TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that
all-inclusive airfare advertising is now mandated under amendments to
the Air Transportation Regulations. This will ensure consumers can clearly see the total price of an
airline ticket, with no hidden fees.
"We are protecting Canadian air travellers by helping them see, clearly
and up front, the full cost of air tickets, so they can make informed
travel choices," said Minister Lebel. "In addition to benefitting
consumers by ensuring transparent advertising, these regulations will
promote fair competition between all advertisers."
The new rules require air service advertisers to display the total price
a consumer must pay in order to fly, including all taxes, fees and charges. The amendments apply to the price of air
services advertised in any media to the public, for travel within or
originating in Canada.
This fulfills the Government of Canada's December 2011 commitment to
implement regulations regarding all-inclusive airfare advertising
within one year. To this end, the Canadian Transportation Agency
undertook consultations with the industry, consumer interest groups and
individual Canadians before drafting regulatory amendments.
The Canadian Transportation Agency will continue to work with air price
advertisers and provide guidance to ensure compliance with the
regulations. The Agency has provided further information on
all-inclusive air fare advertising to help Canadian consumers and
advertisers understand the new advertising rules.
"The Harper government takes consumer protection very seriously," said
Minister Lebel. "Offenders can be fined up to $25,000."
"To support early compliance, the Agency will be working with
advertisers through educational outreach and guidance to assist them in
quickly complying with the new regulatory requirements. The Agency's
new information repository will help ensure that interested parties
have the information they need," said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO of the
Agency. "The Agency can use penalties when necessary to achieve
The information provided features educational materials including an
interpretation note, questions and answers, as well as examples of
advertisements. These materials will be updated as enquiries from
advertisers and the public are addressed to provide additional
information as required.
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 the
air, rail and marine modes of transportation under the authority of
Parliament, as set out in the Canada Transportation Act and other legislation.
For more information on the new regulatory requirements, consult the
enclosed backgrounder (Regulations requiring all-inclusive air price
advertising) and the Canadian Transportation Agency's all-inclusive air
price advertising information repository.
Regulations requiring all-inclusive airfare advertising
In December 2011, the Government of Canada announced that the Canadian
Transportation Agency, as Canada's economic regulator and aeronautical
authority, would develop regulations requiring all-inclusive air price
The Agency took a broad, inclusive and transparent consultative approach
throughout the regulatory process. Before drafting the amendments, the
Agency held face-to-face meetings with industry, consumer interest
groups, and representatives of certain provincial and foreign
governments. The Agency also made use of Web 2.0 technology and held an
online consultation to gather input from all stakeholders and
individual Canadian consumers. The input received helped guide the
Agency's development of the amendments.
The proposed regulations were pre-published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on June 30, 2012 with a 75-day public comment period ending September
13, 2012. The pre-publication was actively promoted to Canadians,
stakeholders and other interested parties during the comment period to
ensure continued transparency in the regulatory process. The majority
of the Canada Gazette I comments received were strongly supportive of
The regulations requiring all-inclusive air price advertising were
enacted and will be published in Part II of the Canada Gazette.
The regulations support two key objectives:
Enable consumers to clearly determine the total advertised air price.
The display of the total price in air price advertising reduces
confusion and frustration as to the total price and increases
transparency. It also allows consumers to more easily compare prices
and make informed choices.
Promote fair competition between all advertisers in the air travel
The regulations promote competition by achieving a level playing field
for all persons who advertise air prices for travel within, or
originating in Canada.
Advertising is a communication of the air price to the public, either by
an interactive or a non-interactive format, for travel within or
originating in Canada.
Interactive media include online booking systems and telephone-based
services such as call centres and service desks.
Non-interactive media may include:
print: newspapers, magazines, billboards, flyers and pamphlets
broadcast: television and radio
social media: tweets, certain Facebook posts and YouTube videos
The regulations apply to any person who advertises air prices to the
public, for travel within, or originating in Canada, through any media.
The regulations do not apply to advertisements of prices of:
air cargo services
charter services negotiated with a private business or fares available
through corporate travel offices (and not available to the general
public) or obtained through a global distribution service
package travel services
services originating outside Canada
loyalty reward programs
The regulations also do not apply to services excluded under section
56(2) of the Canada Transportation Act and section 3 of the Air Transportation Regulations.
Air price advertising directed at the public must include:
The total price, inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges, which a
consumer must pay to obtain the air service.
A minimum level of description of the air service offered, including:
the point of origin and point of destination;
whether the service is one way or round trip; and
limitations with respect to booking or travel availability periods.
Access to a breakdown of the taxes, fees and charges and any optional
services offered for a fee or charge.
An optional service is an option, service or amenity offered which the
consumer is not obligated to purchase to complete the travel at the
total advertised price. The optional service is supplemental to the
services in the advertised total price. Examples of optional services
may include checked baggage, unchecked baggage, in-flight
entertainment, and meals and beverages.
While optional services do not have to be included in the total
advertised airfare price, the price of individual optional services
must be displayed as a total price, including taxes, etc.
A third-party charge is any tax or prescribed fee or charge established
by a government, public authority or airport authority, or by an agent
of a government, public authority or airport authority. Examples of
third party charges include: Airport Improvement Fees, Air Travellers
Security Charge, Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
An advertiser must provide a breakdown of all third-party charges under
the heading "Taxes, Fees and Charges". Specific breakdown criteria
apply to different media:
All advertisements placed in non-interactive media (i.e., newspapers,
billboards etc.) must provide an accessible location where the
breakdown and amounts of third-party charges can be easily obtained.
The advertisement might, for instance, make reference to an air
carrier's website where a consumer can review the third-party charges
or provide a toll-free number a consumer can call to speak to an air
In the case of advertisements via interactive media (i.e., the internet,
telephone reservations line, etc.) the breakdown and amounts of third
party charges must be provided in the advertisement. The information
can be provided verbally upon request if the information is conveyed
over the telephone.
The agency will work cooperatively with air price advertisers and
provide direction to ensure early compliance with the regulations and
overall success in the implementation. The agency will use a proactive
educational approach to ensure that air price advertisers are aware of
their responsibility to comply as early as possible with the
regulations, and reach out to associations representing the air travel
industry, as well as provincial government organizations dealing with
Repeat offenders can be fined up to $25,000.
For further information, please visit the Canadian Transportation
Agency's information repository on All-Inclusive Air Price Advertising
SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Canadian Transportation Agency
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