the Passenger Bill of Rights will:

The Passenger Bill of Rights will apply to flights to, from and within Canada and will apply to passengers on connecting flights that stop in Canada. The final Passenger Bill of Rights will also contain any other regulations that the Minister of Transport deems to be necessary.

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has stated publicly that the Passenger Bill of Rights will prevent airlines from bumping passengers from flights against their will, and that he wants to have the legislation in place in 2018. We will be watching closely as the Bill makes its way through the legislative process.

For more information about the bill click here.

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