Clear Communication

Official Regulation

Passengers will be informed of their rights in a timely, clear and accessible way using simple, clear and concise language on information for:

  • Flight delay or cancellation;
  • Denial of boarding;
  • Lost or damaged baggage; and
  • The seating of children under 14 years of age.

This information should be made available on any document issued by the airline, which could also be a link to a site. The airline will also take all reasonable efforts to ensure that travel agents also provide this information to their customers.

During a flight disruption
Airlines will be required to keep passengers regularly informed if there is a flight disruption (flight and tarmac delays; flight cancellations; and denials of boarding).

They will have to tell passengers why their flight has been disrupted as soon as is feasible. This information will have to be provided through:

  • an audible announcement;
  • a visible announcement, upon request; and
  • the available communication method the passenger has selected (e.g., email, SMS).

Airlines will have to provide flight status updates every 30 minutes until a new departure time has been confirmed. The airline must offer any new status information to passengers as soon as is feasible, which may be sooner than 30 minutes after the last update.

Accessibility for persons with disabilities
Airlines will have to ensure that communication is accessible to persons with disabilities. Where information is provided digitally, the format will have to be compatible with adaptive technologies used by persons with disabilities. If information is provided in paper format, the airline will have to be able to provide it in large print, Braille or a digital format, upon request.

Our Interpretation

If we were to generalize what this part of the regulation speaks, for the most part it is blah … blah … blah …. blah.

To further elaborate:

  • It’s incredibly difficult to claim that any information was presented in a clear and accessible manner to their customers.
  • For customers who book through a travel agent (Arete Travel Hub is a trip concierge service), the agent will be required to inform the customer. Ie, the agent will claim that they were never provided the information by the airline and the airline will claim that they provided the information to the agent. It’s a typical scenario, and probably the most frequent reason why we are asked to come in the middle, customers just can not get their travel agent to communicate with their airline in a clear manner.
  • Airlines will have to keep customers updated during any flight disruption using an audible, visible (upon request) and through the customer’s preferred communication method every 30 minutes until a departure time has been confirmed. What bothers me is, that it is only until the departure time has been confirmed, we could totally imagine Air Canada claiming that the departure time was confirmed, but was later delayed due to additional unforseen issues.
  • Airlines will have to ensure all their communication can be interpreted by persons with disabilities, including possibly in large print, braille or a digital format upon request. This is the only part which we genuinely believe will make travel easier; for people with disabilities.