Canadians can now weigh in on what they want to see in an air passenger bill of rights.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced on Monday the government is launching consultations to get input on what obligations and standards should be placed on airlines when it comes to treating passengers humanely.
It comes two weeks after legislation authorizing the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to begin work on creating a passenger bill of rights received royal assent.
“When Canadians buy an airline ticket, it has to mean something,” said Garneau to reporters.
“We are going to make sure airlines treat passengers with the respect they deserve.”
WATCH: Garneau says new bill of rights sets out standards for passenger treatment
C-49, the legislation in question, was introduced last year and laid out a framework for monetary penalties that can be levied against airlines that mistreat or fail to uphold standards of responsibility they bear to passengers.
The consultations that will begin in June and run until Aug. 28 will go a step further and actually gather feedback from Canadians about what specific standards they think airlines should be required to meet before the companies face penalties.
“They give the CTA a mandate to establish standard responsibilities for airlines when your flight is delayed or cancelled, when you’re denied boarding, when your bags are lost or damaged, when you’re delayed on the tarmac, if you’re travelling with children who need to sit next to you, or if you’re travelling with instruments,” said Scott Streiner, chair of the agency.
Garneau promised the bill last year after video of a passenger being injured and dragged off a United Airlines flight went viral.
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Public consultations will take place at eight cities across Canada over the summer.
Officials will also be conducting passenger surveys at airlines across the country.
Once the information is gathered, the Canadian Transportation Agency will compile it into a draft which will need to be approved by Garneau and the Treasury Board before being finalized.
WATCH: Official says passenger bill of rights strengthen rights of air travelers
Garneau did not say how long it would take before passengers flying will have clear expectations of what they are owed by airlines.
“I can’t give you a very specific date but as soon as possible,” said Garneau
“It’s a matter of months as opposed to years.”