Halifax, NS (February 20, 2019) – Air Passenger Rights (APR), Canada’s nonprofit advocacy group for air traveller rights, has published its report on the government’s proposed Air Passenger Protection Regulations. The report shows that the proposed rules undermine the rights of passengers in some key areas, while largely regifting existing rights in other areas.
The report identifies seven key areas where the proposed rules are fundamentally flawed.
- Tarmac Delay: Airlines will be allowed to keep passengers on an aircraft for more than 3 hours, more than double the 90 minutes recommended by the Senate in March 2018.
- No Denied Boarding Compensation: “Denied boarding” is defined so narrowly that most cases do not meet the criteria.
- No Monetary Compensation for Flight Delays and Cancellations: The criteria for monetary compensation are impossible to meet, requiring passengers to present evidence that is in the airlines’ exclusive control.
- No Automatic Compensation: Passengers will have to complain to the airlines within 120 days, or else they lose their rights.
- No Meals or Hotel: Airlines will not have to provide meals and overnight accomodation in most cases of flight delays and cancellations.
- Passengers on “Small” Carriers Have Less Rights: Passengers booked on “small’’ carriers, such as Flair or Swoop, will have even fewer rights.
- Numerous Important Issues are not Addressed: Right to a refund of the unused portion of the ticket in cases “outside the carrier’s control” and “flight advancement” are not covered.
“The Proposed Regulations leave the impression of an instrument written by the airlines to ensure that in most cases, airlines will have to pay no compensation to passengers, while creating the facade of a consumer protection legislation,” the 52-page document concludes.
APR’s criticism comes on the heels of a wave of public protest. On December 17, 2018, the government announced the proposed rules, dubbing them the “best in the world.” More than 8,000 emails, demanding legislation that truly protects consumers, have been sent in response to the government’s call for public input.
“The government’s proposed rules undermine passenger rights in Canada,” said Dr. Gábor Lukács, APR’s founder and coordinator. “The proposed regulations are a far cry from the European Union’s gold standard of air passenger rights. Canadian passengers deserve the same protection as their European counterparts.”
APR urges the government to implement 24 amendments to make the proposed rules more balanced, and fair to passengers.
The period for submitting comments on the proposed regulations ends today.
APR’s complete report, entitled “Deficiencies of the Proposed AIr Passenger Protection Regulations,” is available online.