Appeal court judge clears path for hearing on flight credit for passengers

airline passengers

A Federal Court of Appeal judge has dismissed an attempt by Canada's transportation regulator to prevent a hearing on its stance on flight credit for travellers.
     
Air Passenger Rights, an advocacy group, asked the appeal court in April to order the removal of the Canadian Transportation Agency's statement on vouchers from its website, which was posted following mass flight cancellations by airlines.
     
The statement said the agency believes that vouchers or travel credit valid for two years are generally appropriate for airlines to give customers, as opposed to refunds, for flights cancelled by carriers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    
In its application, Air Passenger Rights also asked the court to prohibit members of the regulator from dealing with passenger complaints about refunds, arguing that a reasonable apprehension of bias exists based on the agency's statements.
     
Justice Wyman Webb said in a ruling Friday that the advocacy group ``should not be deprived of its argument... related to the reasonable apprehension of bias'' and dismissed the regulator's request to toss the case.
     
Consumer advocates and passengers have argued that agency precedent and contract law grant customers the right to reimbursement for hundreds of thousands of flights that were paid for but never took off.