The Europeans have it, and now the Canadians do too. Americans? Meh, not so much. We're talking about a passengers' bill of rights. The program, known as Flight Rights Canada, was introduced last week by Canadian Minister of Transport Lawrence Cannon. Under the new program, airlines must make passengers aware of schedule changes and delays, as well as refund tickets for canceled or overbooked flights. Meal vouchers must be given for delays of over four hours, and hotel accommodations must be provided for delays exceeding eight hours.

The new bill also requires that beverages and snacks be provided to passengers stranded on the runway, and passengers will now have the option to disembark after runway delays over ninety minutes. Lost or delayed luggage? Your airline must provide you with an overnight kit and deliver your luggage to you (wherever you may be) once it is recovered.

About the only thing Flight Rights can't save you from is bad weather, or acts of nature. Well, hey, fair enough.

The news comes after Canadian and UK based Zoom Airlines threw in the towel last month, leaving passengers waiting on the runway for several hours and stranded with no way home.

So when are we getting a passengers' bill of rights here in the states, huh? If you'd like to help, we suggest you visit and start wagging some fingers at (and sending emails to) your state representatives.

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