'I think in hindsight there were some issues that Sunwing could have managed better and I know that Sunwing is dealing with those,' Alghabra said.
The federal government plans to strengthen protections for air passengers after a Sunwing Airlines fiasco left hundreds stranded over the holidays, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says.
In an interview with Global News on Thursday, Alghabra said his department has a “plan on how we can strengthen the rules” — though he did not elaborate on the specifics of this plan.
The Liberals introduced a new regime for air passenger rights in 2019. Known as the Air Passenger Protections Regulations, they lay out the minimum airline requirements for travel – including “standards of treatment” and, in some situations, “compensation for passengers,” according to the website.
Now the government is “consulting with Transport Canada” on beefing up these protections for passengers.
“We’re looking forward to figuring out what other measures can we put in our passenger bill of rights to make sure that the airlines are the ones who are responsible for these claims, not the CTA (Canadian Transportation Agency),” Alghabra said.
The CTA is the quasi-judicial body that adjudicates claims against airlines, giving passengers recourse when they feel a complaint against an airline has been left unresolved. But going to the CTA should be a last resort, according to the transport minister.
“The airlines are the ones responsible for refunding passengers without having to go to the CTA,” Alghabra said.
“I hope passengers don’t have to go to the CTA. This is a conversation that I had with Sunwing today.”