Canada’s New Air Travel Rights: The Extra Information You Need

In line with the new Canadian Airline Passenger Protection Regulation brought into force in part on July 15th this year, there are lots of new rules that relate to your rights as an air travel passenger. Some of these relate to flight cancellation, delays, and similar. Others are all about flights that are overbooked or changed as a result of maintenance. The new regulations also contain information that’s important for you to know that doesn’t fit neatly into these categories, however. Here’s some of that information.

Musical Instrument Transportation

Don’t worry, musicians - we’ve got you covered. Under the new rules, every airline must now include information regarding the transport and storage of musical instruments in its terms and conditions (as well as its tariffs). That information must contain the following:

  1. Size and weight restrictions (as well as quantity)
  2. Fees for musical instrument transportation (some airlines charge them)
  3. What you can do if your aircraft is downgraded
  4. Options for storing instruments in the cabin

Remember, under the new regulations, you could be entitled to compensation up to C$2400 if your flight is overbooked or you can’t fly anymore due to a downgrade in size. This can include storage options which become inadequate.

Lost or Damaged Luggage

If the airline loses, mishandles, or damages your luggage, then you are covered with Montreal Convention. Under this convention, airlines can be held responsible for baggage that they damage or lose during international travel. Obviously, if you sabotage it yourself, you won’t be entitled to compensation, but the convention covers baggage up to a value of around $2100. That definitely includes musical instruments.

Thanks to Canada’s new air travel rights, this rule applies not only to international flights but also to domestic ones.

Seating Children

If you’ve got a family, you’re covered under the new rules. The Air Passenger Bill of Rights states that the airline must help to seat children under 14 as near to their guardian, tutor, or parent as possible. They must do this at the earliest possible opportunity and with no extra cost to you. How close they seat you depends on the child’s age. Here’s a rundown:

  1. 5 or less: the seat must be adjacent to the child’s guardian
  2. 5 to 11: the seat must be in the same row and be no more than one seat away from the guardian
  3. 12 or 13: there must be no more than one row’s worth of separation between the child and their guardian

Note that the word “guardian” here applies in a legal sense, so covers tutors, parents, and other guardians as well.

Improved Disability Communication

Under the new regulations, airlines must now ensure that their communication is fully accessible to anyone who has a disability. This means that all electronic communications must also be offered in a form compatible with adaptive technology used by challenged passengers, and that paper communications must be available in Braille, large print, or digital format.

Remember: if an airline fails to uphold these new rules it will likely have to pay a fine of up to C$25,000. Don’t let airlines get away with treating you poorly as a passenger!