“When Canadians purchase an airline ticket, they expect the airline to provide the service that they paid for and to be treated with respect," said transportation minister, Marc Garneau.
In April, United Airlines forcibly removed a man from one of its planes because the flight had been overbooked. The individual, named David Dao, is a doctor and refused to sacrifice his seat after he had been randomly chosen to exit the aircraft, as he had patients to treat the next day.
Video footage of his refusal and what ensued was captured by several people on the flight. Dao was forcibly dragged from the cabin and, as a result, suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and lost two teeth in the process. Understandably, outrage was directed toward the airline company.
In acknowledgment of the incident, a Canadian airline recently unveiled a new airline passenger bill of rights that makes it illegal for passengers to be forcibly removed from overbooked domestic or international flights.
RT reports that the legislation was passed by the transportation minister, Marc Garneau, and requires airlines to compensate the passenger’s ticket. If the passenger does not accept the compensation, the airline will simply be forced to raise their offering price. Set to pass at the start of 2018, the bill also mandates reimbursement for any luggage that is damaged. Additionally, children are to be allowed to sit “near a parent or guardian at no extra charge.”
During a news conference, Garneau stated:
“When Canadians purchase an airline ticket, they expect the airline to provide the service that they paid for and to be treated with respect. When things don’t go the way they are planned, travelers deserve clear, transparent, fair and consistent compensation.”
As a result of the PR nightmare that resulted from employees of United Airlines abusing Dao, the airline has issued new guidelines stating that crew members must arrive 60 minutes prior to the departing flight. This is to prevent similar scenarios from occurring. Additionally, the airline has increased the compensation for voluntarily giving up a seat to as much as $10,000.