OTTAWA, May 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Based on findings from Agency monitoring
and enforcement actions to date, advertisers of air services in Canada
are now complying with the all-inclusive air price advertising
requirement of new regulations approved in December 2012. Today, the
Agency issued a notice to industry stating that it will apply a
stricter approach to the enforcement of the all-inclusive price
requirement and expects advertisers to maintain compliance on an
on-going basis, regardless of the media used.
The regulations that enable consumers to easily determine the total
advertised air price and promote fair competition between all
advertisers in the air travel industry came into force on December 18,
2012. The Agency has since been using a proactive and collaborative
educational approach to ensure that advertisers are aware of their
responsibility to comply. The Agency also reached out to national and
provincial associations representing the air travel industry to help
them understand the obligations of their members and provide guidance
on all aspects of the new regulatory requirements.
During the first five months from the coming into force of the new
regulations, the Agency worked with advertisers to assist them in
understanding what they needed to do to become compliant. The Agency
also issued a number of formal warnings and gave a reasonable time
period to those who were not compliant to amend their website, on-line
reservation systems and other applications. All advertisers that have
been assessed by the Agency are now compliant with the fundamental
requirement that they display the all-inclusive price.
In addition, the Agency issued monetary penalties to itravel2000.com and
FlightNetwork for not advertising the total all-inclusive price on
their on-line booking systems. Itravel2000.com did not comply with the
all-inclusive price requirement even after multiple contacts and a
formal warning from the Agency advising it to amend its on-line booking
system. Its lack of cooperation and failure to comply within the
deadline established in the warning resulted in a monetary penalty of
$40,000. FlightNetwork complied with its on-line website but failed to
comply on its mobile website and was issued an $8,000 penalty. The
travel agencies are now fully compliant with the all-inclusive price
"Monitoring air price advertising will be an on-going effort that will
help us reach our goal of price transparency," said Geoff Hare, Chair
and CEO of the Agency. "This will ensure consumers can easily determine
the total price of advertised air services, and will promote fair
competition in air price advertising".
Compliance with the Canada Transportation Act and related regulations is ensured through the Agency's enforcement
division. The division conducts inspections and investigations, and can
issue warnings and fines. As with all Agency enforcement actions, the
determination of what corrective measures and/or penalties are required
in the case of contraventions is based on a number of different
factors, including the frequency and nature of the offence. For more
information about Agency penalties, consult Appendix V - Designated Provisions Levels of its Interpretation Note.
In support of on-going monitoring, in instances where non-compliant
advertisements are suspected, consumers can fill out the on-line feedback form for Agency follow-up.
For more information, consult the Agency's all-inclusive air price advertising repository. The repository features educational materials including an
interpretation note, questions and answers, as well as examples of
advertisements. A webinar fully explaining the new requirements is also available.
About the Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial
tribunal and economic regulator of the Government of Canada. It makes
decisions and determinations on a wide range of matters involving air,
rail and marine modes of transportation under the authority of
Parliament, as set out in the Canada Transportation Act and other legislation.
The Agency's mandate includes:
Economic regulation, to provide approvals, issue licences, permits and certificates of
fitness, and make decisions on a wide range of matters involving
federal air, rail and marine transportation.
Dispute resolution, to resolve complaints about federal transportation services, rates,
fees and charges.
Accessibility, to ensure Canada's national transportation system is accessible to all
persons, particularly those with disabilities.
SOURCE: Canadian Transportation Agency
For further information:
For more information on the new all-inclusive air price requirements, consult the regulations.
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