Changes to passenger rights

The Canadian Press – | Stories: 436290

The Canadian Transportation Agency is laying out proposed changes to the passenger rights charter.

The reforms came after the Liberal government passed legislation last month to toughen penalties on airlines, shore up the complaint process and target flight disruption loopholes that have allowed airlines to avoid traveler compensation.

The amendments to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations spell out the circumstances when an airline would not have to compensate customers, narrowing the field so that most technical problems will no longer give carriers an out.

The new rules would also allow customers to claim a refund if the government raises the risk level of travel to certain countries or if a flight disruption prevents them from completing their trip within a reasonable period — well under the current threshold of 48 hours.

The transportation agency is launching public consultations on the proposed overhaul today.

The complaints backlog at the regulator now tops 52,000, roughly triple the tally from a year ago and requiring two years on average per case.