What you need to know when your air travel is disrupted

Agency air travel complaint

If you're not satisfied with how an airline resolved your issue, you can file a complaint, email or call us at 1-888-222-2592. The Agency exists to help resolve complaints about air travel within, to and from Canada. Our role is to make sure that airlines apply their terms and conditions of carriage set out in their tariffs and that both passengers and airlines have met their respective responsibilities.

For more information on air travel complaints relating to delays or cancellations, consult our resource for air travellers, our videos and our Fly Smart tips.

Your airline should always make reasonable efforts to inform you of any schedule changes and the reasons behind them. However, unforeseen circumstances can arise, and leave you in a lurch. Here is an outline of what you can expect in certain types of situations.

Delays or cancellations

Should your flight be delayed or cancelled for reasons that are within your airline's control, such as mechanical failures or crew scheduling, you may be entitled to compensation and the airline must take every reasonable measure to rebook your flight.

Domestic travel

If you're flying within Canada, you should familiarize yourself with your airline's domestic tariff. It contains information on the airline's obligations in cases of changes to their scheduled flights. In those instances, airlines might offer you a refund, accommodation and/or rebook you. But you shouldn’t automatically assume that they will. An airline's legal obligation will vary depending on the circumstances.

International travel

If you're flying to or from a foreign destination, your airline must respect their terms and conditions of carriage in their international tariffs as well as provisions listed in the Warsaw or Montreal Conventions. These treaties regulate liability for international carriage of persons, luggage, or goods. Tariffs need to clearly indicate what recourses passengers have in those types of situations.

Cessation of operations

If your travel arrangements have fallen through because the airline went out of business, either before you departed or mid trip, your course of action would depend on how you purchased your ticket.

If you booked your travel through a travel agent, you should contact them as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements.

If your travel agent is registered in Ontario, Quebec or British Columbia contact the following provincial authorities for advice on claims for reimbursement:

Ontario

Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO)
Tel.: 1 888-451-8426
Email: tico@tico.ca
www.tico.ca

Quebec

Office de la protection du consommateur
Tel.: 1-888-672-2556
www.opc.gouv.qc.ca

British Columbia

Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority
Tel.: 1-888-564-9963
Email: info@consumerprotectionbc.ca  
http://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/

If you did not use a travel agent but purchased your flight with a credit card, you may be eligible for a refund from your credit card company.

Catastrophes

If your flight is cancelled due to a catastrophe, such as a revolution, war, earthquake, or flood, you should contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate for assistance.

Catastrophes are generally not considered to be within airlines' control and a full compensation from the airline is not always awarded. However, many airlines offer goodwill in such circumstances. Once your safety is secured, you should contact your airline to find out what your options are.

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