The first phase of Canada’s new passenger bill of rights came into effect Monday, giving them more protections from baggage loss and clearer rules for delayed takeoffs.
Among the new rules is a requirement for airlines to tell their passengers in a “simple, clear way,” information on the new rights, what recourse they have and give regular updates on flight delays and cancellations.
If a tarmac delay lasts for over three hours with “no prospect of imminent takeoff,” the rules say, passengers must be allowed to leave the plane.
Any passengers bumped for reasons within an airline’s control are entitled to up to $2,400, while passengers whose luggage has been lost or damaged can get up to $2,100 to cover the costs, as well as refunded baggage fees.
Airlines must also set clear rules for transporting musical instruments.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the new rules are a “world-leading approach to air passenger rights.”
They will apply to all airlines flying in and out of Canada.
“I am proud to say that these regulations will apply to all airlines flying to, from, and within Canada, and that airlines will be required to follow these regulations or they could face penalties of up to $25,000 per incident of non-compliance,” said Garneau.
“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.”
The new rules came into effect despite 19 airlines and associations challenging the move in court, saying that required payments under the country’s new air passenger bill of rights violate international standards and should be rendered invalid.
The second phase of the bill of rights, which will target flight delays, cancellations and seating minors near parents or guardians, is scheduled to come into effect in December.
– With files from The Canadian Press