A Senate committee has amended a proposed passenger bill of rights to toughen language on ramp delays. Parliament’s version of the bill would set a three-hour limit on ramp delays before passengers would have to be disembarked and offered food and drinks. That’s twice as long as was discussed when the bill was first being drafted last fall. CBC is reporting the Senate committee wants the 90-minute limit restored in the bill after hearing a presentation from passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs. “We thank Senators for recognizing that three hours is too long to be forced to sit in an airplane on the tarmac”. Lukacs told the CBC.
CBC says Air Canada tried the 90-minute limit for awhile but has now set its own limit at four hours before it allows passengers to disembark. Transport Minister Marc Garneau told the network he doesn’t think most passengers would want to leave the aircraft after a 90-minute wait. “They don’t want off the plane, they want to get to their destination,” he said. Lukacs said another major concern in the bill is removing the requirement for airlines to compensate passengers when mechanical faults delay or cancel flights.