New Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations

In May 2018, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) began developing Air Passenger Protection Regulations to establish airline obligations towards passengers, including minimum compensation levels and standards of treatment in different circumstances.

The CTA consulted broadly for three months with the travelling public, consumer rights groups and the airline industry through a variety of channels, including public sessions across the country, online questionnaires, surveys of passengers in airports, face-to-face meetings with key experts and stakeholders and written submissions and comments.

As a result of these consultations, air travellers now have new rights and regulations under the CTA’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

The new regulations require airlines to meet certain obligations towards passengers, such as:

  • communicating to passengers in a simple, clear way, information on their rights and recourses and providing regular updates in the event of flight delays and cancellations
  • providing compensation of up to $2,400 for bumping a passenger for reasons within the airlines’ control
  • ensuring passengers receive prescribed standards of treatment during all tarmac delays and allowing them to leave the airplane, when it’s safe to do so, if a tarmac delay lasts for more than three hours and there is no prospect of an imminent take-off
  • providing compensation for lost or damaged baggage of up to $2,100 and a refund of any baggage fees
  • setting clear policies for transporting musical instruments

Additionally, starting on December 15, 2019, airlines will also have obligations towards passengers during flight disruptions and when seating children.

Airlines will be required to follow the obligations set out in the regulations and could be subject to administrative monetary penalties of up to $25,000 per incident for non-compliance.

In the event of an air travel-related dispute that cannot be resolved directly by  a passenger and an airline, the passenger can make a complaint to the CTA.

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