In Europe, for quite some time now, travelers have had a wide range of rights when flights get delayed or canceled. Canada has now implemented the same: Since Monday they now also have a thorough compensation scheme. Their sums are far higher – travelers can receive a total of up to 2,400 Canadian Dollars (roughly €1,640) as compensation. Here we’ll look at the scheme in more detail:
While this Canadian scheme does have similarities with the EU-scheme, there are some significant differences: These laws are valid for all flights from, to and inside Canada – that means that apparently also for foreign airlines that fly to Canada. Transit connections are – like in the EU – also covered by this scheme. The biggest difference: There is a differentiation between big and small airlines. And: Delays caused by technical problems can often be excluded from these compensation laws.
Overbooking – Boarding refused
The classic: The airline (deliberately) sold too many seats on one flight because it expected some passengers not to show up anyways. All passengers have, however, appeared and so the flight is overbooked. Passengers, that have to fly on another flight because of this can now expect a compensation, depending on the caused delay:
- Less than 6 hours: $600 compensation
- Between 6 and 9 hours: $1,800 compensation
- More than 9 hours: $2,400 compensation
Delay caused by the airline (from December)
There shall also be (from December 15th, 2019) a compensation for regular – not caused by overbooking – delays and cancelations. Here, however, there’s a special detail: You’ll only get compensation if the delay has been caused by the airline, not if caused by so-called acts of God (weather, etc.), nor if there were safety concerns. Safety concerns is a very vague term and it could be argued about what exactly such a concern would be. It is likely that airlines will stress that technical problems are a safety concern!
The compensation sum here depends on the size of the airline: Major Carriers such as Air Canada or Westjet are expected to pay the following:
- Between 3 to 6 hours: $400 compensation
- Between 6 and 9 hours: $700 compensation
- More than 9 hours: $1,000 compensation
Smaller airlines (less than 2 million passengers in the last 2 years) are expected to pay the following sums:
- Between 3 and 6 hours: $125 compensation
- Between 6 and 9 hours: $250 compensation
- More than 9 hours: $500 compensation
Airlines will also be expected to pay hefty sums from mid-July if the luggage is lost or damaged. The luggage’s value is to be replaced by sums of up to $2,100. Also, all baggage fees that had been paid are to be reimbursed.
From now on, airlines are expected to inform passengers of their rights, clearly and transparently. This is also the case in the EU, where often this is done by posters or signs near the check-in counter and gate. Passengers also have to be taken care of when the delay happens once already inside the aircraft. After 3 hours, passengers have to be allowed to leave the plane.
From December 15th, 2019, airlines have to get passengers a seat, even on a competitor’s flight, if this were the quickest option, and to offer meals, drinks and possibly hotel accom