FAQs - Proposed Regulations Amending the Air Passenger Protection Regulations
Q1. Why did the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) develop these proposed regulations?
The COVID-19 pandemic – and the global collapse of air travel that resulted in mass flight cancellations – 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.
On December 21, 2020, the Minister of Transport issued a direction requiring the CTA to develop a new regulation to close this gap for future travel. This direction gave 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.
Q2. How would these new regulations affect a previously submitted complaint?
The proposed refund requirements for flight delays and cancellations that are outside airline control would be added to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR). That means they would apply to all future flights flights to, from and within Canada, including connecting flights (once the new requirements come into force). The proposed regulations would not affect refund-related complaints for previous flights cancelled or delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will continue to process previously received complaints as quickly as possible, based on their merit, impartially and in a rigorous manner.
Q3. What consultations were conducted by the CTA?
On December 21, 2020, the CTA launched a consultation seeking feedback on the specifics of the new requirements. During the consultation process, the CTA received a total of 119 submissions – 100 submissions from members of the public, 11 submissions from airlines and other industry representatives, four submissions from consumer advocates and four from travel agencies and insurance industry representatives. The CTA has released its What We Heard Report, summarizing the input received.
Q4. How can I comment on the proposed regulations published in Part I of the Canada Gazette?
The text of the proposed regulations is available in Part I of the Canada Gazette. For a quick summary, consult the CTA’s Highlights of Proposed Airline Refund Requirements. Comments can be submitted to Consultations-aeriennes.Air-Consultations@otc-cta.gc.ca until October 1, 2021
Q5. When will these regulations be finalized?
After the consultation period ends, the CTA will consider all of the comments received and decide whether any changes to the proposed regulations should be made. The CTA aims to finalize the Regulations as soon as possible, targeting late 2021.
They will apply to all future flights to, from and within Canada, including connecting flights - once the new requirements come into force.