New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

The federal government is rolling out new regulations that will require airlines to help and compensate passengers stuck on tarmacs for hours, as well as provide more regular updates on delayed and cancelled flights.

The new measures are apart of the updates to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations that will take effect over the coming months, Transport Minister Marc Garneau told reporters at Pearson International Airport outside Toronto on Friday.

“After a long and thorough consultation process, I am proud to say these new regulations achieve that balance and will give air travellers the rights and treatment they pay for and deserve,” Garneau said.

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Starting July 15, airlines will be required to pay up to $2,400 for anyone who is denied boarding for situations within the airline’s control, such as over-booking, and up to $2,100 for lost or damaged luggage, which is already outlined in international rules. This compensation would have to be paid to the passenger at the time they are denied boarding.

New rules will require airlines to provide updates, and to return to the gate and let people off if the delay reaches three hours, but gives the option of a 45-minute extension if there is a possibility the plane will be able to take off.

Airlines will also have to follow new rules for allowing musical instruments on planes either as checked or carry-on baggage.

Other new regulations, which will roll out in December, include hefty compensation for flight delays and cancellations that are deemed within an airline’s control.

For large airlines, amounts will range from $400 to $1,000, while smaller airlines will have to pay out $125 to $500.

  • 3-6 hours: $400
  • 6-9 hours: $700
  • 9+ hours: $1000

For small airlines, the amounts are:

  • 3-6 hours: $125
  • 6-9 hours: $250
  • 9+ hours: $500

The regulations lay out the minimum standards airlines will have to follow for situations in their control, or face $25,000 fines.

With files from The Canadian Press


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