Air Canada Flight Cancellations: How To Get Refunds, Other Compensation – Domestic |

Air Canada’s sudden cutback to its summer flight schedule caused another chaotic long weekend at Canadian airports and left many customers stranded and frustrated.

Canadian airlines and airports ranked first globally for flight delays over the Canada Day long weekend.

Air Canada, which announced late last week that it would cut 15 percent of its daylight saving time, or about 9,500 flights, ranked first for delays on Saturday and Sunday, with two-thirds of its flights taking off late. according to the FlightAware tracking service. . WestJet and its budget airline Swoop were also in the top five for delays worldwide.

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Canadian airlines and airports recorded the worst delays globally over the long weekend

Gabor Lukacs, who runs a Facebook group to help passengers resolve disputes with Canadian airlines and travel industry regulators, says he and his team have been inundated with complaints in recent days.

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“We’ve been overwhelmed with requests for help and unfortunately we can’t get them all,” he told Global News on Monday. “The avalanche of problems that the airlines are creating for the public is just tremendous.”

Although staffing shortages at Canadian airports have contributed to long lines and delays for months, Lukacs squarely blames airlines for the recent turmoil.

He said what is happening on the Air Canada network is similar to when an airline might oversell a single flight, selling 110 tickets on a 100-seat plane, for example.

“We’re seeing something like that, but on a much larger scale,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Delays, lost luggage continue to plague Toronto Pearson International Airport'

Delays, lost luggage continue to plague Toronto Pearson International Airport

Delays, lost luggage continue to plague Toronto Pearson International Airport

He claims carriers have been overly ambitious and knowingly booked more than they had the capacity to sell, and are now leaving frustrated customers at the gates.

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What can you do to ensure you receive proper compensation for a delayed or canceled flight? We have the answers for you here.

What am I owed if Air Canada cancels my flight?

Air Canada must reimburse passengers if their flight is cancelled, but depending on when the airline tells you about the disruption, you may be owed more.

The Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), which went into effect in 2019, require compensation, other than refunds, of between $400 and $1,000 for a cancellation or significant delay that is “within the control of the carrier”, in the event that the traveler chooses to reject the new reservation. , and in some cases when they accept it.

In an email to affected customers last week, Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau linked the schedule changes to deficiencies in the “global aviation system,” calling them “unprecedented and unforeseen.”

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Read more:

Air Canada cancels some summer flights amid travel chaos. Who is responsible?

But those arguments are of no use to Lukacs.

“Passengers should always keep in mind that this is 100 percent under the control of the carrier. There is no question,” she said.

Global News contacted Air Canada to confirm whether it believed the passengers would qualify for such compensation. The airline confirmed that it “will meet its APPR obligations” without saying whether it felt the outage was within its control.

How long was your delay? When did they tell you?

Under federal regulations, passengers are owed alternative travel arrangements or a refund, at the traveler’s option, if they were informed more than two weeks in advance that their flight was canceled or delayed three hours or more for reasons within the airline control.

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If the trip was canceled within 14 days or less, passengers are owed $1,000 for a cancellation or delay of nine hours or more, and between $400 and $700 for delays of three to nine hours.

Regardless of the length of the notice, a passenger who chooses to decline a rebooking must receive compensation of $400, in addition to a refund.

Click to Play Video: 'Travel Advice: Ongoing Delays Affecting Canadian Travelers'

Travel Tips: Ongoing Delays Affecting Canadian Travelers

Travel Tips: Ongoing Delays Affecting Canadian Travelers

The airline should aim to rebook passengers on a flight in its network that takes off within nine hours of the original departure time. If it can’t, it must offer to book them on another airline network “as soon as possible” free of charge, according to the passenger bill of rights.

For international travel, Lukacs notes that you can also get reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses and other losses, such as lost wages due to the interruption. This coverage is governed by the Montreal Convention, a globally agreed set of rules for airline compensation.

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The new protections for air passengers that take effect on September 8 won’t come soon enough for frustrated summer travelers.

Those regulations will require airlines to offer a rebooking or a refund within 30 days if they can’t provide a rebooking within 48 hours of a flight’s cancellation or “long delay.”

Read more:

Canada is tightening the rules for flight refunds. Do they go far enough?

What happens if the airline does not pay?

If you are unable to contact an airline to request a refund or compensation, there are a few other avenues you can take to recover your costs.

Lukacs says that if an airline doesn’t confirm your refund or payments within 30 days, proceed “quickly” to small claims court to expedite the process.

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In cases where an airline refuses to refund, a credit card chargeback is a useful “last resort,” he adds. This would cause the credit card sponsor to directly reimburse you for what ended up being an erroneous charge.

Lukacs says the pressure to fix delay problems at airports and airlines shouldn’t be on the airlines themselves, but on the federal government and the nation’s airline industry watchdog, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). ).

He argues that airlines get away with poor customer service and fail to follow the letter of the law because they know they can get away with poor behavior.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra could order the CTA to take a more stringent enforcement energy, or the government could intervene more directly to solve problems at airports and force airlines to pay the full amount when their plans come out. wrong.

“I suspect that the government will do absolutely nothing. And that’s where the problem lies,” says Lukacs.

Global News contacted both Alghabra and the CTA for comment on Monday but did not receive a response prior to publication. Alghabra’s office said in a statement to Global News last week that he was working with the industry to find solutions.

“Air carriers are responsible for their own operational decisions and we will continue to work with airlines and airports to find important solutions to keep Canadian travelers moving,” his office said.

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— archived by Saba Aziz of Global News, The Canadian Press

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Alghabra announces $105 million in funding for 4 Canadian airports, air traffic control

Alghabra announces $105 million in funding for 4 Canadian airports, air traffic control

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