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A new legislation will protect passengers' rights in Canada

Announced by Transport Minister Garneau, it will provide automatic compensations in case of disruptions

A new legislation will protect travellers who will fly in Canada in case of disruptions. Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced it, saying he wants to introduce a new service standard to protect passengers' rights. Through a card automatic reimbursements will be arranged within 48 hours in case of lost luggage, heavy delays or lost flights due to overbooking. The compensations will be between 900 and 2400 Canadian dollars (from 600 to 1600 Euros) for a missed boarding, up to 1400 Euros instead for loss or damage of the baggage.

The regulations were developed based on a consultation with the public sector and the airlines. "Our goal was to provide a predictable and reasonable approach to passenger rights, allowing air carriers to remain competitive and strong" said Garneau. The new legislation will come into force on July 15th and will apply to all domestic flights to and from Canada. The start of the compensations for delays and cancellations has been postponed to December due to the requirements of the airlines.

The project is the result of numerous complaints made against carriers operating in the Canadian territory. The most resounding episode happened in July 2017, when some passengers were stuck in a stifling heat and without air conditioning for almost six hours aboard a plane on the Ottawa airport runway. In the future the new legislation will require companies, in case of delay or cancellation, to pay up to 660 euros and provide food and drink; if the departure is postponed for more than three hours passengers must be allowed to leave the plane, unless the take-off is imminent.

"In the United States there is a limit of three hours, in Europe there is not even a maximum time. We think that three hours is a reasonable delay", explained Garneau, adding that airlines that do not respect the rules will be subject to fines up to 25 thousand dollars.

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