Canada will introduce new legislation this spring that will address the problem of travellers being bumped from flights, the federal government said Monday, as the violent dragging of a passenger off an overbooked flight in the U.S. unleashed anger over the practice.
A spokesman for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said bumping rules will be included in an air passenger bill of rights that was promised last fall to establish clear, minimum requirements for compensation when flights are oversold or luggage lost.
Marc Roy declined, however, to say if the legislation would set industry-wide standards or raise compensation to levels offered in the United States or Europe.
Garneau would not comment directly on the incident aboard a United Airlines flight Sunday in Chicago, where police officers were seen on video grabbing a man from his seat and dragging him down the aisle. He said he did not know whether a passenger in Canada can be forcibly removed from a flight because of overbooking.
“I certainly have seen what happened in the case of the United Airlines flight and that is why last November I announced that we would be putting in place what we call a regime of rights for passengers,” Garneau said. “We recognize that when a passenger books a ticket, they are entitled to certain rights.”
Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs said the “troubling” video highlights the need for greater consumer protection.