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Industry: Airlines       

Bumped Canada-bound passengers will now be able to sue for compensation in Canada

(TRAVPR.COM) CANADA - February 19th, 2016 - The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has ordered British Airways to include the right to compensation for passengers bumped from overbooked flights in its terms and conditions (tariff). The airline was given until March 10, 2016 to incorporate the regulations of the European Union (EU) as terms of its tariff.

The EU regulations require airlines to pay 600 EUR to passengers who are bumped from transatlantic flights; however, this can be reduced to 300 EUR if the passenger is delayed by less than 4 hours as a result of the bumping.

The practical effect of the decision is that passengers who are bumped from Canada-bound British Airways flights will be able sue for compensation in Canada, and no longer have to fight the airline in the UK.

The ruling fully vindicates a 2013 complaint of Halifax-based air passenger rights advocate Dr. Gabor Lukacs. The road to victory was bumpy, though.

In 2014, the CTA ignored the submissions of Dr. Lukacs and imposed a lopsided policy on British Airways that covered only passengers bumped from flights departing from Canada, but not those travelling from the EU to Canada. Dr. Lukacs successfully appealed this lopsided policy to the
Federal Court of Appeal, which sent the matter back to the CTA for redetermination.

The present ruling is the 25th victory of Dr. Lukacs, who has been successfully challenging the terms and conditions imposed by airlines since 2008.

"This a small step in the right direction," says Dr. Lukacs. "However, Canada should have its own air passenger bill of rights, and catch up with the rest of the developed world."  

The EU, the US, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Israel, Peru, and Turkey have all passed air passenger rights legislation. In Canada, however, airlines can set their terms and conditions as they see fit, subject only to a review by the CTA on a case-by-case basis.

The CTA is a quasi-judicial body that is empowered to regulate the airline industry.

A copy of the CTA's decision is available online.


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Name: Dr. Gabor Lukacs
Company: Air Passenger Rights
Phone: 647 724 1727
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