English and French in Canadian airports

Text Version: English and French in Canadian airports

1,000,000

Canadian airports that serve more than one million passengers per year are required to provide services in both English and French.

In 2012, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages observed services provided by:

  • airport authorities (including commercial tenants under their authority, such as restaurants and car rental agencies)
  • Air Canada in-flight and ground services
  • the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (security screening)

1,792 observations made

8 airports evaluated

Airports observed in 2012

  • Halifax (YHZ)
  • Montréal (YUL)
  • Ottawa (YOW)
  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Vancouver (YVR)
  • Québec city (YQB)
  • Winnipeg (YWG)
  • Edmonton (YEG)

Bilingual signage

Visual elements display information in English and French.

  • Airport authorities: 77%
  • Air Canada: 99%
  • Canadian Air Transport Security Authority: 100%

Very high scores for bilingual signage, except for the Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton airport authorities

Bilingual greeting

Employees use a bilingual greeting (such as “Hello! Bonjour!”) to indicate that service is available in English and French.

  • Airport authorities: 11%
  • Air Canada: 26%
  • Canadian Air Transport Security Authority: 61%

Half of the airport authorities scored 0% or 1% for the bilingual greeting.

Air Canada’s in-flight service (44%) fared better than its ground service (17%)

Few employees systematically greet travellers in English and French, even if they are bilingual.

Availability of service in English and French

Service is available in the official language of the linguistic minority.

  • Airport authorities: 42%
  • Air Canada: 90%
  • Canadian Air Transport Security Authority: 62%

TOP 3 - Best overall scores in 2012

  1. Montréal (YUL)
  2. Québec City (YQB)
  3. Ottawa (YOW)

Other than in Montréal, Québec City and Ottawa airports, travellers requiring services in French are likely to have a mediocre experience at best.

Comparison of results from 2008 and 2012
Airport Authorities No significant improvement.
Air Canada Improved
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Improved
FOR MORE INFORMATION
On these observations: www.officiallanguages.gc.ca
On your language rights as a traveller: www.officiallanguages.gc.ca/airports

Twitter @OCOLCanada

Facebook.com/officiallanguages

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Date modified:
2017-10-16