Flight travellers have more rights

Effective December 15, air passengers have new rights under the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR).

Airlines flying to, from and within Canada will need to provide passengers with:

  • compensation of up to $1,000 for flight delays or cancellations for reasons within the airlines’ control (except for safety reasons); and
  • amenities when there is a flight delay or cancellation within the airline’s control (reasonable food and drink; access to communication; and hotel accommodations for overnight delays).

In addition, airlines will have to take steps to seat children under the age of 14 near their accompanying adult, at no extra cost. A child must be seated near their accompanying adult at a proximity that depends on their age:

  • under 5 years, in an adjacent seat;
  • 5 to 11 years, in the same row, and separated by no more than one seat;
  • 12 or 13 years, separated by no more than a row.

Other airline obligations under the APPR – related to denied boarding, transportation of musical instruments, lost or damaged baggage and communication – came into force in July 2019.

To help passengers navigate their rights, the CTA has an online service for air passengers at airpassengerprotection.ca. This dedicated website is a one-stop-shop for air passengers to learn about their rights, file an air travel complaint, and find tips for hassle-free travel.

“Travelling by air has become an integral part of modern life. Most of the time, our trips unfold without a hitch, but sometimes things do not go as planned. These new air passenger rights are coming into force just in time for the peak air travel season, passengers now have a clear, comprehensive set of rights that will help ensure fair treatment when they travel by air – whether they’re flying from, to or within this vast country,” said Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency.

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