Canada makes it illegal to remove passengers from overbooked planes

New passenger bill of rights comes after man was dragged off United Airlines flight in Chicago

No one who has bought a ticket for a domestic or international flight in Canada will be allowed to be removed because of overbooking, the transportation minister has announced, unveiling a new passenger bill of rights.

Marc Garneau said the shoddy treatment of air passengers outlined in recent news reports would not be tolerated on any domestic flight as well as any flight leaving or arriving in Canada.

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He says said the rules would ensure “travellers are treated like people and not numbers”.

The new regulation comes a month after cellphone video captured a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago after he refused to leave his seat to accommodate airline crew members.

Garneau said if airlines could not get a volunteer with a minimum level of compensation they would have to increase the amount offered.

“When Canadians buy an airline ticket they expect the airline to keep its part of the deal,” he said.

Minimum compensation standards would also be set for damaged baggage.

The regulations would additionally increase the cap on foreign ownership of airlines from 25% to 49%.

The government hopes to have the new regulations in place in 2018.