New Regulations for Air Passengers In Effect

New Regulations for Air Passengers In Effect

Provide compensation of up to $1,000 for flight delays and cancellations within an airline's control that are not safety-related. The new rules also allow airlines to hold passengers on the tarmac for three hours and 45 minutes, up from one hour and 30 minutes under the previous Canadian law.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he was "surprised" and "disappointed" by legal action from Canadian airlines to quash new rules to beef up compensation for passengers subjected to delayed flights and damaged luggage.

As of Monday, Canadians are eligible for compensation as high as $2,400 if they are bumped and if their baggage is lost or damaged.

The second wave of regulations will come into effect just before Christmas, which will put in place a new compensation structure for any passenger whose flight is delayed from departing or is cancelled. Failing to comply with the new rules can cost airlines up to $25,000 per incident.

Chief executive of Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines, has blamed "antiquated airspace" for these delays, adding, "We support government in its efforts to introduce much-needed modernisation so we can continue to safely and effectively accommodate the ever rising demand for air travel".

The new rules align roughly with those in the USA, but do not match European Union standards that deem most mechanical defects within the airlines' control.

Passenger rights advocates say the rules do not go far enough, arguing the CTA's criteria for monetary compensation exempt situations that are defined as "outside of the airline's control".

Gabor Lukacs, founder of the advocacy group Air Passenger Rights, has argued that the new regulations still leave Canada well behind the USA and Europe in granting power to passengers.

Airlines also now have to make sure all communications, including tickets, include clear information on passenger's right and how to claim them. "They have excuses", she said of airlines.

A group of airlines including Air Canada and Porter have filed a lawsuit in the federal Court of Appeals, claiming the compensation is too arbitrary and unrelated to actual damages suffered by affected passengers.

Set clear conditions regarding the transportation of musical instruments as checked or carry-on baggage. Passengers will be able to deal directly with the airline to file a complaint.

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