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Canada will introduce legislation to address the issue of travelers being bumped from flights, the country’s transportation minister said Thursday.
Marc Garneau sent a letter to the heads of every airline flying in and out of Canada to warn them that an incident like the one that injured an American doctor earlier this week cannot happen in Canada.
The letter comes five days after David Dao, 69, was dragged off a United flight in Chicago after refusing to leave his seat to accommodate airline crew members. He suffered a concussion, a broken nose and two missing teeth when security officers forced him off the plane against his will, banging his head on armrests in the process, according to his lawyer.
He has hired lawyers who told a news conference Thursday they expect to file a lawsuit against the airline.
Garneau’s warning comes ahead of legislation to introduce a passengers’ bill of rights in Canada. The legislation, expected this spring, is to outline what passengers can expect from airlines in situations such as bumping from overbooked planes or for lost or damaged luggage.
“When passengers purchase an airline ticket, they expect and deserve that the airline will fulfill its part of the transaction,” Garneau wrote. “When that agreement is not fulfilled, passengers are entitled to clear, transparent and enforceable compensation.”
He said the legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks and that co-operation from the airlines will be essential to further improve the traveler experience.