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July 22, 2019

New rights for Canadian travellers

On July 15, 2019, new Air Passenger Protection Regulations went into effect that contain good news if your flight is delayed, cancelled or overbooked.

The new federal Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPRs) are being deployed in two phases: on July 15 and December 15, 2019. 

Canadian passengers have long asked for a bill of rights to protect them in the event of a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight, as well as lost, damaged or delayed baggage. They can now seek compensation for a flight within, from or to Canada.

What is already in effect

Lost or damaged baggage

An airline must compensate you if your luggage is lost, damaged or delayed. You are entitled to up to $2,100.  

Overbooking

If there is a denial of boarding due to overbooking, it must pay you $900 within 48 hours.

The amount of compensation doubles if you are delayed between 6 and 9 hours.

And if you are faced with a delay of more than 9 hours, this amount jumps to $2,400.

An airline cannot deny boarding to a passenger without first asking if there is a volunteer willing to give up their seat. It can no longer demand that a passenger already on board give up their seat.

If a passenger disembarks voluntarily, they must receive written confirmation from the airline that they agreed to give up their seat for such and such an amount.

If nobody agrees to give up their seat, boarding priority is as follows:

  • Unaccompanied children
  • People with disabilities
  • Passengers travelling with family members

Tarmac delays

If a flight is delayed on the tarmac with passengers on board, they are entitled to the necessary amenities while they wait.

Passengers must be provided:

  • Access to a bathroom
  • Proper ventilation, air conditioning and heating on board the plane
  • Phone calls at no extra charge
  • Reasonable amount of food and drink

Communication

When a flight schedule is disrupted, the airline must provide passengers with the following information:

  • Reason for delay, cancellation or denial of boarding
  • Compensation that passengers are entitled to receive

The frequency of communication is also specified in the passenger bill of rights. Status updates must be given every 30 minutes until a new departure time has been announced or another flight has been offered.

What takes effect on December 15, 2019

As of December 2019, passengers can receive compensation for delayed or cancelled flights.

In addition to paying compensation to passengers, airlines must find you another flight or assume responsibility for accommodations, meals and transportation resulting from your delayed departure.

What about in Europe?

Were you aware that you can seek compensation for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight and lost, damaged or delayed baggage arriving on European soil?

Thanks to EU Flight Delay Compensation Regulation 261/2004, passengers are entitled to receive up to $900 for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight.

The regulation also stipulates the airline must provide accommodation, meals and transportation if a flight is delayed or cancelled less than 14 days before a scheduled departure.

Want to be compensated?

You are entitled to receive compensation if your flight has been delayed, cancelled or overbooked.

Our partner FlightClaim can help you seek compensation and will take legal steps on your behalf.