People are shown at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Friday, March 10, 2023. The Supreme Court of Canada has granted an appeal for a group airlines looking to quash rules that bolster compensation for passengers subjected to delayed flights and damaged luggage.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Air passenger rights compensation appeal heads to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal from several airlines looking to quash rules that boost compensation to passengers for delayed flights or damaged luggage.

Air Canada, Porter Airlines Inc. and 16 other appellants argue that Canada’s four-year-old passenger rights charter violates global standards and should be rendered invalid for international flights.

Launched in 2019, the legal action states the provisions exceed the Canadian Transportation Agency’s authority and contravene the Montreal Convention by imposing heftier compensation requirements for flight cancellations or lost baggage.

In December, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the airlines’ case, with the exception of one regulation that applies to the temporary loss of baggage.

The Canadian Transportation Agency and attorney general argue there is no conflict between passenger protections and the Montreal Convention, a multilateral treaty.

Under the federal rules, passengers have to be compensated up to $2,400 if they were denied boarding — so-called flight bumping — because a trip was overbooked, while delays and other payments for cancelled flights warrant compensation of up to $1,000.