What compensation should you get if your flight is delayed or cancelled?

Thousands of Sunwing passengers are still hoping they’ll be able to salvage their holidays down south as the airline tries to deal with system wide technical problems affecting it’s check-in and boarding procedures.

As the chaos and confusion continues at airports across Canada, some passengers are complaining their trips are being cut short by days, or completely cancelled, while others have been stranded at resorts down south waiting for answers.

Rory Maguire was waiting at Toronto Person International Airport to go to Cuba when his flight was rescheduled nine times. He finally got on a plane today, 30 hours after his flight was to leave, and said Sunwing did provide him and his girlfriend with food and a hotel room.

“We got food at the airport, they fed us dinner, and they did give us a hotel room last night, which was great to have a place to lay our heads,” Maguire said.

After passengers flooded Sunwing with complaints about the delays the Sunwing tweeted this afternoon “All impacted passengers with flight delays over three hours will be compensated.”

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) said Tuesday under provincial law if a flight is delayed more than a day the passenger could be entitled to a full refund.

“If a consumer’s travel is delayed by 24 hours or more under provincial regulations our provincial legislation requires a full and immediate refund to the customer,” TICO President Richard Smart said.

TICO said an airline may also provide other options to passengers instead of a refund, such as a voucher or another form of compensation, if a flight is delayed or canceled but the traveler must agree to the terms.

Under federal rules, the airline may have to pay out $500 to $1,000 for unexpected delays and out of pocket expenses.

Gabor Lukacs, the President of Air Passenger Rights, said getting that money is not always easy and sometimes travelers have to go to small claims court to get the compensation they deserve.

“The airline has to pay compensation under the air passenger protection regulations for the passengers inconvenience,” said Lukacs. “The biggest problem we are facing in Canada is a lack of enforcement.”

While many passengers will have purchased trip cancellation insurance, Martin Firestone, the president of Travel Secure, said it’s the airline that will have to pay the compensation in this instance.

“These passengers entire week have been disrupted and some of them may not actually go on their vacation. Time will tell how Sunwing will deal with this,” said Firestone.

Sunwing also said today customers can make a one time change to their departure date with no added fees.

Anyone with a Sunwing flight over the next few days is being told to check their flight status before going to the airports and to watch Sunwing’s website for more information.

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