Airline regulator issues harmonized baggage rules for international flights

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OTTAWA – The Canadian Transportation Agency says that starting in the fall, passengers on international flights through Canada will be subjected to just one set of rules governing baggage allotments and fees even if they use a number of carriers.

The regulator says it is adopting U.S. baggage rules to create a harmonized and “seamless” approach across North America for flights purchased on a single ticket.

The new rules apply to international itineraries to and from Canada purchased on a single ticket issued as of Oct. 1. Because tickets can be purchased up to 330 days before travel, the old rules could apply to some travellers until Aug. 27, 2015.

Airlines must apply either their own policy or the itinerary’s dominant carrier, which must be disclosed on the itinerary receipt or e-ticket.

The ruling covers the number of bags, their weight and fees.

In explaining its reasons for the change, the CTA said that for several decades baggage allowances were assessed per piece or by weight.

However, airlines seeking to maximize baggage revenue began in recent years to apply their own rules for trips involving multiple air carriers. That created uneven international practices and confusion for passengers.

The new rules, it said, will create a “seamless and transparent baggage regime for passengers” and a “harmonized and practical regime for the industry.”

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