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Federal government announces new rules on airline passenger protection, compensation

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Federal government announces new rules on airline passenger protection, compensation

The federal government is rolling out its air passenger protection regulations on the eve of the summer travel season setting out what compensation airlines must provide for failing to provide adequate services to passengers.

Some regulations take effect July 15, others start in December

Peter Zimonjic · CBC News · Posted: May 24, 2019 11:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 16 minutes ago
The federal government's air passenger protection regulations begin taking effect July 15. (Mike Cassese/Reuters)
 

The federal government is rolling out its air passenger protection regulations on the eve of the summer travel season setting out what compensation airlines must pay for failing to provide adequate services to passengers.

The new regulations announced Friday will be launched in two phases. Some regulations come into force on July 15, while others will not take effect until December 15.

"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," Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement.

"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," he added.

 

The regulations will apply to all flights to, from and within Canada, including connecting flights. Large airlines, those that have serviced two million passengers or more in the last two years, will have a slightly different regulatory regime than smaller airlines in some cases.

Smaller airlines, for example, will have to pay less compensation for delays or cancellations that are within the airline's control but are not related to safety issues.

Broadly, flight disruptions — tarmac delays, flight cancellations, and denials of boarding — that are within an airline's control require compensation be paid, standards of treatment be upheld and the passenger's itinerary be completed.

Flight disruptions within an airline's control but required for safety reasons will not require compensation but airlines will have to maintain a standard of treatment and complete a passenger's itinerary.

Situations outside an airline's control that cause a flight disruption will only require the airline to ensure the passenger's itinerary is completed.   

Situations within an airline's control include overbooking and scheduled maintenance.

Delays within an airline's control due to safety include mechanical problems and safety calls made by the pilot.

Disruptions outside an airline's control include a wide range of possibilities such as political instability, weather, natural disasters and security threats.

Rules in place by July 15

The first set of rules lays out the regulations and compensation regime related to delays on the tarmac, what happens when a passenger is denied boarding, lost and damaged luggage and the transportation of musical instruments.

The standards of treatment during a delay on the tarmac that must be in force by July 15 include ensuring that all the toilets on the plane are working.

An airline will also have to ensure the aircraft is properly ventilated and kept either cool or warm depending on the time of year. Passengers will also have to be provided food and drink and the ability to communicate with people outside of the plane free of charge, if possible.

Planes that have been on the tarmac for three hours will be required to return to the gate so people can get off. The only exception is when a departure is likely within the first 45 minutes after the three-hour time. In that case, the plane can remain where it is.

Overbooking

Starting July 15, passengers who are prevented from boarding an aircraft because of overbooking will be compensated financially depending on the length of time they are delayed from reaching their final destination.

Overbooking delays of less than six hours will require a minimum $900 payment, delays between six and nine hours mean a minimum $1,800 payment and delays longer than nine hours will see passengers compensated a minimum of $2,400.

When it comes to lost or damaged baggage, an airline will be liable for $2,100 for the lost bag and will also have to refund any baggage fees paid for the lost bag.

Airlines are also going to have to include terms and conditions for the transportation of musical instruments whether they are taken as a carry on or are checked into the cargo hold.

Phase two

The rules and compensation for cancelled flights and delays are part of phase two of the rollout.

As of December 15, airlines will have to provide compensation to passengers for delayed or cancelled flights depending on the size of the airline.

Delayed arrival at a final destination of between three to six hours will cost large airlines $400 and small airlines $125. Delays of between six to nine hour will cost large airlines $700 and small airlines $250. Delays greater than nine hours will cost large airlines $1,000 and smaller airlines half that amount.

The regulations do not only require an airline ensure the passenger gets to their final destination, but that they do so in the same class of service.

If an airline cannot rebook a passenger on their own airline and the delay is longer than nine hours, the airline has to book the passenger on a competing airline. If the passenger decides the delay has rendered the trip useless they will get a refund and the required financial compensation.

By mid December, airlines will also have to ensure that children under the age of five are seated next to their parent or guardian, children aged five to 11 are in the same row and no more than one seat away from their parent or guardian and children aged 12 or 13 are no more than one row away.

Airlines that don't adhere to the new standards can be fined up to $25,000 per incident by the Canadian Transport Agency.

"Thousands of Canadians participated in the consultations that helped shape these new rules," Scott Streiner, chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency, said in a statement. 

"We're grateful for their input, and confident that these groundbreaking regulations will help ensure passengers are treated fairly if their air travel doesn't go smoothly,"

Link to official New Releases:

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/air-passenger-protection-regulations-finalized-820237113.html

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadians-to-benefit-from-new-air-passenger-protection-regulations-851427070.html

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RE: Overbooking

This should be a two way deal between the pax and the airline.

You book a flight and don't show up - you also pay.

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45 minutes ago, QFE said:

RE: Overbooking

This should be a two way deal between the pax and the airline.

You book a flight and don't show up - you also pay.

Sounds good but I would suggest that it wouldn't work...death in family, car accident, illness, stuck in traffic, and many more legitimate things that may happen  that may hinder a passengers arrival at the airport in time. Having to prove that the "reason" was truthful just becomes a paper nightmare.

 

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Garneau said airlines would never invent mechanical problems to avoid having to pay out. A little naive I think.

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Quote

Planes that have been on the tarmac for three hours will be required to return to the gate so people can get off.

Sounds good on paper.......but.....in the case of the Gtaa (and maybe yvr), where are these deplanement gates magically going to appear?During irrops, gates are already screwed up so it’s not like the a/c will just taxi back to an open gate....and are the gates the responsibility of the specific airline??? Of course not....which gets back to my pet peeve of overcrowding in the international at Yyz.

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11 hours ago, st27 said:

Sounds good on paper.......but.....in the case of the Gtaa (and maybe yvr), where are these deplanement gates magically going to appear?During irrops, gates are already screwed up so it’s not like the a/c will just taxi back to an open gate....and are the gates the responsibility of the specific airline??? Of course not....which gets back to my pet peeve of overcrowding in the international at Yyz.

Deploy the slides and get the PAX to follow the snow plows. 😀

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2 hours ago, st27 said:

Sounds good on paper.......but.....in the case of the Gtaa (and maybe yvr), where are these deplanement gates magically going to appear?During irrops, gates are already screwed up so it’s not like the a/c will just taxi back to an open gate....and are the gates the responsibility of the specific airline???

Limits on how long pax can be on board and aircraft on the ground without being given the opportunity to get off have resulted in an increase in flight cancellations in the US.  Airlines there are quicker to cancel flights if they anticipate lengthy ramp delays.

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Yesterday my youngest boy was scheduled on Delta SLC to Austria, (business). He does a lot of world travel and as such is a Delta Diamond Medallion flyer. One of the great perqs at that status is that it  allows him to 4 guaranteed global Premier First Class Flights up grades per year

He normally goes over seas a couple of days earlier than required to get a bit of climbing in and visit with friends.

Yesterday , once again his flight was oversold so he gave up his seat and in exchange he received $2000.00 USD   credit on his Credit Card, and left today as Premier First Class passenger without it costing him one of his 4 guaranteed upgrades. Delighted in sending me texts with photos as he motored across the Atlantic of his dinner and all the other stuff he got while on-board.

I don't know how long the USA has the "accepted bump" perqs but it certainly sounds pretty good and this is the third time it has happened to him. 

Since this will come to fruition in Canada, I think you can expect ticket prices to go up...

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There are people that play Bum Roulette.  The intentionally book on flights that are always oversold and then when the announcement is made are first in line to collect.  its a game and can be a lucrative one if played well.

 

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If you no show at a sporting event or music concert do you get your money back ? Nope Toronto maple Leafs are not obligated to refund your ticket based on you having a death in the family so why are the airlines ? If they can’t over sell the flight to protect against no shows then you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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This news is hot off the press.  

Your doctor will now be required to payout $100.00 per minute that you are held in a waiting room past your appointment time.  😉

 

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So, I am currently sitting onboard an Air Canada flight in YYZ, 2.5 hours past scheduled departure time.  We’re still at the gate.  Captain tells us there is a system wide computer meltdown, and nothing has departed since we boarded.  Also, many of the flights that landed since this occurred cannot deplane, as there are not enough gates available.  What I’m wondering is, how long will they hold us onboard?  We are still at the gate, and can deplane if they open the door..,

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Also, many of the flights that landed since this occurred cannot deplane, as there are not enough gates available.

Wonder if it will become  cost effective to find some of the PTVs that used to be used for off gate boarding/deplaning. Mirabel comes to mind, they were a significant part of passenger movement at the time.

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2 hours ago, wizard said:

If you no show at a sporting event or music concert do you get your money back ? Nope Toronto maple Leafs are not obligated to refund your ticket based on you having a death in the family so why are the airlines ? If they can’t over sell the flight to protect against no shows then you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Apples and Oranges....Sports/concert venues don't oversell and once all seats are sold, they don't care if you show up or not. They don't sell more seats than the venue will hold

Airlines OVERSELL in an attempt to fill possible vacant seats and make up for loss of revenue because of no shows .

If there is a legal means whereby the airline has the right to state NO REFUNDS, for any reason, then they would do the same ...sell until full...they have all the revenue that flight will generate and if there are seats available, at the gate, they could make more with "stand-bys".

But you know the politicians/rule makers will never allow that to happen.

I would also guess that if you could prove that you missed a game due to a death in a family, most sports venues would think about a refund....they don't really want the bad PR.

😁 Now there will be no refunds for some of the seats at  the Raptors games....court-side seats are going at $60,000.00 (tickets being "scalped"...so no refunds)😥

 

 

 

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