Air Canada: Just say no to passenger rights
Air Canada and Porter Airlines Inc. along with 15 other airlines and two industry groups filed an appeal last month to defeat rules that strengthen compensation for travelers affected by delayed flights and damaged luggage.
Today, the Federal Court of Appeals agreed to hear these airlines’ legal challenge to Canada’s new passenger bill of rights.
The airlines are arguing that the regulations which went into effect on July 15 exceed the Canadian Transportation Agency’s authority and contravene the Montreal Convention, a multilateral treaty.
Under the new rules, passengers can be compensated up to $2,400 if they are bumped from a flight and receive up to $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage. Compensation of up to $1,000 for delays and other payments for cancelled flights will take effect in December.
The issue came to the forefront after a 2017 incident in which two Montreal-bound Air Transat jets were diverted to Ottawa because of bad weather and held on the tarmac for up to 6 hours, leading some passengers to call 911 for rescue.
Lawyers for the federal government and the Canadian Transportation Agency said 2 weeks ago that the government will fight these air carriers’ attempt to overturn the new rights regime.
Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs says the airlines’ case runs counter to the interests of the traveling public, adding that the government should have gone further to oppose the appeal.