Travel Plans Grounded: What are Your Rights?

In the News

Air travel is chaotic this summer. On top of long waits for passports, many flights are being delayed or cancelled. What are your rights if your travel plans are grounded?

No passport: no refund!

You must have a valid passport to fly outside of Canada. If you can’t take your flight because you don’t have a passport, the airline doesn’t have to refund you.

It’s your responsibility to have all required documents to travel outside of Canada. Airlines generally mention this in the instructions accompanying your ticket. If you fail to follow all these instructions, the company can refuse to let you board your flight.

Flight cancelled or delayed: you have rights!

If your flight is delayed more than three hours, or is cancelled, you have rights that vary according to the reasons for the delay or cancellation:

The delay or cancellation is…

The airline must…

Due to circumstances beyond the airline’s control.

Example: storm, strike by employees

  1. Inform you of the reason and of your rights.
  2. Offer you another reservation on a flight within 48 hours.

Due to a decision by the airline based on safety concerns

In addition to the above obligations:

3. Offer you a refund if the other flight does not suit you.

4. Offer you food and lodging, depending on the situation.

Due to a decision by the airline for any other reason.

In addition to the above obligations:

5. Pay you compensation of $400 to $1000 depending on the situation.

More rights as of September!

Starting September 8, 2022, passengers will have some additional rights. Notably, you will have the right to choose between a new reservation and a refund, even if the reasons for the cancellation or delay are beyond the airline’s control.