Consultation on new refund requirements
On December 21, 2020, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) launched a consultation to develop a new regulation requiring airlines to provide passengers with refunds when there is a flight cancellation, or a lengthy delay, and it is not possible to complete the passengers' itinerary within a reasonable time.
On December 18, 2020, the Minister of Transport sent a letter to the CTA's Chair and CEO stating his intention to provide the CTA with the authority needed to move ahead with this regulation.
Our Consultation Paper provides more details and outlines elements of the new requirements to be developed on which we'd like to receive input. These include:
- What should be considered a "reasonable time" for completing a passenger's itinerary;
- What should be considered a "lengthy delay";
- How much time airlines should have to provide refunds under the new requirements;
- Whether airlines should be given more flexibility depending on factors such as their size, or providing essential services to remote communities; and,
- What aspects of similar requirements in the European Union and United States the CTA should consider in developing the new regulation.
How to participate
You can submit comments online by March 1, 2021.
The CTA will carefully consider all input received in developing a draft regulation. There will be an opportunity to review and comment on the draft regulation before it is finalized.
The CTA's goal is to publish a final regulation by summer 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic – and the global collapse of air travel that resulted in mass flight cancellations – have highlighted a gap in Canada's air passenger protection framework: the absence of a requirement for airlines to refund tickets when flights are cancelled, or where there is a lengthy delay, for reasons outside their control and it is not possible for the airline to complete the passenger's itinerary within a reasonable time.
The CTA will soon have the authority to make a new regulation to close that gap for future travel.
On December 18, 2020, the Minister of Transport wrote to the CTA's Chair and CEO to indicate that he intends to issue a direction giving the CTA the authority to establish an obligation for airlines to provide a refund when there is a flight cancellation, or there is a lengthy delay, for reasons outside of the airline's control and the airline cannot complete the passenger's itinerary within a reasonable time.
For more information consult our FAQs.
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