Canada: Aviation – New Regulations Regarding Passenger Rights In Canada

On May 24, 2019, after many months of consultations with various stakeholders, the Canadian Transportation Agency ("CTA") formally adopted the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (the "APPR"). The APPR will substantially increase the obligations of airlines flying to, from and within Canada towards passengers, in particular, in cases of tarmac delays, delayed or cancelled flights, as well as in situations of denied boarding.

The APPR follows the enactment by Canadian Parliament in 2018 of the Transportation Modernization Act1 and the amended Canada Transportation Act2.

Although different from its European counterpart in many respects, the APPR largely follows the general principles set out in the EU Flight Compensation Regulation (EC 261/2004),3 which has been in place in Europe for almost 15 years.

Once it is in force, the APPR will apply to all flights to, from and within Canada, including connecting flights and charter flights where seats are purchased for resale to the public.

Coming Into Force In Stages

The APPR will come into effect in two stages. Firstly, on July 15, 2019, the new obligations concerning denied boarding (including compensation), tarmac delays and baggage will come into force. Secondly, the obligations regarding delayed and cancelled flights, and the assignment of seats to children under 14 will come into effect on December 15, 2019.

Tarmac Delays

Under the APPR, when a flight is delayed on the tarmac, whether prior to take-off or after landing, the airline will need to provide food and beverages, functioning lavatories, proper ventilation, cooling or heating of the aircraft and means to communicate with people outside the aircraft (such as free Wi-Fi).

When the tarmac delay exceeds three hours, the carrier will need to allow passengers to disembark, except for reasons of safety, security, customs or air traffic control. Note that this obligation does not apply when take-off is likely to occur within three hours and 45 minutes after the doors of the aircraft are closed, or after the flight has landed and the carrier is able to continue to provide passengers the requisite services and conditions.

Flights Cancelled or Delayed

The following will apply to flights that are cancelled or delayed:

  • in situations beyond the control of the carriers, such as war or political instability, dangerous meteorological conditions, security threats, medical emergencies, airport operational issues, labour disputes within the carrier, or manufacturing defects, carriers will only be responsible for communicating the information to affected passengers and ensuring completion of their itineraries;
  • in situations within the control of the carriers, but required for safety purposes, such as mechanical problems, or safety decisions taken by the pilot, carriers will also need to communicate relevant information to passengers and complete their itineraries, but they will also be obliged to provide food, drinks, means of communication and accommodation;
  • in situations within the control of the carriers such as overbookings or scheduled maintenance of an aircraft, carriers will be bound to provide standard compensation in addition to the previously noted obligations.

The amount of standard compensation will vary between $125 and $1,000, depending on the type of event, the size of the carrier and the length of the delay incurred by the passenger to arrive at destination. Compensation cannot be adjusted to reflect the actual price paid for the ticket or the actual damages suffered.

Passengers will have one year following the date of the flight to file a request for compensation.

In principle, compensation provided to passengers should be paid in the form of money. However, alternative forms of compensation such as vouchers or rebates might be offered, if the alternative form of compensation is of higher value than the required monetary compensation, if it does not expire, and if passengers have a choice between the monetary and the alternative form of compensation.

Denied Boarding

In cases of boarding denials, the APPR requires that carriers ask all passengers if they are willing to give up their seats. If the number of volunteers is not sufficient, the APPR provides instructions on how to determine who should be denied boarding. Importantly, boarding cannot be denied to a passenger who has already boarded the aircraft, unless it is required for security purposes.

All obligations relating to cancelled or delayed flights, are also applicable in cases of denied boarding. However, the scale of compensation will vary between $900 and $2,400. Moreover, when compensation is owing pursuant to denied boarding, it must be paid to the passenger even in the absence of a formal claim from the passenger, and no later than 48 hours after the boarding denial.

Other Obligations

Transport of children under the age of 5 years

Carriers will not be allowed to transport children under five years old unless they are accompanied by a parent or a person who is at least 16 years old.

Transport and assignment of seats to children under the age of 14 years

Carriers will be required to facilitate the seating of children under the age of 14 close to their parents, guardians or tutors. The proximity required will depend on the age of the child.

When such assignments are not possible, passengers should be asked to volunteer to change seats. However, if no passenger volunteers to change seats, no additional instructions are provided by the Regulations.

Baggage

Under the Montreal Convention4, airlines operating international flights can be held liable for lost and damaged baggage for up to approximately $2,100.

Under the APPR, this protection will apply to internal flights as well. Moreover, in all cases of lost or damaged baggage, carriers will be required to reimburse passengers for any fees paid for carrying such baggage.

Communications and Notices

The new obligations under the APPR will have to be disclosed by carriers as part of their terms and conditions, and made available on all digital platforms used to sell tickets and on all itinerary documents issued to passengers.

Carriers will also be required to display notices on these same platforms and itinerary documents, as well as at check-in counters and boarding gates.

Finally, tariffs filed with CTA will also have to be amended.

Complaints

Only a person adversely affected by a failure to apply the requirements of the APPR may file a complaint with CTA. If this complaint is related to a flight that has been cancelled or delayed, or to a boarding denial, then CTA may apply its decision, or part thereof, to all or some passengers of the same flight.

Enforcement

Failing to comply with the APPR could lead to penalties of up to $5,000 for individuals and $25,000 for corporations.

Footnotes

[1] Transportation Modernization Act, SC 2018, c 10.

[2] Canada Transportation Act, SC 1996, c 10.

[3] Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91.

[4] Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, 12 October 1929.

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2019

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions