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Canada Transport Agency did not fine airlines for refusing compensation

Three years after the new rules came into force, the regulatory agency overseeing Canada'sairlinesaid passengers onflight delaysand cancellations. We have not issued any fines related to claims. ..

Lack of action reveals that theCanadian Department of Transportation(CTA) is reluctant to exercise its authority on behalf of consumers, Said Gabor Lukacs, president of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group.

So far no fines have been imposed onofficial and social media that airlines have been denied compensation claims after canceling or postponing travel in the turmoil of the airport. Despite the flood of complaints from travelers from both. 15} in the last few months.

Read more: Air Canada refuses passenger compensation claims due to staff shortage and safety

There are concerns — what allows airlines to behave this way, ”Lukacs said.

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The country's passenger rights charter allows airlines to pay up to $ 1,000 in compensation for cancellations or significant delays. It is obligatory. Notifications will arrive within 14 days of departure.

However, airlines, including Air Canada and WestJet, have refused to pay due to a shortage of crew and believe that due to safety concerns they will be exempt from compensation.

The CTA's stance is that staff shortages are usually under the control of the airline and compensation should occur.

"If the crew shortage is due to the carrier's actions or omissions, the interruption is considered to be under the carrier's control for APPR (Air Passenger Protection Regulations) purposes. Therefore, the crew. The confusion caused by the shortage of personnel should not be considered "necessary for safety" if it is the carrier that caused the safety problem as a result of his actions, "the agency said electronically. I mentioned in the email.

Customers whose claims are denied by the airline can file a complaint with the regulatory agency, but the backlog is over 15,300 and the time from initial submission to final decision is one year. It also costs.

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Federal law, apart from grievance, tells government officials that the company seems to have violated the law. Entitles and individuals to investigate, request documents, search for facilities, and fine up to $ 25,000. So far this year, fines have been imposed for violations such as unclear terms and conditions, failure to explain why the flight was delayed, and lack of permission for charter flights.

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The agency's list of enforcement measures includes fines for carriers for customer compensation for flight interruptions. Not done.

Air Canada passenger Brittany Noppe was scheduled to fly from Ottawa to Toronto and then to the United Kingdom with his partner on June 9, but his first flight was delayed by more than three hours. I did. When the pair arrived at Pearson Airport in Toronto, the plane to Manchester had already taken off, so the couple booked the hotel for $ 589 and the next night to book a new ticket to London's Heathrow Airport for $ 2,260. I needed to.

Read more: Air Canada cuts losses in second quarter as spring travel boom surges revenue

"Delay compensation and reimbursement claims were both" safety issues "and were rejected because a $ 300 electronic coupon was offered as a" goodwill gesture. " Requested that the complaint be escalated and appealed. But they haven't returned to me for more than 30 days, "Noppe said in an email.

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Since the Air Passenger Protection Regulations came into force in mid-2019, executives have been on airlines over $ 20,000. No fines have been imposed on it.

The transport agency has imposed 11 fines totaling $ 253,975 for the fiscal year ending March 31. But most of it ($ 210,000 in total) came in the form of fines for Canada's two major railroads. Penalties for airlines accounted for most of the remaining $ 44,000.

Air Canada's annual pre-pandemic revenue was $ 19.13 billion. WestJet's annual revenue in 2018, the last fiscal year before Onex purchased the airline, was $ 4.73 billion.

"Suppose you're selling a fake watch and it costs $ 10. I'm selling it for $ 100, so each profit is $ 90. In that case, the penalty is I It must be something that isn't worth engaging in illegal activity, "Lukacs said.

"Otherwise, it's another cost to do business."

10 Canadians avoiding the airport due to delays 6 to 6 people: Vote – July 15, 2022

In the 2020-21 Annual Report, the transportation agency said that the government is currently capping corporate penalties. We recommended raising the cost from $ 25,000 to $ 250,000. This is "older than the one set in 1996," the document states.

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Authorities also have the power to deal with the daily breach, seeking amendments that allow multiple executives to issue. Violation notice stating that it is missing.

"This acts as a deterrent to ongoing non-compliance and ensures that service providers are resolving issues without delay," the report said.

Lukacs thinks the penalty limit needs to be increased 10-fold to "smoke and mirrors" and fines airlines approaching the current limit of $ 25,000 in the last three years I pointed out that I didn't.

For indemnification claims filed by individuals, the agency aims to "solve the problem promptly and informally through facilitation or mediation," and 97% of the proceedings have so resolved. Said.

"If facilitation or mediation does not work, the complaint goes through a ruling, which is a court-like process in which decisions are issued based on the elements of evidence submitted at the request of the passenger.

© 2022 TheCanadian Press