Federal government commitment to strengthen air passenger rights step in right direction

Canada will institute a code of air passenger rights to better protect the travelling public.

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) welcomes the announcement made on November 3 by Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, that Canada will institute a code of air passenger rights to better protect the travelling public.

In a speech in Montreal, the minister committed the government to setting clear minimum requirements for airlines so Canadians will know what their rights are, including compensation standards for passengers bumped from flights due to factors within an airline’s control, or in the case of lost or damaged baggage. He also said the government will improve security service standards at airports to reduce wait times and make the passenger screening experience better.

These are all improvements that the CAA has been calling for over the past few years, on behalf of our 6.2 million Members and all travellers.

Advocating for such policies is an integral part of what CAA NEO does for our Members” says Christina Hlusko President and CEO CAA North & East Ontario.  “Our strength as a national federation of Clubs means that we have the leverage to push for what is right and today’s announcement is big win for not only our Members but for travellers right across the country.

Right now in Canada, airlines each have their own policies, but it can be hard for passengers to find them and know what their rights are.

As one of Canada’s largest leisure travel agencies, and a long-time advocate for the travelling public, we understand the importance of better and clearer rights for air passengers,” says Jeff Walker, vice-president of public affairs at CAA National. “A clear set of standards should benefit everyone, from passengers to the industry, which will be able to compete on a level playing field.

In the United States and the European Union, governments have already passed strong consumer protection laws for air travellers.

We believe Canadians deserve rules that are as clear, fair and predictable as our friends in the U.S. and E.U.,” says Walker. In fact, 90 percent of Canadians say a national airline consumer code is important, according to a recent poll conducted by CAA.

While today’s announcement is welcome, Walker noted it is short on details beyond a commitment to introduce a code in the coming months.

We look forward to working with regulators and the industry to make sure this commitment turns into concrete steps that make the travelling experience better for Canadians,” he said.


*details provided by Kristine D’Arbelles, CAA National