The Agency’s complaint process

Your rights and obligations as an airline passenger and your air carrier’s rights and its responsibilities to you are found in the air carrier’s tariff – the contract of carriage between you and the carrier.

Carriers must include their fares, rates, charges and terms and conditions of carriage in their tariffs. By law, all Canadian and foreign carriers operating publicly-available air services to, from or within Canada are required to have tariffs for those services and respect them at all times. Part of the Agency’s responsibilities is to ensure that they do.

For complaints that a carrier has not applied its fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions of carriage set out in its tariff, Agency staff will review and initially attempt to resolve your complaint through the Agency’s informal facilitation process. They will analyze your complaint, the documentation submitted to explain or in support of your complaint and the carrier’s tariff.

If it appears the carrier has not respected its tariff, Agency staff will facilitate an informal discussion with both parties to attempt to obtain a voluntary settlement that is consistent with the carrier’s tariff. The settlement cannot include compensation for things such as pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment or loss of income. Note, however, that a settlement cannot be imposed on either party through the Agency’s informal facilitation process.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Agency’s informal process and believe the carrier did not respect its tariff, you have the option to pursue your complaint through a formal adjudicative process whereby your arguments and those of your air carrier will be made in writing. The decision rendered by the Agency will be binding on both parties.

If the Agency decides in your favour, it may order the carrier to apply its fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions of carriage, compensate you for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of its actions or take other appropriate corrective measures. However, the Agency cannot examine or order damages for things such as pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment or loss of income. If you believe that you are entitled to such damages, you may wish to consult your own legal advisor.

Should you believe that the fares, rates, charges or terms and conditions of carriage set out in a carrier’s tariff are unclear, unjust, unreasonable or unduly discriminatory, you may also file a complaint through the Agency’s formal adjudicative process.

While the Agency does not have the authority to order compensation in such cases, it can order the air carrier to amend its tariff.

For more information regarding the Agency’s processes for resolving air travel complaints go to www.cta.gc.ca.

 

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