In July this year, a new bill aimed at helping airline passengers to better understand their rights was introduced, with more on the way in December. The new Air Passenger Protection Regulation is intended to help both you and the airline you fly with to figure out the consequences when your flight is delayed, cancelled, or overbooked. It also answers the question how much compensation you could be entitled to. Before these rules were introduced, Canada’s air travel regulations in that regard were less definitive, so Trudeau’s government is hoping to change that.
So, what does this mean for you? If you’re planning to fly domestically or internationally in the next few months, how can you expect things to change? Well, the short answer is this: they’ll change a lot and they won’t change much at all. We’d like to run down a few of the biggest new points in the Air Passenger Bill of Rights and how they might affect you. Here’s our bullet point guide to the new Canadian air travel rules.
As of July 15th 2019, airlines must make sure all communications with you are clear, easy to understand, and accessible. They need to inform you what their policy is regarding cancellations and delays as well as reasons why you might be denied boarding and how they will react if you were. These communications must also be accessible for people with disabilities, meaning they must make provisions to present the information in a way that’s understandable regardless of the disability.
If your flight is delayed or you’re denied boarding, you could be entitled to compensation. Depending on the size of the airline company you fly with, the tariff will vary and the amount will be different. There are also varying amounts based on whether your flight is delayed or whether you’re denied the chance to board. Here’s a handy guide:
|DELAY LENGTH||0-6 hours||6-9 hours||More Than 9 hours|
|DELAY LENGTH||3-6 hours||6-9 hours||More Than 9 hours|
|COMPENSATION (minimum)||Small airline: CA$125
Large airline: CA$400
|Small airline: CA$250
Large airline: CA$700
|Small airline: CA$500
Large airline: CA$1000
Remember, how much your airline is required to pay you in compensation will vary depending on which airline you’re flying with, so do make sure you read your airline’s particular rules and regulations about this very carefully. You don’t want to try to claim money you aren’t entitled to, or miss out on cash you could be spending.
The new Canadian air travel rules apply to every single flight departing from or arriving in Canada after July 15th 2019 (December 15th for certain rules). The rules also cover domestic flights and international ones, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that you can claim compensation no matter whether your flight is short or long-haul.
As well as new delay and boarding denial rules, there are also new policies in place regarding tarmac delays, the seating of children in relation to their parent or guardian, and the transportation of (specifically) musical instruments. To read a list of the rules in full, check out the official Canada Air Passenger Protection website.