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Federal regulations that hold airlines more accountable will come into effect this summer.
Marc Garneau, transport minister, announced the details on Friday, saying that the new rules will ensure passengers are treated with the fairness and respect they deserve.
We made a promise to Canadian passengers to ensure they are treated with the fairness and respect they deserve. After long and thorough consultation with Canadians, I am proud to announce that our government’s new air passenger protection regulations have been finalized. pic.twitter.com/QakDnlbBSs— Marc Garneau (@MarcGarneau) May 24, 2019
Starting on July 15, Canadian airlines who deny a passenger boarding for situations within the airline’s control, like overbooking, will need to compensate that passenger up to $2,400.
Passengers will also be entitled to compensation up to $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage, but that’s already outlined in international rules.
While these changes take effect this summer, air travellers will have to wait until Christmas to be compensated for cancelled flights.
Garneau called the rules around cancellations “more complex requirements” that need more time to be ironed out.
The new regulations will also require airlines to provide passengers washrooms, ventilated cabins, food and water if they’re delayed while sitting on a tarmac.
Those changes are in response to a 2017 incident in Ottawa where a pair of jets sat for five and six hours in sweltering summer heat.
Airlines will need to provide updates on delays and let passengers exit the plane is the delay reaches three hours, although there’s a possible 45-minute extension if it’s possible that the plane will be able to take off.
When rules regarding delays and cancelled flights come into effect later this year, compensation will top out at $1,000 for delays of more than nine hours on a major airline.
Passengers will be able to take cash payments only after filing claims and airlines can also offer vouchers or rebates, but the value would have to be higher than the cash payment.
Airlines will face fines of $25,000 for not following these new regulations.