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Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Last Updated Mar 17, 2018 at 11:36 am PDT

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HALIFAX (NEWS 1130) – An airline passenger rights advocate says long-awaited legislation updating the Canada Transportation Act would claw back protections for air travellers.

Gabor Lukacs says the federal government’s Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, would double tarmac delays and scrap compensation requirements for flights affected by mechanical failures.

A spokeswoman for Transportation Minister Marc Garneau says the bill directs the Canadian Transportation Agency to outline new regulations to strengthen Canada’s air passenger rights.

Delphine Denis noted in an email that the new rules would establish clear standards of treatment — and financial compensation in some cases — for air travellers in common situations, including overbooking, tarmac delays and lost or damaged baggage.

But Lukacs says the bill, which passed in the House of Commons last November, falls short of addressing the serious concerns of Canadian airline passengers.

He is set to appear as a witness at the Senate transport committee on Bill C-49 Tuesday, where he says he’ll lobby for amendments to the proposed legislation.