No more bumping passengers off flights in Canada

ACTA welcomed the announcement made by Minister Garneau  on the implementation of a much needed national passenger bill of rights. Our position was clearly identified in ACTA’s submission to the 2014 Review. ACTA appreciates the need for consistency in rules that does not present a burden to the retail travel community nor to onerous for the airline industry to implement. While the 2018 deadline seems a bit aggressive for full stakeholder consultation. ACTA is eager to work with the government to ensure that the perspective of the retail travel community and the consumers that work with our members are fairly represented. 

The recent announcement by Transportation Minister Marc Garneau shared that under a new passenger bill of rights  Airlines won’t be allowed to bump passengers from a flight against their will.

Garneau promised the bill of rights last month in the wake of widespread alarm after a United Airlines passenger was seriously injured when he was dragged from a plane in Chicago. According to Canadian newspapers, the new legislation spells out clearly that a passenger who has purchased a ticket cannot be barred from a plane just because the airline sold too many seats.

There will be minimum levels of compensation for people who voluntarily agree to be bumped from a flight and if airlines can’t get a volunteer, they will have to decide if they want to up the ante to persuade someone to get off.

The bill will enable the government to force airlines to create clear standards of treatment and compensation for circumstances such as voluntarily giving up a seat, lost or damaged luggage, delays while sitting on the tarmac and other non-weather related issues. Parents will not be forced to pay a fee in order to sit next to their children and even musical instruments will get better treatment under new standards for transporting them by air.

The bill will apply to airlines flying within, into or out of Canada.