Passenger Bill of Rights a bust:  Consumer groups (Global News)
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Passenger Bill of Rights a bust: Consumer groups (Global News)

October 16, 2019

A complete strikeout in terms of delivery. It’s laughable. Reactions from two consumer advocates who have dug through Canada’s proposed new Air passenger Bill of Rights, unveiled earlier this week by the Transport Minister. These air passenger rights will ensure that travelers are treated like people and not just like numbers. From limiting bumping to imposing penalties on airlines that don’t follow regulations, consumers groups expected the Liberal government to deliver protection. They say this isn’t it. The bill is not much more than a basic skeleton. It’s of no value in its present form. Having reviewed the legislation, consumer rights groups are in agreement on this. This really does nothing to better passengers’ rights in Canada, and what I fear is that it actually may make things worse by giving the public a sense of complacency. And the new rules, though they still lack many specifics, would prohibit groups like the 70-year-old Consumers Association from attempting to intervene for consumers if they aren’t specifically affected. That’s absolutely insulting to all my volunteers from previous generations and anywhere else. Typically individual travelers aren’t well informed about their travelling rights. But someone like Gabor Lukacs is. He’s advocated for consumers, leading to legal rulings that benefit other travelers. Those people who advocate for better rights for everybody are perceived by the industry as serious threats. Individuals don’t just typically give up pursuing their rights with airlines when they’ve been bumped or have an issue. It is not frequently the case. It is almost always the case. With no fines or penalties spelled out in the proposed new Bill of Rights, Consumer groups say the proposed law is a big disappointment. It’s a facade. What’s going on here?! The actual regulations that would form the substance of any rights won’t come into force until next year. Critics are doubtful the Canadian Transportation Agency would be effective as a policing group, and they fear you won’t necessarily get any better treatment when you fly after all.

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