Lost luggage? New Air Passenger Protection Regulations can help
Compensation for a lost or damaged bag has increased to $2,100
If things go wrong on your next flight, you may find some help from the new Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
These regulations, some of which came into effect on July 15, are intended to provide clearer and more consistent air passenger rights.
They impose certain minimum requirements on airlines, such as standards of treatment and, in some situations such as where bags are lost or damaged, compensation for passengers.
The regulations set out airlines’ obligations to passengers in the following areas:
- Delayed or cancelled flights
- Denied boarding
- Tarmac delays
- The seating of children under the age of 14
- Lost or damaged baggage
- The transportation of musical instruments
But some of the regulations are not yet in force.
Still, since July 15, the airlines have been required to meet the new obligations concerning communication, denied boarding, tarmac delay, lost or damaged baggage and the transportation of musical instruments.
The remaining obligations come into effect on Dec. 15.
The current obligation that is likely to have the greatest effect on northern air passengers: the airlines will be held liable for up to $2,100 for baggage that is lost or damaged during domestic flights.
But to get that money, you will have to file a claim for expenses with the airline.
For damaged baggage, you will have to submit the claim within seven days after you receive the baggage.
For potentially lost baggage, your claim must be submitted within 21 days after the day it was supposed to arrive.
With respect to communication, the regulations now also require that passengers be informed of their rights in a “timely, clear and accessible way.”
This means airlines will have to provide you with information in simple, clear and concise language on their terms and conditions of carriage for flight delays or cancellations, denial of boarding, lost or damaged baggage, and the seating of children under 14 years of age.
Airlines will be required to keep you regularly informed if there is a flight disruption, such as flight and tarmac delays, flight cancellations, and denials of boarding.
And they will have to tell you why the flight has been disrupted as soon as is feasible.
Airlines will also have to provide flight status updates every 30 minutes until a new departure time has been confirmed.
The regulations are intended to ensure that passengers are properly treated during delays when they are sitting in the plane on the tarmac.
As of Dec. 15, airlines will also be required to pay passengers compensation for flight delays or cancellations that are in the airlines’ control and not related to safety.
Passengers will be entitled to compensation based on the length of the delay.