(Montreal) The number of air passenger complaints to Canada’s transportation regulator is skyrocketing, having more than tripled to 42,000 in the past year.

The growing backlog means each case now takes more than a year and a half to process, prompting advocates and politicians to question the whole process.

New Democratic Party (NDP) transportation critic Taylor Bachrach plans to table a private member’s bill on Monday to close loopholes, increase fines and make traveler compensation automatic whose flights are delayed or cancelled.

Taylor Bachrach and John Lawford of the Public Interest Advocacy Center say the overhaul of passenger rights promised by the Government of Canada for this spring should make compensation automatic for long delays or cancellations at short notice. prior notice.

Last week, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra pledged $76 million over three years to reduce the backlog by hiring 200 more staff. He also pledged to close a loophole that allows airlines to reject compensation claims citing safety as the reason for a flight disruption.

The backlog of complaints grew after travel chaos erupted over the summer and again during the past holiday vacation as demand for flights increased and weather conditions were poor.