Canadian Transportation Agency launches inquiry into WestJet flight incident
August 16, 2019 – Gatineau, QC – Canadian Transportation Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is launching an inquiry to examine whether the terms of WestJet's tariff dealing with schedule changes and irregularities are just and reasonable, taking into account the requirement for airlines to respect the minimum obligations towards passengers set out in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR).
This step follows receipt of a complaint concerning a July 22, 2019 incident -- which was also the subject of a media report -- involving changes to passenger itineraries. The information in the complaint and report raises the possibility that WestJet's tariff is being interpreted and applied in a manner inconsistent with the denied boarding provisions of the APPR.
The complaint itself will be treated separately from this inquiry. The CTA has a range of dispute resolution services – from informal facilitation, through mediation, to adjudication – to assist air passengers and airlines when they have a dispute that cannot be resolved directly between them.
With the launch of the inquiry, WestJet has been directed to provide certain information to the CTA. Once that information is received, the CTA will decide on next steps.
"The Air Passenger Protection Regulations set out the minimum obligations airlines have towards passengers in a number of areas. It's important that the wording and application of airline tariffs be consistent with those protections – and that, to the greatest extent possible, airlines and passengers have a common understanding on what's required in different situations. This inquiry will help achieve that clarity.”
- Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency
About the Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA has three core mandates: helping to keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and providing consumer protection for air passengers. To help advance these mandates, the CTA makes and enforces ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and level the playing field among competitors, resolves disputes using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication, and ensures that transportation providers and users are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how the CTA can help them.