Proposed legislation in Canada may shift the onus of service disruption onto airlines, “I feel that these new rules are the toughest in the world.”
Canada’s transport minister has proposed an overhaul of air passenger rights rules. Notably, the legislation would see airlines having to compensate passengers for major service disruptions except in limited cases including snowstorms. Additionally, the changes would see an increase in fines for airlines that fail to comply with Canadian Transportation Agency rules.
The measure comes as a response to rising passenger complaints against airlines after a bumpy return to travel. Reportedly, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has a backlog of over 44,000 complaints, the highest on record.
Reuters shared Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra’s words on the matter:
“This means there will be no more loopholes where airlines can claim a disruption is caused by something outside of their control or a security reason when it is not […] It will no longer be the passenger who will have to prove that he or she is entitled to compensation. It will now be the airline that will need to prove that it does not have to pay for it.”
The proposed legislation has been a point of controversy since it was announced earlier this week. Defending the changes in an interview on CBC, Alghabra highlighted:
“Airlines will tell you that they feel these regulations are tough. [They] are shifting the burden onto airlines […] I feel that these new rules, as I said, are the toughest in the world. And I know airlines, like any smart business, will take these rules, ensure that their operations are better, and that they provide the service that they sold to customers.”
Any changes would start to come into force by the end of summer, with others expected by the end of the year.
What do you think of the proposed legislation?
Article by Jess Brownlow