Flight Rights Canada – DID they get it right?

September 5th, 2008. The Government of Canada announced Flight Rights Canada, an effort to better inform passengers of their air travel rights. Here is this document in a nutshell :

Passengers have the right to take the flight they paid for.
If the plane is overbooked or cancelled, the airline must find the passenger a seat on another flight operated by that airline; buy the passenger a seat on another carrier with whom it has a mutual interline traffic agreement; or refund the unused portion of the passenger’s ticket.

Passengers have the right to punctuality.
Depending on the length of the delay, the airline is required to provide the passenger with a meal voucher; pay for an overnight stay at a hotel and airport transfers; or provide drinks, snacks and the opportunity to disembark if the passenger has already boarded the aircraft.

Passengers have a right to retrieve their luggage quickly.
If the luggage does not arrive on the same flight as the passenger, the airline will deliver the luggage to the passenger as soon as possible and will provide the passenger with an over-night kit as required.

Read the whole Flight Rights Canada document here.

Quite amazing, isn’t it? I mean the fact that government has to regulate things that you would think you PAY FOR when purchasing the ever-so-expensive plane ticket! On closer observation this document is VERY general, leaving lots of loopholes and defining hardly anything… I did find one helpful statement in the whole thing…

Passengers may seek corrective measures or a refund of direct expenses incurred, if they believe an air carrier has not lived up to the commitments in its published tariffs. 
If a complaint is not resolved between a passenger and the air carrier, the passenger can contact the Canadian Transportation Agency at 1-888-222-2592 or by e-mail at

Meaning – you have it on black and white – at least now you have someone to complain to!

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