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Canadians Have Access to All-Inclusive Air Prices as Airlines Transition to New Advertising Requirements

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OTTAWA, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ – WestJet, Air Canada, Porter, Air Transat, Canadian North, First Air, Air Creebec, Sunwing, Air Inuit and Orca Airways are now displaying all-inclusive air prices on their on-line booking systems—in line with new regulations that came into force on December 18, 2012.

The regulations enable consumers to easily determine the total advertised air price and promote fair competition between all advertisers in the air travel industry. They apply to any person who advertises air prices to the public, for travel within, or originating in Canada, through any media.

When searching for an air fare, consumers can now expect to see the total all-inclusive price. The success in achieving a high level of industry compliance can be attributed in large part to the Agency’s collaboration with air price advertisers and its efforts to help them understand their obligations and to provide guidance on all aspects of the new regulatory regime. The Agency is continuing to work with the industry to ensure that all advertisers understand all of the regulatory requirements, which includes a breakdown of advertiser-imposed charges and fees, as well as other third-party charges and optional charges.

Under the all-inclusive pricing rules, the total price of the advertised air service must include all taxes, fees and charges. A basic description of the air service offered must also be included in the ad, stating the points of origin and destination, and whether the service is one-way or round trip. Any limitations with respect to booking or travel availability periods should also be stated, and the advertiser must provide access to a breakdown of the taxes, fees and charges, and information on any optional services offered for a fee or charge.

The Agency expects air price advertisers to fully comply with the new regulations, as soon as possible. It may impose fines of up to $5,000 against an individual and $25,000 against a corporation where a contravention of these regulations has occurred. As with all Agency enforcement actions, the determination of what corrective measures and/or penalties are required in the case of contravention is based on a number of different factors, including the frequency and nature of the offence.

For more information, consult the Agency’s all-inclusive air price advertising repository. The repository features educational materials including an interpretation note, questions and answers, as well as examples of advertisements. A webinar fully explaining the new requirements will also be available.

About the Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and economic regulator of the Government of Canada. It makes decisions and determinations on a wide range of matters involving air, rail and marine modes of transportation under the authority of Parliament, as set out in the Canada Transportation Act and other legislation.

The Agency’s mandate includes:

  • Economic regulation, to provide approvals, issue licences, permits and certificates of fitness, and make decisions on a wide range of matters involving federal air, rail and marine transportation.
  • Dispute resolution, to resolve complaints about federal transportation services, rates, fees and charges.
  • Accessibility, to ensure Canada’s national transportation system is accessible to all persons, particularly those with disabilities.

SOURCE: Canadian Transportation Agency

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