Toronto: A passengers' bill of rights has made the agenda north of the border. The CBCreports "Canada's four largest airlines are proposing their own passenger bill of rights to counter a private member's bill that calls for stiff penalties on airlines that cancel or delay flights. Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz, WestJet Airlines and Air Transat presented their proposed regulations to the Canadian Transportation Agency on April 24." The Winnipeg Free Pressnotes that if the airlines cannot fend off lawmakers, the proposed legislation "could impose millions of dollars in fines on airlines for a myriad of customer-service offences, including lost bags, late flights and failing to include all relevant fees and taxes when advertising a fare."
As for the airlines’ voluntary proposal, The Toronto Star writes the airlines suggest their responsibilities will "include rebooking or providing refunds to passengers who are bumped from overbooked flights, offering meal vouchers for delays longer than four hours and providing hotel rooms for delays that require an overnight stay in an airport other than the one where the travel originated. But the airlines insist they will not be held responsible for delays beyond their control, including weather and traffic." However, Canada's CTV says the airlines' voluntary rules are already under fire from some politicians, who claim the airlines have not been able to stick to previous voluntary commitments.
Stiff penalties are likely if the airlines can't head off the legislation. The CBC writes "if the bill is approved, customers delayed on a plane for more than an hour while still on the runway would be entitled to receive compensation of $500 (CDN) for each additional hour they were detained. Travelers who were bumped from a flight to a destination more than 3,500 kilometres away could claim as much as $1,200. Airlines that failed to announce cancellations or delays within 10 minutes of becoming aware of them could be fined $1,000."