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New Travel Rights for International Fliers May Prompt Change in the U.S.

Travel delays and other mishaps will become less aggravating for fliers in Canada and the European Union.

Travel delays and other mishaps will become less aggravating for fliers in Canada and the European Union, thanks to new rules, and the changes could compel the U.S. to provide more protection for airline travelers.

This summer, the Canadian Transportation Agency issued new rules designed to compensate passengers who are bumped or whose flights are delayed. The first phase requires airlines to give compensation of up to $2,400 to passengers who are denied boarding or up to $2,100 if their luggage is lost or damaged. The second phase, which takes effect December 15, requires airlines to provide compensation of up to $1,000 for passengers delayed for more than three hours.

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Separately, the EU ruled last summer that its flight-delay compensation rules—which are similar to those adopted in Canada—extend to connecting flights on the same reservation, including flights on non-EU airlines.

“Hopefully, this will add a bit of pressure on the U.S., the only major developed country that doesn’t have strong passenger rights,” says Christian Nielsen, of AirHelp, a company that files compensation claims.

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