Travel Guides

What you need to know about Canada’s new passenger bill of rights

Canada’s passenger bill of rights has received a needed update, recognizing and compensating for unforeseen and airline-caused flight delays, cancellations, and more.

While countries should model off the bill from the European Union, the reality is many places are going to try their best to stray as far away from that as possible.

Canada’s latest regulations will phase in July 15, with the compensation requirements taking effect Dec. 15, 2019.

What you need to know

July 15, 2019

  • If you are stuck on the tarmac, all passengers must have access to working toilets.
  • The aircraft must be properly ventilated and kept either cool or warm (season dependant).
  • Passengers must be provided food and drink, plus they will be able to communicate with people outside the plane.
  • If the aircraft has been stuck on the tarmac for three hours or more, the plane must return to the gate so passengers can deboard, unless take-off is imminent.
  • Passengers who are denied boarding due to overbooking must be compensated financially:
    Less than 6 hours: $900 minimum
    6-9 hours: $1,800 minimum
    9+ hours: $2,400 minimum
  • Airlines will be responsible for lost bags ($2,100) and refund handling fees paid.

Dec. 15, 2019

  • If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you’re entitled to the below compensation:
    3-6 hours delay to final destination: $400 ($125 for small airlines)
    6-9 hours: $700 ($250 for small airlines)
    9+ hours: $1,000 ($500 for small airlines)
  • Airlines must ensure passenger gets to their final destination, in paid class of service (business passenger must fly in business).
  • Airlines who cannot book passengers on their own aircrafts must pay for a ticket on a competing airline. If passenger cannot travel, they are entitled to a refund and the associated compensation.
  • Airlines must seat children under the age of five with their parent or guardian, and children five to 11 years must sit in the same row or no more than one seat away. Children 12 or 13 must be no more than one row away.

Airlines that don’t comply to the new rules may be fined up to $25,000 per incident.

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Passengers have up to one year from the flight to submit a claim against an airline.

Winston is currently a freelance technology and travel broadcast journalist, consultant, and is the creator and founder of Master Travellr—Canada’s destination for travel news, guides, and budget recommendations.

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