Canada Proposing New Legislation Following United Bumping Incident

Apr 12, 2017

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By now, you’ve probably seen or at least heard about the United incident from this past weekend. As TPG pointed out in his response to how he got the United situation wrong, this wasn’t the traditional overbooking ordeal. The seats weren’t oversold, but instead, it was a full flight but four employees needed to get to Louisville (SDF), prompting the airline to remove four seated passengers from the aircraft.

Regardless of how it happened, the gruesome scene that ensued when a man was forcibly dragged down the aisle and off the plane was caused because passengers needed to be bumped from the flight. This has, of course, brought the issue of bumping to light — and more specifically, how few rights passengers have when it comes to the Contract of Carriage rules of a specific airline.

According to CBC, Canada is set to introduce new legislation that will take a step in solving the bumping issue. The legislation, which is set to be introduced this spring, will be in direct response to the United incident that took place this weekend, and according to a spokesman for Transport Minister Marc Garneau, the new legislation will include bumping rules.

While the issue was raised in response to the United news, in fact, it’s the continuation of an air passenger bill of rights that was promised last fall. The airline passenger bill of rights will establish new guidelines on minimum requirements for compensation when flights are oversold or when luggage is lost — when it comes to getting bumped, currently airlines in Canada are required to compensate passengers up to $800, depending on how long they’re delayed.

Coincidentally enough, Garneau didn’t comment directly on the United situation from this weekend. However, it’s especially notable given that this new proposal comes just days after the incident. It’ll be interesting to see if the US or other countries follow suit with more protection for passengers when they board a plane.

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