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Stop bumping passengers from overbooked flights, Ottawa tells airlines

Transport Minister Marc Garneau called on airline executives at a closed-door meeting Friday to immediately stop involuntary bumping passengers from overbooked flights.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau called on airline executives at a closed-door meeting Friday to immediately stop involuntary bumping passengers from overbooked flights. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File

MONTREAL – The federal transport minister is urging the country’s airlines to voluntarily stop removing passengers from full flights against their will before its legislation banning the practice comes into force, which is expected next year.

Marc Garneau says he called on airline executives at a closed-door meeting Friday to immediately follow the spirit of his proposed passenger bill of rights by ending involuntary bumping.

READ MORE: Proposed airline passenger rights won’t mean an end to overbooking: experts

Garneau says he also asked them to end the practice of charging parents a fee in order to sit next to their children.

The bill introduced this week is part of a package of amendments to the Canada Transportation Act that also raises the cap on foreign ownership in airlines and requires railways to install voice and video recorders in locomotives.

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WATCH: Ottawa introduces legislation to create a passenger bill of rights, but critics say it won’t do much good

Will new air passenger regulations protect Canadians who fly?
Will new air passenger regulations protect Canadians who fly?

The new rules would also set minimum levels of compensation for people who voluntarily agree to be bumped from a flight.

It would also force airlines to establish clear standards of treatment and compensation for circumstances such as lost or damaged luggage, delays while sitting on the tarmac and other non-weather related issues.