Air passengers' bill of rights anyone?

In the House of Commons a few minutes ago, the NDP asked Transport Minister Lisa Raitt why there was no mention of an airline passenger’s bill of rights in the Speech from the Throne. Raitt chided the NDP for “speculation” about what would be in that speech.

That source of that speculation? None other than Minister of Industry, James Moore, on CTV’s Question Period four days ago:

Question Period host Robert Fife: What about the airlines? Are we going to be looking, we’re hearing some talk about perhaps an airline bill of rights to deal with some of the very frustrations that travelers have in dealing with airlines, being bumped, for example.

Minister Moore: Yeah. You know, when we put together a list of things that frustrate consumers on which the government can take action, the list gets long very quickly. Some of these things, of course, are taken care of in the free market. I’m a free marketer, free enterprise guy. But in other circumstances they can’t be and responsible government action is needed. With regard to air passengers, you know, I think people find it incredibly frustrating when they go to board a flight, a plane that has 165 seats, and an airline chooses to sell 175 seats in order to cover their margins in case people don’t show up. And people who have paid for their ticket show up at the gate, go through security, arrive on time, and they find that their ticket has been sold twice and that somebody else is occupying their chair and they have to get rebooked, sometimes missing a wedding, missing a funeral, and having their business life interrupted. That’s not fair to consumers, it’s not fair to travelers and we are looking to take action on that front as well.

One thought on “Air passengers' bill of rights anyone?”

  1. Upon reserving seat with air Canada, 3 months prior to flight, am not allowed to pick a preferred seating arrangement (isle or window seat). Instead have to pay extra if I want to do so. This is an unreasonable money grab on airline’s part. Obviously I’m not flying there standing up, thus a seating request should be part of purchase of ticket.
    Also almost lost my seat flying back from Victoria, was told should have been there 45 minutes before boarding. Air Canada is starting to leave a bitter taste.

    Hope this is helpful in your pursuit for a ‘bill of rights for passengers’.

    Amy Demianchuk

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