Transport minister pledges to close passenger compensation loophole used by airlines

TORONTO — Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the federal government will close a loophole that allows airlines to deny customers compensation for cancelled flights.

He says the reform will come as part of an overhaul of passenger rights to be tabled in Parliament this spring.

Airlines frequently cite safety-related issues to explain cancelled flights, which is an exemption that allows them to reject compensation claims.

Alghabra's pledge came during a press conference at Toronto's Pearson airport this morning, where he promised $76 million to reduce the backlog of complaints at the Canadian Transportation Agency.

He says the money will allow the transport regulator to hire 200 more employees who can chip away at the 42,000 complaints currently filed there.

The announcement comes after the government granted an additional $11 million to the agency in last year's budget — shortly before travel chaos erupted over the summer as flight demand surged, prompting another wave of complaints.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2023.

The Canadian Press