airline refund

A new rule for air travel in Canada was just introduced and here's what will change

Things are finally gradually getting better for cranky air travellers in Canada who have had to face brutal lineups, flight delays, luggage mishaps, and more for months, especially at hubs like Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

More resources have finally been allocated and changes were made — at Pearson, at least — while customers are starting to notice shorter wait times, fewer hassles and an overall smoother experience, at long last, despite a continued spike in demand to get away.

Though some people are still encountering a few snags and finding some things to complain about — use of the ArriveCAN app, for one — there are even more amendments being made that passengers can be happy about.

A big one just came into effect on September 8 that should help ensure airlines are working their hardest and travellers are getting their money's worth: all new refund regulations.

The Canadian Transportation Agency has now updated its Air Passenger Protection Regulations, stating that as of today, refunds need to be provided not just for flight disruptions within the control of Canadian carriers, but in all cases of a significant disruption, even from weather.

"Airlines [need] to provide passengers with either a refund or rebooking, at the passenger's choice, when there is a flight cancellation or a lengthy delay due to a situation outside the airline's control that prevents it from ensuring that passengers complete their itinerary within a reasonable time," the new wording reads.

While the general public is, of course, very satisfied with the new policy, many stakeholders are not — namely carriers, one of which told blogTO last month that it is "disappointed that airlines continue to be singled out as the only point of ownership and accountability for air travel in Canada.

The revision comes after the welcome additions at Pearson and other Canadian airports of more staff, more technology, advance customs declarations, online wait time counters, helpful tips and signage, and letting non-ticketed customers enter terminals again to say hello and goodbye to loved ones.

Lead photo by

Air Canada

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