Canada’s New Air Passenger Protection Law Takes Effectby Daine Taylor /
The Canadian Transportation Agency recently passed new Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), which lay out rules designed to ensure both airlines and their passengers are informed of what they are entitled to if a scheduled flight doesn’t go as planned. The law has partially been in effect since July, but on Sunday, Dec. 15, the APPR officially went into full swing.
"This is a huge win. The fact that airlines now have minimum requirements to respect, both in regards to compensation levels and standards of treatment, is great news," said Jacob Charbonneau, co-founder and CEO of Flight Claim, an organization that advocates on behalf of Canadian airline passengers.
The law requires airlines to compensate or accommodate passengers for delays and cancellations that are within the company’s control. For example, in the event a flight is delayed three or more hours, or canceled for reasons within the company's control, airlines will be required to provide passengers with compensation based on the length of the delay they sustained getting to their final destination, unless the airline informed them of said delays or cancellations more than 14 days prior to departure.
Passengers whose flights have been delayed or canceled will also be entitled to compensation ranging from $400 to $1,000 for those traveling with a large carrier, and from $125 to $500 if traveling with a smaller carrier.
Airlines will also have to ensure that passengers reach their final destination, either by rebooking them on the next available flight once the delay reaches three hours, or by rebooking them on another airline in the event the next available flight departs nine or more hours after the passenger's original departure time.
To help Canadian travelers navigate these new regulations and be better informed of their rights, the Canadian Transportation Agency launched an online service to function as a one-stop-shop for them to learn about the law, file a travel complaint, and find tips for hassle-free travel.
“This is an important day for the millions of Canadians who take flights to see family and friends, visit new places, do business, or seek medical treatment,” said Scott Streiner, chairman and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency.
“The Air Passenger Protection Regulations establish clear, fair, balanced obligations that will help ensure fair treatment when people travel by air – whether they’re flying from, to or within this vast country.”