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[TRAVEL] Airline Travel Rights

In case of lost luggage, long delays, bumped for overbooking, etc., you have some forms of compensation that you can take advantage of. This post is inspired by a new article from CBC.

1. Luggage Issues

If your bag gets lost, damaged or delayed, airlines are required to compensate for reasonable costs until they return the bags to the passenger. If your luggage is delayed, the airline is responsible for hand delivering it to you, so you won’t have to go back to the airport to pick it up.

Reasonable costs are generally in the range of $100 per day, but it may depend on international and domestic flights. There is usually a maximum number of days associated with the compensation limit.

2. Flight Delay at the Gate

If you are stuck at the gate (while on the plane) for more than 90 minutes, you actually have the right to get off the plane. It ultimately depends on the airline carrier, but all the major Canadian airlines have this 90 minute condition in their tariff, which is their contract with the passenger.

3. Bumped Off Your Flight Due to Overbooking

If your flight is overbooked and you are bumped off the flight, you can get some sort of compensation for that, depending on the length of the delay. They can either offer you a choice of cash or a travel voucher. For long delays, depending on the ticket agreement, airlines are required to give you food or accommodation vouchers.

The exact details of what you can get is explained in the airline’s tariff. For example, Air Canada offers up to $800 for a delay of more than six hours. WestJet and Sunwing offer as much as $1,300 for a 6 hour delay.

4. Complaints that the Airline Cannot Resolve

If your airline cannot help you solve your flight problem, you can resolve a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (“CTA”). The CTA deals with air travel issues and may help you get compensation from the airline. Common complaints include issues with baggage, customer service, disruptions to service, ticketing.

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