Try to Resolve Your Complaint With the Service Provider First
In order for the Agency to know whether it needs to become involved in resolving your dispute, you must first bring your complaint to the attention of the transportation service provider before filing a complaint with the Agency.
If you have attempted to resolve a complaint with a service provider and are not satisfied with the outcome, you may turn to the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Complaints are evaluated against the service provider's responsibilities and, where it appears that these may not have been met, Agency staff will approach the service provider, and will informally attempt to obtain a resolution of the complaint that is consistent with these responsibilities.
What if I don't have all the information?
While it would be helpful to have as much information as possible concerning your travel arrangements, this does not prevent you from filing your complaint. However, you may encounter delays in the processing of your complaint. In some cases, it may be impossible to resolve a complaint without sufficient relevant information.
Correspondence exchanged with the service provider, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, claim forms, itinerary, boarding passes, publication/baggage claim check, and any other information pertinent to your complaint should be photocopied and provided to the Agency when requested. Do not send original documents unless specifically requested to do so.
Is there a time limit to file a complaint?
The older a complaint, the more difficult it may be to obtain necessary documents, records, or information. You should act upon your complaint as soon as possible after the incident.
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need to hire a lawyer in order to file a complaint. Of course, you may consult a lawyer if you wish.
Are there any fees/costs to process my complaint?
There is no charge to file a complaint with the Agency.
The Investigation Process
Thanks to their extensive knowledge of the transportation industry, issues and stakeholders, Agency personnel are often able to resolve disputes informally through facilitation. For many parties, this quick, no-cost route has proven to be a highly satisfactory alternative to the Agency's other dispute resolution options.
Also offered at no cost to the parties is mediation, another informal, less resource-intensive alternative to the formal, quasi-judicial Agency process. Although this approach is more structured than facilitation, it is flexible, confidential and voluntary, allowing disputing parties to develop creative solutions that may not be available through formal adjudication. When both parties agree to refer their dispute to mediation, an Agency-appointed mediator will work with them to develop solutions and produce collaborative outcomes resulting in a better understanding of the issues and in agreements that inspire high levels of satisfaction and commitment. The statutory time frame for completing the mediation process is 30 days unless parties agree otherwise.
If these informal approaches are not successful, you may also choose to proceed with the Agency's formal decision-making process. As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency operates similarly to a court and has the authority to issue decisions and orders on matters within its jurisdiction through the formal adjudication process.
Please note that the Agency cannot assess damages for such things as lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish or loss of enjoyment.
The status of your case can be checked at any time by clicking on Case Status Enquiries.
What if you are still not satisfied?
If you remain unsatisfied with the result of an Agency Decision following a formal investigation, an appeal can be filed as follows:
- On a matter of law or jurisdiction, any decision can be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal within one month of the decision of the Agency.
- Any aspect of the decision can be reviewed by the Agency if the facts or circumstances of the case have changed since the decision was made.
- Any decision can be appealed at any time to the Governor in Council (the federal Cabinet).