Published: Wed, July 17, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Vueling, Thomas Cook, and Wizz Air Named the Worst Airlines for Delays

Vueling, Thomas Cook, and Wizz Air Named the Worst Airlines for Delays

The first phase of the new regulations will require airlines to compensate passengers who are bumped from flights for reasons that are within the airlines control up to $2,400.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he was "surprised - in fact a bit disappointed - that the airlines should come out challenging something that is fundamental, which is passenger rights".

If you lose your luggage or if it is damaged in transport on a domestic, there are now increases to an airline's maximum liability to match those of worldwide flights.

Phase 2, related to flight delays, cancellations and seating children in proximity of a parent or guardian, will come into effect on December 15, 2019.

Garneau said that airlines could face penalties of up to C$25,000 for each incident of non-compliance. Regardless of what happens with the legal case, the airlines have largely avoided the same kind of regime as Europe's, which offers more protections for passengers.

According to Gabor Lukacs, a vocal air passenger rights activist, the new rules provide for no new enforcement mechanisms.

"Today, Canadians finally have access to the world-leading passenger rights they deserve which was long-overdue". For far too long, passengers have dealt with long delays and lost baggage.

"That has affected several airlines in Canada, and we recognize that that has put an additional burden on them in terms of their reservation systems and their operations", he said.

Carriers are required to clearly inform passengers of their rights and possible recourse opportunities, as well as provide regular updates in the case of delays or cancellations.

Gabor Lukacs, founder of the advocacy group Air Passenger Rights, has argued that the new regulations still leave Canada well behind the US and Europe in granting power to passengers.

Thomas Cook came in a close second, with delays of 24 minutes, followed by Wizz Air with 23 minute delays, but they neglected to offer any excuses, so we assume they're just plain tardy. If rebooking doesn't meet a passenger's travel needs - if they no longer need to fly, for instance, because they've missed what they were flying for - they can get a refund and an extra $400 from large airlines, and $125 from small carriers.

Musical instruments will be allowed on flights, either as checked or carry-on baggage, but airlines will have to create policies detailing size restrictions, cabin-storage options, and transportation fees.

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