Canceled Air Canada flights: consumer groups demand compensation

The country’s largest airline announced Wednesday night that it will cut more than 15% of its flights in July and August as the country’s air network is swamped by an overwhelming surge in travel.

As part of the move, more than 9,500 flights, or an average of 154 per day, will be eliminated from the airline’s flight schedule, which is already operating at just 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

Affected flights primarily connect the airline’s Toronto and Montreal hubs and use domestic or Canada-US routes. Among the cancellations are no international flights other than those to the United States.

Sylvie De Bellefeuille, a lawyer with Quebec group Option Consommateurs, says these are customers Absolutely Right to compensation under the Canadian Passenger Bill of Rights.

The Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), which came into effect in 2019, require compensation – separate from a refund – of between $400 and $1,000 for a cancellation or for a delay under the control of the carrier.

DeBellefeuille. Par conséquent, les gens devraient avoir droit à une indemnisation.”,”text”:”Je crois que c’est la décision d’Air Canada d’annuler les vols, a affirmé MmeDeBellefeuille. Par conséquent, les gens devraient avoir droit à une indemnisation.”}}”>I believe it was Air Canada’s decision to cancel the flights, Ms De Bellefeuille said. Therefore, people should be entitled to compensation.

Air Canada responsibility?

While Air Canada boss Michael Rousseau apologized and apologized for flight cancellations Customer Service OutagesHe also said in an email to travelers that the reduced flight schedules were due to tensions in the US global aviation system – may be outside of Air Canada’s control unprecedented and unforeseen.

Gabor Lukacs, president of Travel Rights Group, said he believes airlines have done so their capacity oversold with the aim of compensating as much as possible for two years with negative results.

Although there were vacant seats on the plane, there was no pilot, no flight attendant, no flight attendant. »

A quote from Gabor Lukacs, President of the Travelers Rights Group

He added that a shortage of federal security and customs officials poses even more problems.

These are cancellations that are under the control of the carrier […]. Airlines may claim otherwise, but these claims are not tenable.he argued.

Air Canada explained in an email that customers who indicate so will be automatically notified of cancellations this process is ongoing.

In some cases we can rebook immediately, while in other cases we continue to look for alternatives and advise you as options become availablesaid spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.

Customers can always request a refund, he said.

Air Canada didn’t respond to questions about whether the cancellations were within its control, but said it did RPPA“,”text”:”respecterait ses obligations en vertu du RPPA”}}”>would meet its obligations APPROX.

It was not an easy decision as it will result in additional flight cancellations which will negatively impact some customersMr Rousseau said in the email to clients on Wednesday night.

However, doing this in advance will give affected customers time to make other arrangements in an orderly manner, rather than having their journey disrupted just before or during the journey as few alternatives are available.he continued.

financial losses

Air Canada’s cancellation of summer flights contrasts with the actions of WestJet Airlines, whose chief executive told The Canadian Press that the company gradually reduced its summer schedule throughout the spring, eventually ending in July with 32% fewer flights to and from 2019 compared to 2019 to offer from Toronto Pearson Airport.

Air Canada shares fell $1.03, or 6%, to close at $16.04 on Thursday. It was worth more than $21 at the start of the month.

Faced with a glaring staff shortage causing delays, cancellations and confusion at airports. And with the growing desperation of travelers over the past few days, Air Canada was left with no choice. The country’s largest airline has decided to cancel thousands of flights until September. The company hopes to ease the pressure on its employees. But will it be enough to bring order to the country’s major airports? Report by Marie-Michelle Lauzon.

Jacques Roy, professor of transportation management at HEC Montreal Business School, pointed out that the Montreal company’s revenues will suffer as a result. This is certainly not good news for Air Canada, [car] it is high season This is the most lucrative quarter of the year, and it’s been negative for three yearshe said.

At least 400,000 passengers are likely to be affected, he added.

stress for travelers

Cathy Gray booked seats on a family trip to Scotland months ago and has already rescheduled her flight once.

We booked and paid for rental car and accommodation. We are concerned about what might happen to our August and September flight schedules and the domino effect on our plansshe explained.

All of this could have been avoided if airlines weren’t so greedy. It’s embarrassing.

Passenger fear was palpable on Air Canada’s website, which was inundated with inquiries from travelers wanting to check the status of their summer flights.

We are currently experiencing technical issues which may prevent you from retrieving your booking onlineit said on Wednesday evening at the top of the airline’s homepage.

Under federal regulations, passengers are entitled to alternative travel arrangements or a refund, at the traveler’s option, if they have been notified more than two weeks in advance that their flight is canceled or delayed by three hours or more for reasons beyond the airline’s control became.

If trip was canceled with 14 days or less notice, passengers should be paid $1,000 for a cancellation or delay of nine hours or more and $400 to $700 for delays of three to nine hours.

Regardless of the timing of notification, a passenger who refuses a rebooking should receive $400 in compensation in addition to a refund.

The airline must endeavor to rebook every passenger on an aircraft within its network that departs within nine hours of the original departure time. If she cannot do this, she should offer to make a reservation with another airline as soon as possibleand free of charge, in accordance with the Charter of Passengers’ Rights.

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