Canada to Treat Airline Passengers Like 'People,' Not 'Numbers'

Ban on removing passengers from overbooked flights to be put in place
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2017 12:39 AM CDT
Canada Bans Removing Passengers From Overbooked Flights
Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Montreal's Pierre Trudeau Airport.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

No one who has bought a ticket for a domestic or international flight in Canada will be allowed to be removed because of overbooking under a new passenger bill of rights, the country's transportation minister announced this week. Minister Marc Garneau says the shoddy treatment of air passengers outlined in recent news reports will not be tolerated on any domestic flight, as well as any flight leaving or arriving to Canada, the AP reports. He says the rules will ensure "travelers are treated like people and not numbers."

The new regulation comes a month after a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago after he refused to leave his seat to accommodate airline crew members. Garneau says if airlines can't get a volunteer with a minimum level of compensation, they will have to increase the amount offered. "When Canadians buy an airline ticket they expect the airline to keep its part of the deal," he says. Minimum compensation standards will be set for damaged baggage. The regulations, which the government hopes to have in place by next year, will also increase the cap on foreign ownership of airlines from 25% to 49%. (United now says bumped passengers will be offered up to $10,000.)

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