Air Passenger Rights

Background

CAA has represented the travelling public since 1913. For decades, we have been operating one of the country’s largest leisure travel agencies. We have lobbied to place strong consumer protection laws for air passengers so that when something goes wrong, you know what your rights are and how to claim them. The new system is far from perfect, but also much better than what we had before. Canadians’ top frustrations when it comes to air travel include:

  1. Being bumped from a flight (overbooking)
  2. Lost baggage
  3. Flights being cancelled

Air Passenger Rights & COVID-19

How are your rights as an air passenger affected by COVID-19?

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency has made temporary exemptions to certain requirements of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
  • CAA continues to advocate for Canadians’ rights. Read our letter to Minister Garneau addressing financial stress felt by air travellers.
  • In addition to air traveller needs, CAA cares about the health of the travel industry. Read our letter.
  • Learn how your air traveller’s rights are being affected by COVID-19. Visit https://caask.ca/travel/travelling-restrictions for more information.

Key Protections

  • Airlines must inform travellers in simple, clear, and concise language what their rights are on all itinerary-related documents and messaging.
  • Overbooking: Compensation up to $2,400 for being involuntarily bumped from a flight and no cost re-booking.
  • Increases to an airline’s maximum liability on domestic flights for lost or damaged baggage to match current international flight limits and the requirement to refund any baggage fees paid.
  • Tarmac delays: Airlines are required to provide standard of treatment (access to toilets, heating/cooling, refreshments, etc.) beginning at the time of the delay. Airlines will also have to disembark passengers no later than 3 hours after the delay starts.
  • Cash compensation for delays more than three hours and cancellations within the carrier’s control.
  • Airlines are required to rebook and/or refund travel that is delayed or cancelled, depending on circumstances.
  • Airlines must facilitate seating of children under the age of 14 with their parent, at no cost.

Air Passenger Rights

What are your rights as an air passenger?

  • The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) offers this plain-language resource to help you understand your rights as an air passenger. If you feel the airline has not provided you with a just level of treatment or compensation, you can file a complaint directly with CTA.

CAA will continue to advocate on behalf of travellers for better and more clear rights. Here is what is still missing, in our view:

  • The proposed rules will, in most cases, require travellers to file a claim with an airline to get compensation, even when it is obvious a plane was many hours late.
  • In addition, there will be no compensation if a problem is caused by “mechanical issues” – the definition of which is not clear.
  • Air travel performance data which allows Canadians to judge whether the new regime is working won’t be available for a period after implementation of the regulations.

For more information, visit https://www.caa.ca/your-rights/air-passenger-rights/.