Air passenger rights
Know your rights
Your flight didn’t leave on time?
Your flight was cancelled?
You got bumped?
You arrived but your luggage didn't?
Most air travellers in Canada have problem-free flights. But if something goes wrong when you fly to, from or within Canada, you do have rights and it’s important that you know them.
Air passengers in Canada deserve easy access to clear information about their rights.
These rights are set out in the airline’s “tariff.” A tariff is its contract with passengers. It contains terms and conditions about how the airline will deal with issues like denied boarding, delays, cancellations, passenger re-routing, and lost or damaged baggage.
Air carriers must:
- Set tariff terms and conditions that respect certain legal requirements, are reasonable and fair, and applied the same way for everyone, as much as possible;
- Clearly display the tariff at their offices and on their websites; and
- Apply the terms and conditions of carriage as stated in their tariff.
Flight Rights Canada
In 2008, the Government of Canada introduced Flight Rights Canada (FRC), an air passenger rights initiative that included a voluntary code of conduct for airlines.
In 2009, Canada’s largest carriers – Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat – agreed to the code and adjusted their tariffs to address flight and tarmac delays, cancellations, overbooking, and lost or damaged baggage.
The complaints process
The Canadian Transportation Agency, backed by the terms of the Canada Transportation Act, makes sure that carriers fully respect the rights of air travellers and that they keep their promises.
The Agency helps air passengers in two primary ways:
- It offers informal dispute resolution processes, which include facilitation and mediation services, for passengers who are not satisfied with how a carrier dealt with their issue such as lost baggage or cancelled flights. After first trying to resolve their issues with the carrier and giving them 30 days to respond, passengers can file a complaint with the Agency through its Complaint Wizard.
- It offers a court-like complaint process for passengers who want to challenge a carrier’s policies (tariff provisions) as being unclear, unreasonable or discriminatory, for such things as compensation when they are denied boarding or are not adequately informed of changes in flight schedules.
To learn more, consult the Agency's air complaints section at www.cta-otc.gc.ca.
You can contact the Agency by calling 1-888-222-2592 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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