A Few Tips to Make Passengers' Travel Experience Smoother
OTTAWA, March 14, 2014 /CNW/ - With the onset of the March Break and
World Consumer Right's Day on March 15, the Canadian Transportation
Agency is reminding passengers about their rights, responsibilities and
recourse if they encounter problems when travelling.
In Canada, air passenger rights and responsibilities are set out in the
terms and conditions of carriage (contract) included in airline
tariffs. Although provisions dealing with delays and denied boarding
can vary from airline to airline, they have to adhere to certain
legislative requirements. This is why it is so important for air
passengers to consult airline tariff provisions in order to know their
rights and responsibilities. By law, all airlines operating air
services to, from or within Canada are required to make their tariffs
available to the public at their business office and on their websites
when used for selling air transportation.
When preparing to travel, passengers could avoid unfortunate surprises
if they were to follow these simple rules:
Check in early - consult your airline's check-in and boarding gate
Know your fare rules - print them and carry them with you;
Find out about your airline's baggage limits - verify carry-on and
checked baggage allowances;
Call ahead for any special needs - at least 48 hours prior to departure;
Be sure to have the proper travel documents - passport, visas,
vaccination certificates, etc; and
Pack smart - always carry essential and valuable items with you on board - travel
documents, medication, medical devices, money, jewelry, electronic
When problems arise during air travel, most issues are often resolved
directly with the airline. When passengers are not satisfied with how
an airline has tried to address their complaint, the Agency can assist
passengers through informal (facilitation and mediation) or formal
(adjudication) dispute resolution services.
The Agency can address complaints about terms and conditions contained
in the airline's tariff - its contract with passengers. Typical
complaints that the Agency can address are about:
claims for delayed, lost or damaged baggage or shipped goods (including
baggage charges and size limits;
flight delays and cancellations or missed connections;
schedule changes made before or after departure;
ticket restrictions (refunds, transfers, advance purchase or
minimum/maximum stay requirements)
airline charges and fees;
denied boarding (for example, due to overbooking or equipment
refusal to transport (because of late check in or because of missing
loyalty programs if they are owned by the airline (this excludes
Aeroplan® and Air Miles®, which are independent).
The Agency cannot address complaints about aircraft safety or security,
which are the responsibility of Transport Canada. Additionally, the
Agency does not have the authority to deal with complaints about the
level or quality of customer service provided by an air airline (for
example, the quality of food or the behaviour or attitude of the crew
members). If passengers have complaints about such matters, they should
be sent directly to the airline.
In the past years, the Agency has issued decisions that clarified or strengthened the rights of passengers, including
persons with disabilities, travelling with specific airlines.
Orders, including remedies in Agency decisions apply only to the airline
named in the decision. However, other airlines may voluntarily choose
to apply the orders. Typically, Agency orders are effective the date
established in the Agency decision and are not applied retroactively.
"The busy March travel season and World Consumer Rights Day on the 15th
are an excellent opportunity to remind passengers of their rights and
recourse when travelling by air," said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO of the
Canadian Transportation Agency. "Passengers should consult airline
tariffs, plan ahead and prepare accordingly, to help ensure they have a
smooth travel experience."
Fly Smart, a guide to air travel in Canada
Backgrounder - A resourceful outlet for air travellers
SOURCE: Canadian Transportation Agency
For further information:
News Media Enquiries, Canadian Transportation Agency, firstname.lastname@example.org, 819-934-3448.