OTTAWA – Transport Minister Marc Garneau has introduced legislation to create a new passenger bill of rights, which will give travellers a better idea of when airlines will have to compensate them.
The legislation is part of a package of changes to the Canada Transportation Act, which also introduces new foreign ownership limits for airlines, requires railways to install voice and video recorders in locomotives and improves transparency and efficiency in the freight rail industry.
Garneau promised the bill of rights last month in the wake of widespread alarm after a United Airlines passenger was injured when he was dragged from a plane in Chicago.
Garneau has already told airlines operating in Canada such an incident is not to happen here, but the bill lays out more rules for the industry to follow and spells out in clear language that no one can be involuntarily removed from a plane due to overbooking.
The bill will enable the government to force airlines to create clear standards of treatment and compensation for circumstances including being denied boarding, delays while already on board and lost or damaged baggage.
Airlines will not be able to charge parents a fee to be able to sit next to their children, and carriers will also have to have standards for transporting musical instruments.