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Compensation for denied boarding, flight delays included in draft air passenger bill of rights

Summary

The federal government is expected to unveil a long-awaited air passenger bill of rights

Mandatory compensation amounts for delays, missing luggage just some of new privileges in new passenger bill of rights

OTTAWA – If you get bumped from a flight because of something like overbooking or left sitting in a plane on the tarmac, you could find yourself with a hefty cheque.

The federal government has announced draft regulations for the new air passenger bill of rights. It includes compensation of up to $1,000 for delays and cancellations due to issues in an airline’s control.

“So if there are matters like overbooking, a flight is cancelled because of low sales, that would entitle you to compensation,” NEWS 1130 Parliament Hill Reporter Cormac Mac Sweeney explains. “Although, if there are safety issues, such as a mechanical problem with an engine or if it is weather-related, you would not be entitled to that kind of compensation.”

Anyone who is denied boarding a flight because of something like overbooking could be compensated up to $2,400 under these new regulations.

According to the feds, the amount of compensation will vary depending on the size of the airline, as well as the impact on your travel plans.

“In Europe, there are no criteria, none whatsoever,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau says. “There is no maximum time. In the United States, it’s three hours for domestic flights and it’s four hours for international flights.”

If an airline loses your luggage, the proposed bill would see airlines offer compensation, as well as a refund of any baggage fees.

Other proposed regulations include an obligation for airlines to provide passengers with food, drink, and accommodation when flights are delayed, as well as a requirement for airlines to “communicate in a simple, clear way with passengers regarding their rights and recourses, and provide the reasons for flight delays and cancellations.”

If an airline does not comply with regulations that are agreed upon, they can face penalties of up to $25,000.

The federal government is giving airlines 60 days to weigh in on the new proposed rules before moving forward.