Clearing The Complaints

Federal Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra announced an additional $75.9 million in funding over three years — starting in 2023-2024 — to ensure the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has the resources to address passenger rights complaints and strengthen the operation of the federal transportation network — enabling the Agency to efficiently deliver on its mandate for Canadians.

As an example, the new funding will make it possible to hire more employees to deal with complaints.

In 2019, for the first time in Canadian history, an air passenger rights regime, called the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), was implemented to clarify minimum requirements and compensation based on whether an airline has control over the disruption or not.

During the pandemic, the government strengthened these rights to include refunds for situations outside the airline’s control, including major weather events or a pandemic.

The additional funding (announced on March 14) will help strengthen passenger rights by giving the Agency additional resources to carry out its mandate and reduce the backlog of existing complaints.

Transport Minister Alghabra said: “Travellers have rights, and these rights must be respected by airlines. When airlines do not provide the reimbursement or compensation to which travellers are entitled, the Canadian Transportation Agency is there to ensure passenger rights are respected.”

The government is also working on significant reforms to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations to ensure passenger rights are even more protected.

These changes will place Canada at the forefront of passenger protections globally and, together with other steps to be taken, will help prevent the frustrating passenger experiences of last summer and over the holiday season.

Minister Alghabra said that the March 14 announcement “helps give the Agency more resources to deal with complaints and ensure the rules are respected. Our government also continues to work to strengthen and clarify travellers’ rights.”