Passengers, advocates cry foul on Air Canada compensation

MONTREAL – Passengers and advocates say Air Canada is giving them the runaround on refunds, compensation and reasons cited for flight delays and cancellations.

The country’s largest carrier informed passengers their flight to Lisbon would be delayed due to “bad weather,” 14 days before it was even slated to leave Montreal.

Another traveller was recently told a baggage delay meant she would receive a $60 “eCoupon” rather than the direct refund she’s entitled to under both federal rules and Air Canada’s passenger-carrier contract.

On Tuesday the airline canceled a flight from Nashville to Toronto citing a “technical issue,” but the same plane scheduled to fly into Nashville for the trip instead took off for Boston an hour after the original departure time, despite the stated mechanical problem.

Liam Walshe, a paralegal who advocates for consumer protection, calls the reasons cited “questionable,” noting that mechanical malfunctions do not qualify as within the carrier’s control or oblige it to compensate customers.

Air Canada says in an email the weather explanation on the Lisbon flight was “an incorrect notification” that has since been revised. The airline has said it “fully appreciates the disappointment and inconvenience schedule changes cause customers,” who can request a refund in the original form of payment, and says it abides by its obligations under the passenger rights charter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)

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