Halifax, NS (December 6, 2022) – Air Passenger Rights, Canada’s independent nonprofit consumer advocacy group for air travellers, is pleased with the Federal Court of Appeal decision upholding key provisions of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR).
The APPR require airlines to pay passengers lump sum compensation for inconvenience caused by flight delay, cancellation, and denial of boarding in some limited circumstances. The APPR also requires airlines to compensate passengers and refund baggage fees in the event of delay, loss, and damage to checked baggage.
In 2019, Canadian and foreign airlines mounted a joint court challenge to the APPR’s validity,
arguing that the obligation to pay lump sum compensation for delay, cancellation, and denial of boarding, and the obligation to refund baggage fees on international itineraries is contrary to international treaties, such as the Montreal Convention, to which Canada is a signatory.
Today’s court decision largely rejects the airlines’ challenge, confirms that the APPR is valid with respect to flight delay, cancellation, and denial of boarding both domestic and international travel, but declares the APPR’s provisions with respect to baggage delay to be invalid as going beyond the scope of the enabling legislation.
“The decision upholds Canadian passengers’ right to be treated fairly,” said Dr. Gábor Lukács, Air Passenger Rights’ president. “I am grateful that the court rejected the airlines’ attempt to close the door and nail it shut on passenger protection in Canada,” he added.
Boasted by the government as “best in the world,” passengers’ real-life experience and soaring complaints have already shown that the APPR does not measure up to the European Union’s gold standard of passenger protection.
“The court’s decision breathes new life into the initiative to revamp the APPR and correct its many shortcomings,” said Dr. Lukács. “Canada needs an EU-style regime. It has been tested and it works,” he added.
The airlines have until February 15, 2023 to seek leave to appeal today’s court decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
About Air Passenger Rights
Air Passenger Rights is Canada’s independent, nonprofit organization of volunteers working to make the travelling public aware of its rights and capable of enforcing them. The organization’s mission is to turn helpless passengers into empowered travelers through education, advocacy, investigation, and litigation.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Gábor Lukács