Canadians Have an Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Regulatory Amendments for Air Services Price Advertising

OTTAWA, July 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The proposed regulatory amendments pertaining to air service price advertising have been pre-published in Part I of the Canada Gazette . Canadians have until September 13, 2012 to comment on the proposed amendments.

As follow up to the December 2011 announcement by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency drafted proposed amendments to the Air Transportation Regulations and the Designated Provisions Regulations pertaining to the advertisement of the price of air services. The proposed amendments will require any person who advertises the price of an air service to display the total price, inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges. The amendments will apply to the advertising of air travel from and within Canada.

The two key objectives of the proposed amendments are to enable consumers to readily determine the total price of an advertised air service and to promote fair competition between all advertisers in the air travel industry.

To inform the development of the proposed amendments, which are of interest to both consumers and industry, the Agency undertook a broad consultation process in January and February 2012. The aim of the consultation was to obtain input from stakeholders, including air carriers, travel and advertising industry experts, public interest advocacy groups, representatives of provincial and foreign governments, as well as Canadian citizens before drafting the regulations.

"The input received during our consultation process from industry stakeholders, advocacy groups, individual Canadian consumers and other interested parties was important in informing the proposed regulatory amendments," said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency. "We continue to be transparent and inclusive and encourage all Canadians to review the proposed amendments and provide their feedback."

The proposed amendments would require the price represented in any advertisement:

  • To be the total price, inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges which a customer must pay in order to obtain and complete the air service.
  • To include a minimum level of description of the air service offered, including:
    • origin, destination;
    • whether the service is one way or round trip; and
    • limitations with respect to booking or travel availability periods.
  • To provide the customer with access to a breakdown of the taxes, fees and charges which are paid to a third party (i.e. GST/HST, departure taxes, airport fees, security fees).

The proposed amendments will also require that a consumer have access to a listing of any optional services (i.e. checked baggage, preferred seat selection and meals) offered by the service provider for a fee or charge, and that the price of each service be displayed using an all-inclusive price format that includes third party charges.

Pre-publication in Part I of the Canada Gazette, the official newspaper of the Government of Canada published since 1841, gives various interested groups and individuals, as well as Canadians in general, a final opportunity to review and comment on the proposed amendments at the last stages of the regulation-making process, before they are enacted and published in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

Canadians and other interested parties have 75 days from the pre-publishing date to review the proposed amendments and to provide their comments and feedback.

To review the proposed amendments and to find out how to comment, visit Part I of the Canada Gazette . For more information please refer to the Agency's consultation page on the proposed amendments for air services price advertising.

During the 75-day consultation process, the Agency will collect feedback from industry stakeholders and the public and consider Canadians' comments. It is anticipated that after comments from interested parties are received and evaluated (which may result in changes to the proposed regulatory amendments), the final regulatory amendments will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II this winter, at which time they will enter into force.

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.

For more information on the proposed amendments, visit the Agency's consultation page on the proposed amendments for air services price advertising or Part I of the Canada Gazette.

SOURCE Canadian Transportation Agency

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