New Edition of Fly Smart Released – One-Stop Source to Help Air Travellers Plan Ahead

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OTTAWA – July 24, 2012 – As thousands of travellers hit the skies for the summer holiday season, the Canadian Transportation Agency released today the 6th edition of Fly Smart, a user-friendly resource tool to help air travellers plan their trips to, from and within Canada. The Agency now also offers a handy pocket-sized list of top ten Fly Smart tips, perfect for people on the go.

The new edition of Fly Smart informs air travellers of the consumer protection regime that is place in Canada, the rights and obligations of both passengers and air carriers under this regime, and how to seek redress if something goes wrong.  It tells air travellers what they need to know about travel documents, tickets, baggage, insurance coverage and special requests – everything to get from the early stages of planning a trip, right through to the airport and back home.

"A positive air travel experience is a shared responsibility," said the Agency's Chair and CEO Geoff Hare. "By being aware of the rights and responsibilities of both passengers and air carriers, consumers can plan ahead and better protect themselves while travelling by air."

Fly Smart can be accessed in multiple formats through the Agency's website along with other popular agency publications such as Take Charge of Your Travel, a guide for persons with disabilities. Print copies can be ordered by contacting info@otc-cta.gc.ca, or by calling 1-800-222-2592/TTY 1-800-669-5575.

The Canadian Transportation Agency has a number of mechanisms in place to help protect consumers by:

  • resolving disputes between members of the public and air carriers through facilitation, mediation or formal adjudication;
  • working with air carriers and members of the public to ensure that they are aware of their rights and obligations;
  • ensuring air carrier tariffs are compliant with Canadian legislation and regulations; and
  • working with the industry to remove obstacles to transportation to the mobility of persons with disabilities by resolving individual complaints and by developing codes of practice, standards and regulations for accessible transportation.

For further information about the Agency's services for air travellers, please visit: www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/air-travellers.

About the Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent administrative body of the Government of Canada. It performs two key functions within the federal transportation system:

  • As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency, informally and through formal adjudication, resolves a range of commercial and consumer transportation-related disputes, including accessibility issues for persons with disabilities. It operates like a court when adjudicating disputes.
  • As an economic regulator, the Agency makes determinations and issues authorities, licences and permits to transportation carriers under federal jurisdiction.

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Top Ten Tips to Fly Smart

  1. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities: The tariff is the contract of carriage between you and your air carrier – it covers your rights and obligations as a passenger and your carrier's rights and its responsibilities to you. Find it at the carrier's business offices in Canada and on their Web sites when used for selling air transportation.

  2. Check in Early: When available, check in on-line up to 24 hours in advance of your flight. Arrive at the airport early to check- in, drop off your baggage, get through the security screening process and be available for boarding at the gate on time.

  3. Know the fare rules for your ticket: Note or print them before purchasing and carry them with you when you travel – they can defend you if a dispute arises between you and the air carrier's agent.

  4. Know Your Carrier's Limits: Each carrier sets out its own limits for carry-on and checked baggage. Carriers also set time limits for reporting and filing complaints about lost, damaged or delayed baggage. Check your carrier's tariff for its baggage rules and allowances.      

  5. Call Ahead: From carrying sports equipment and musical instruments, to dietary restrictions, medical conditions and disability-related needs, most carriers require from 48 to 72 hours notice to accommodate special requests. 

  6. Pack Smart: Include your contact information and your destination contact information inside each piece of baggage. Always carry essential and valuable items with you on board:  your passport, identification and return tickets; medicines and medical devices; money, jewelry and electronic equipment; and, essential overnight items.

  7. Be Sure to Have All of Your Travel Documents: It's your responsibility to have the proper documents to enter a foreign country and return to Canada. All Canadian travellers, including children, must have their own passport. Consult the diplomatic mission of each country you intend to visit for its entry requirements.

  8. Have Insurance When You Travel: Include protection against baggage loss, delay, damage or theft, trip cancellation or interruption, personal injury or death, as well as sufficient medical coverage.

  9. Don't Miss Your Flight: When available, pre-select your seat in advance of departure. Confirm your return flight at least 72 hours in advance.  Monitor your points of contact for carrier notifications of departure time changes and cancellations. Check your flight's status at least 24 hours before departure and leaving for the airport.

  10. Need Help with a Problem? Should you not be satisfied with your air carrier's response to your written complaint, check our website to find out more about where we can help at www.cta.gc.ca

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