Feds Finalize Air Passenger Protection Regulations

The Federal Government has finalized new Air Passenger Protection Regulations, set to come into effect July 15.

Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, said that after months of public and stakeholder consultations, Canadians will soon be covered by robust new regulations that apply to all air carriers flying to, from and within Canada.

These new regulations will require air carriers to proactively offer standards of treatment. Additionally, in some cases, carriers will be required to issue compensation to passengers within strict timelines, compensation of up to $1,000 for flight delays or cancellations that are in their control and not related to safety.

Passengers will not need to first complain to the Canadian Transportation Agency; instead, recourse is first dealt directly with the airline. Air carriers will be required to follow these regulations and could face fines of up to $25,000 per incident of non-compliance.

Following input received on the draft regulations, a phased-in approach will ensure air carriers have time to adjust to the new regulations. Requirements related to communication, tarmac delays, denied boarding, lost and damaged luggage, and the transportation of musical instruments will come into force on July 15. More complex requirements related to flight delays and cancellations will come into force on Dec. 15. The new regulations also take into account the realities of small and northern air carriers, as well as ultra-low cost carriers, with requirements adjusted accordingly.

“Our goal was to provide a world-leading approach to air passenger rights that would be predictable and fair for passengers, while ensuring our air carriers remain strong and competitive,” said Garneau. “After a long and thorough consultation process, I am proud to say these new regulations achieve that balance and will give air travellers the rights and treatment they pay for and deserve.”