Passenger Rights Laws Unveiled

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has unveiled a sweeping set of compensation and service standards for passengers who are bumped, delayed or have their flights cancelled. The measures will be implemented in two phases, the first to start July 15. The new bumping rules will require airlines to pay passengers $900 in cash or vouchers at the passenger’s option if the denied boarding delays them by six hours. It doubles to $1,800 for up to nine hours and $2,400 for longer than that. Ramp delays are limited to three hours in most cases and passengers must have access to food, drinks, working toilets and adequate ventilation. Lost or damaged baggage will cost airlines up to $2,100.

On Dec. 15, airlines will have to pay for non-weather-related delays lasting more than three hours.  Any passenger delayed between three and six hours due to flight delays or cancellations will get $400 and that goes up to $700 for nine hours and caps at $1,000. The payments are not automatic. Passengers have to file a claim with the airline and the airline has 30 days to explain why it shouldn’t have to pay. At three hours, the airline has to book delayed passengers on the next available flight or with another carrier. There are also rules ensuring children are seated with or near their parents depending on age.