New Passenger Protections for Travel in Canada Takes Effect July 15
New passenger protections for air travel to, from and within Canada are set to take effect this week. Beginning July 15, passengers may be entitled to new compensation in the event that they are denied boarding or if an airline misplaces or damages their luggage. The new passenger protections are the first of two rounds of new regulations going into effect this year.
According to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), "Large airlines, those that have serviced two million passengers or more in the last two years, will have a slightly different regulatory regime than smaller airlines in some cases."
The first phase of the new passenger protections and air carrier regulations pertains to customer luggage and denied boardings.
Lost or Misplaced Passenger Luggage
Passengers whose luggage is damaged or misplaced by air carriers on flights to, from, and within Canada will soon be entitled to compensation of up to $2,100 (~$1609 USD).
Under the Montreal Convention, passengers were previously entitled to compensation for baggage lost or damaged on international flights. As of this week, the same rules and regulations previously applied to international flights will apply to all flights including those operated solely within Canada.
Passengers will be required to file a claim with the airline in order to receive compensation. Claims must be filed by the passenger within seven days of receiving their luggage.
For claims related to lost luggage, passengers will be eligible to file a claim beginning one day following the date a passenger was originally supposed to receive their luggage. Passengers can file claims related to lost luggage up to 21 days after they were supposed to receive their bags.
Transparent Musical Instrument Baggage Policies
Prior to Transport Canada's new passenger protections, airlines were not required to list rules for the transport of musical instruments. Now, airlines will be required to include the following specifications and requirements pertaining to the transportation of musical instruments:
- Weight, size and quantity restrictions
- Cabin storage options
- Options in the event of aircraft downgrading
- Fees for transporting musical instruments
Additionally, Transport Canada notes that a policy which "simply states" that an airline doesn't accept musical instruments doesn't meet the requirements.
Denied Boarding Compensation
The new passenger protections taking effect will extend compensation to passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding, with a few exceptions. Passengers who are denied boarding for safety or security reasons will not be entitled to compensation.
However, in the event that an airline is unable to get volunteers for a flight and is required to deny boarding to a passenger, that passenger will be eligible for compensation up to $2,400 CAD (~$1,839 USD).
The new denied boarding compensation guidelines will be based on how long a passenger is delayed aa a result of the denied boarding. Compensation will be issued as follows:
- 0-6 Hour Delay: $900 CAD (~$690 USD)
- 6-9 Hour Delay: $1,800 CAD (~$1,379 USD)
- 9+ Hour Delay: $2,400 CAD (~$1,839 USD)
The entirety of Canada's new passenger protections will be implemented on December 15, 2019, when Phase II takes effect. This phase includes regulations and guidelines for compensation for delayed flights as well as regulations related to seat assignments for children traveling with parents and guardians.
Travelers can consult Transport Canada's website for the full list of regulations and compensation guidelines.
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