The new rules on flight cancellations and delays

At the beginning of a trip, there is nothing worse than having your flight canceled! Small consolation, the airline only offers you a credit instead of refunding the price of your ticket.

A scenario that has been occurring with increasing frequency since the beginning of the pandemic and which has sparked heated debates among consumers and experts.

From now on, these situations will be monitored to prevent abuse and protect travelers.

passenger rights

The Air Passenger Protection Regulations, commonly known as Travelers Charter, were passed in 2019 with the aim of holding airlines accountable for cancellations and delays attributable to them.

However, when it was introduced, significant shortcomings in the Travelers’ Charter were highlighted.

In particular, a particularly limited liability of the carriers in the event of problems beyond their control, such as e.g. B.: mechanical problems, unforeseen events or storms.

To address these shortcomings, new regulations will come into force on September 8th, extending the traveler protection regime to previously excluded situations.

The old compensation system

If an airline carries more than two million passengers, it is referred to as a “large airline”, the others as “small”. This qualification establishes two levels of compensation.

In the event of a delay or cancellation of a flight for a reason attributable to the airline, the compensation varies depending on the delay in arrival at the destination:

  • If you arrive more than 3 hours late compared to the time stated on your ticket, the compensation is USD 400 for a large airline and USD 125 for a small one.
  • If you arrive more than 6 hours late, the compensation is $700 for a large porter and $250 for a small one;
  • If you arrive 9 hours or more late, the compensation is $1,000 for a large carrier and $500 for a small carrier.

The problem is often a lack of cooperation on the part of carriers, who hide behind a variety of reasons “outside their control” to refuse compensation. But that was before.

The new regulations

The new rules that come into force ensure compensation even in the event of a travel disruption that is due to external causes.

Therefore, in the event of a delay or complete cancellation of your flight, the airline must offer an alternative route within 48 hours. Otherwise, he is obliged to refund you in full within 30 days in the same way as the original payment. You also have the option to make a new reservation free of charge.

Carriers can therefore no longer retain the price paid in the form of a credit or other voucher. He will have to pay you back. The passenger charter is enforced by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). Therefore, we must contact the OTC when we find that an airline is not fulfilling its obligations.

Well informed we travel better.


  • In the event of a delay or cancellation, respect the justifications provided to you by the carrier;
  • Keep a copy of your itinerary and document the time of arrival at the destination (time-stamped photos or other evidence of time of arrival); and
  • In the event of a complaint, clearly state your choice of treatment, either a refund or a new reservation.

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