Take No Prisoners

Bill of Rights for Airline Passengers

Now this gives me hope. You know how if your flight is cancelled due to weather, or if the airline overbooks your flight, you’re basically screwed? Well, maybe not for long. Canadian politician Jim Maloway is proposing to increase consumer protection for airline travelers. This is critically important in countries like Canada where air travel is controlled by a small number of carriers.

Here are some things I think this bill should include:

1. If your flight with airline X is postponed or cancelled, you should have the option to a) take the next available flight from X, b) take any available flight from any other airline that can get you to your destination before X, c) take any other form of transit that will get you to your destination faster than X, or d) take a refund and go home.

2. Airlines should not be allowed to overbook flights. Period.

3. If my flight is postponed for any reason and I’m stuck in an airport, the airline should cover my meals. If I’m stuck in the airport overnight, the airline should cover the hotel.

4. I should never be required to sit in an airplane, on the tarmac, for more than two hours.

5. If the airlines lose my baggage, they should be responsible for replacing whatever was in those bags, up to $10 000. Right now the limits vary, but are generally around $250. I can’t ever buy a nice jacket for that.

6. Airlines should never be permitted to claim that a policy is for the passenger’s safety or security unless they can demonstrate a direct relationship between the policy and safety/security.

7. Airlines should be responsible for immediately notifying passengers of any delays or itinerary changes

8. Airlines should be required to rebook passengers in an order based on a) whether the passenger is stuck in an airport, destination or is at home, b) when the passenger originally booked and c) the passenger’s class (first, coach, etc.), and not who complains first.

What would you like in the bill? Leave a comment and I’ll forward the list to MP Maloway.

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