Air Passenger Protection Regulations

The regulations provide for clearer and more consistent air passenger rights by imposing certain minimum airline requirements in air travel – including standards of treatment and, in some situations, compensation for passengers.

The regulations came into effect in two stages. On July 15, 2019, airlines were required to meet new obligations concerning communication, denied boarding, tarmac delay, baggage and the transportation of musical instruments. The remaining obligations on flight disruptions and seating of children came into effect on December 15, 2019.

The Regulations Amending the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, which include new refunds provisions, will come into effect September 8, 2022.

Regulations

Air Passenger Protection Regulations

New Refund regulations - Regulations Amending the Air Passenger Protection Regulations

The Regulations Amending the Air Passenger Protection Regulations are now finalized and have been published in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

Application of the Regulations

The new requirements will require airlines to provide passengers with either a refund or rebooking, at the passenger’s choice, when there is a flight cancellation, or a lengthy delay, due to a situation outside the airline’s control that prevents it from ensuring that passengers complete their itinerary within a reasonable time. They will apply to all flights to, from and within Canada, including connecting flights, taking place after the coming into force of the regulations, September 8, 2022. Note: they are not retroactive.

The new requirements will:

  • Require airlines to provide a passenger affected by a cancellation or a lengthy delay due to a situation outside the airline’s control with a confirmed reservation on the next available flight that is operated by them or a partner airline, leaving within 48 hours of the departure time indicated on the passenger’s original ticket. If the airline cannot provide a confirmed reservation within this 48-hour period, it will be required to provide, at the passenger’s choice, a refund or rebooking;
  • Identify what costs must be refunded (unused portion of the ticket, which includes any unused add-on services paid for);
  • Identify the method to be used for refunds (same as the original payment, e.g., a return on the person’s credit card);
  • Require airlines to provide a refund within 30 days.

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