If you travel a lot, chances are that you’ve been stuck on the tarmac once or twice. It’s never fun to be forced to wait for hours on a cramped plane, but usually, airline workers do what they can to ensure that things go as smoothly possible. However, every once in a while steps are skipped, people get angry, and well, airlines get fined thousands of dollars for failing to provide fundamental humans rights.

According to the Canadian passenger bill of rights, passengers who are stuck waiting on airport tarmacs must be provided a reasonable amount of food and water depending on the time of day and length of the delay.

Passengers must also be accommodated with free Wi-Fi or other access to the internet if delays last over two hours, which is nice, especially when you take into account how quick tarmacs get tediously boring.  

Sounds pretty simple right? Well, according to CTV, Air Transat was fined $2,500 this week for failing to provide proper customer service on a July 29, 2018, flight in Rome.

An utter lack of food and water and poor air circulation were just a few of the complaints levelled against the airline by those who were trapped aboard the stalled plane last summer.

However, they weren't the only airline to get fined for violating Canadian passenger rights, according to a new report. 

The Canadian Transportation Agency also noted that Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Air France were also issued fines on November 25, 2019.

The largest penalty was handed out to United, which was fined a total of $10,000 for failing to display required information about passenger rights at boarding gates and self-check-in machines.

Delta was fined $2,500 for the same offence and Air France was charged $1,500 for an issue with its online booking.

A change to the passenger bill of rights in July caused several Canadian airlines to push back against the alterations.

Air Canada, along with Porter, two industry groups, and 15 other airlines announced that they would be fighting the new passenger bill of rights.

The group even went as far as to file a legal challenge to the bill, which included mandatory payments of up to $2,400 to passengers who are removed from flights.

The group of airlines argued in their filing that the regulations found in the bill of rights exceed the authority of the Canadian Transportation Agency. They also stated that the bill of rights is in direct breach of the Montreal Convention.

Christophe Hennebelle of Air Transat told Narcity that, "During a tarmac delay in Rome on July 29, 2019, the Canadian Transportation Agency concluded that the food available onboard and distributed to passengers was not in sufficient quantity to accommodate all passengers."

"The Agency further concluded that this had an impact on a limited number of passengers and imposed a $2,500 fine on Air Transat. Our passengers’ well-being is always our concern. We apologize to any passenger who might have experienced discomfort on that occasion, despite our best efforts."*


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


*This article has been updated.

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