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Flights In Canada Cancelled Or Delayed? Here's How To Get Compensation

You could be entitled to $$ for delayed and cancelled flights!

Associate Editor, MTL Blog
Air Canada flight flying over the Canadian Rockies. Right: Passengers waiting at gate at Montreal airport.

Air Canada flight flying over the Canadian Rockies. Right: Passengers waiting at gate at Montreal airport.

The airline industry isn't looking too hot as countless flights throughout Canada have been cancelled or delayed.

Last month, Air Canada announced that it would be cutting nearly 10,000 flights across July and August.

"Things are not business as usual in our industry globally, and this is affecting our operations and our ability to serve you with our normal standards of care," Air Canada President and CEO Michael Rousseau wrote in an email to customers.

But not all is lost for victims of delayed or cancelled flights. Canadian airline passengers have rights and, in some specific circumstances, could be eligible for compensation.

Here's what you should know.

Compensation for flight delays and cancellations

Following Air Canada's announcement that it would be cutting hundreds of flights, many travellers' plans were officially a no-go.

If your Air Canada flight was cancelled as part of this announcement, you should receive a complete refund from the airline.

According to Canada's Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), airlines are required to provide compensation to flyers whose flights were cancelled or delayed if it's within the carrier's control.

As for delays or cancellations regarding staff shortages, the APPR states that crew shortages are within an airline's control.

The APPR recently ruled that shortages are within an airline's control unless the carrier could not have prevented the flight delay despite appropriate planning.

"The airline must provide evidence showing that the crew shortage was not the result of its own actions or inactions. Failing this, the disruption is considered within the airline's control for the purposes of the APPR."

In the case of flight delays and cancellations, airlines must provide compensation for this inconvenience.

"Airlines must pay you compensation based on the length of your delay, which is determined by your arrival time at the final destination on your ticket," the APPR states.

For travellers flying on a large airline, you can be compensated from $400 to $1,000. Those flying on a small airline should receive anywhere from $125 to $500 depending on the length of the delay.

Compensation for lost or damaged luggage

In addition to the chaos seen across Canadian airports due to delayed or cancelled flights, passengers have also reported issues regarding damaged, delayed or lost baggage. Those passengers could also have money coming their way.

Travellers must file a claim within seven days after receiving their damaged baggage or within 21 days after they were supposed to retrieve baggage that has become lost, per Canada's Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

If your baggage is delayed, damaged or lost, the APPR recommends you keep all copies of your baggage info and tag and file a written claim with the airline within the required timeframe.

In this case, airlines have certain obligations and must compensate you for any fees paid for baggage services, which include the cost of any checked or oversized baggage.

The APPR stated that airlines must compensate passengers with up to $2,300 for items requiring replacement.

The CTA encourages passengers to make a complaint in writing to the airline if it "did not follow its obligations." Passengers can also file a complaint directly with the CTA if they're "not satisfied with the airline's response."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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