Air Canada canceled flights: Consumer groups seek compensation

The country’s largest airline announced on Wednesday evening that it will cut more than 15% of its flights in July and August as the country’s air network sank in a surge in travel.

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

The affected flights primarily connect the airline’s hubs in Toronto and Montreal and use domestic routes or Canada and the United States. No international flights other than US-bound flights are among the cancellations.

Sylvie de Belleville, a lawyer at Quebec Option Consommateurs, says clients at all Eligible for compensation under the Canadian Passenger Rights Act.

The Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), which took effect in 2019, requires compensation — separate from refunds — between $400 and $1,000 for cancellation or delay. under the control of the carrier.

I think it was Air Canada’s decision to cancel the flights, Ms De Bellefeuille said. Therefore, people should have the right to compensation.

Air Canada liability?

While Michael Russo, CEO of Air Canada, apologized for the flight cancellations and Customer Service Fail. He also said in an email to travelers that the reduced schedules stemmed from tensions in the country global aviation system – Likely out of Air Canada’s control – summon them Unprecedented and unexpected.

Gabor Lukács, president of the Travel Rights Group, said he believes the airlines have done just that Its ability to oversell With the aim of compensating as much as possible for two years of negative results.

Although there were seats available on the plane, there was no pilot, no flight attendants, and no gate agents. »

Quote from Gabor Lukasz, President of the Travelers Rights Group

He added that the shortage of federal security and customs officers caused more problems.

These are cancellations that are under the control of the carrier […]. Airlines may claim otherwise, but these claims don’t hold up.he argued.

Air Canada explained in an email that customers will be automatically notified of cancellations to this effect This process is going on.

We can immediately rebook in some cases, while in others we will continue to look for alternatives and advise them if options become availablespokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said.

He said customers can request a refund at any time.

Air Canada did not respond to questions about whether the cancellations were under its control but did say so comply with its obligations under APPRE.

It was not an easy decision as it will lead to additional flight cancellations which will negatively affect some customersMr. Russo said in an email to clients on Wednesday evening.

However, doing so in advance gives affected customers time to make other arrangements in an orderly manner rather than interrupting their trip shortly before or during their trip, with few alternatives available.he completed.

financial losses

Air Canada’s cancellation of summer flights contrasts with the approach of WestJet Airlines, whose CEO told The Canadian Press it gradually reduced its summer schedule throughout the spring to finally offer 32% fewer flights to and from Toronto Pearson Airport in July compared to 2019.

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

Faced with severe staff shortages, which leads to delays, cancellations and confusion at airports. Faced with growing passenger anger in recent days, Air Canada has no choice. The country’s largest airline has decided to cancel thousands of flights by September. The company hopes to reduce the pressure on its employees. But will that be enough to bring order to the country’s major airports? Marie-Michel Luzon reports.

Jacques Roy, professor of transportation management at HEC Montreal Business School, noted that Montreal’s revenue will suffer the consequences. This is definitely not good news for Air Canada, [car] It is high season. This is the most profitable quarter of the year, and it’s been negative for three yearsHe said.

He added that it is likely that at least 400,000 passengers will be affected.

stress for travelers

Cathy Gray booked seats for a family trip to Scotland months ago, and her trip has already been postponed once.

We booked and paid for car rental and accommodation. We fear what might happen to our flight schedules in August and September and the domino effect on our plansI explained.

All of this could have been avoided had the airlines not been so greedy. this is embarrassing.

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

We are currently experiencing technical issues that may prevent you from refunding your online reservationsaid an alert at the top of the airline’s homepage on Wednesday evening.

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

If a flight is canceled 14 days or less before notice, passengers should receive $1,000 for a cancellation or delay of at least nine hours and $400 to $700 for a delay of three to nine hours.

Regardless of the timing of the notice, a passenger who chooses to decline a rebooking must receive $400 in compensation in addition to a refund.

The airline must endeavor to rebook any passenger on an aircraft within its network that departs within nine hours of the original time of departure. If she can’t, she should offer to make a reservation on another airline As soon as possibleThis is free of charge, according to the Charter of Passenger Rights.

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