Canadian airlines are appealing the regulations that require them to compensate passengers
The Federal Court of Appeal has blocked an attempt by major airlines to suspend the passengers’ bill of rights that came into effect in 2019 while the airline appeal the regulations.
The motion to suspend the bill was put forward by Air Canada, Porter Airlines, and 14 other carriers but was turned down when the airlines failed to show that the regulations would cause irreparable harm unless they were suspended.
The airlines are appealing the passengers’ rights charter because they say it provides the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) with more authority than it’s currently granted and argue it contravenes the Montreal Convention, a multilateral treaty regulatinges the international transport of passengers, baggage, and cargo.
The regulations being appealed require airplane to pay passengers up to $1,000 in compensation if they experience significant delays at the airport whenever the delays are caused by the carrier itself, and also provide for compensation for bumped flights, last minute cancellations, and lost damage.
The CTA has seen an 800% increase in complaints over the last four years, with complaints reaching their peak at approximately 7,650 for the 2018–19 year.
The regulations don’t compensate for delays outside of a carrier’s control—if, for instance, a delay is due to safety concerns.
For major carriers such as Air Canada and WestJet, passengers can receive:
- $400 for a delay of three to six hours
- $700 for a delay of six to nine hours
- $1,000 for a delay longer than nine hours
For small carriers, passengers can receive:
- $125 for a delay of three to six hours
- $250 for a delay of six to nine hours
- $500 for a delay of more than nine hours