Complaints Regarding Denial of Compensation for Flight Delays Still Unresolved Following Lengthy Investigation | Radio-Canada News

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Almost two years after opening an investigation into thousands of air passenger complaints claiming they had been wrongly denied compensation for delayed flights, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has issued a ruling.

However, affected passengers still have to wait for a resolution.

Indeed, instead of attempting to resolve the complaints, CTA has asked airlines to reconsider passenger compensation claims based on new guidance provided by the agency.

The disputes stem from the Federal Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) launched in 2019. The regulations require passengers to receive up to $ 1,000 in compensation for flights delayed or canceled for reasons within the control of an airline. airline, such as routine maintenance issues or overbooking.

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Shortly after the regulation came into full effect on December 15 of the same year, the LTC was inundated with more than 3,000 passenger complaints, claiming that the reasons given by airlines for denying them compensation were either insufficient or unfounded.

On February 13, 2020, CTA launched an investigation which involved 567 complaints, involving all of Canada’s major airlines: Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, Sunwing and Swoop.

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As a result of this investigation, CTA has now issued guidelines for airlines on what situations are considered under the control of an airline, involving issues such as crew shortages, IT failures and maintenance.

CTA said passengers whose cases remain unresolved despite the new guidelines can contact the agency before February 15, 2022, for help reaching a resolution.

“It’s discouraging”

Complainant Michael Kerr is not satisfied with the results of the investigation. He filed a complaint with CTA in February 2020 after Air Canada denied his claim for compensation following an eight-hour delay on a Halifax-Toronto flight.

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He still has to get a resolution.

“It’s disheartening,” said Kerr, who is from Toronto but currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota. [the CTA] essentially push it back. “

Michael Kerr filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency after Air Canada denied him compensation for a flight delayed on February 2, 2020. (Submitted by Michael Kerr)

Passenger rights expert Ian Jack agrees. He said he was pleased that CTA had provided more clarity on the types of flight delays warranting compensation, however, he was concerned about the continuing delay in providing resolution to complainants.

“People will be waiting a very long time for a decision and it is still not resolved – and it is very disappointing,” said Jack, spokesperson for the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), a nonprofit in the United States. Canadian traveler service.

“At some point justice delayed is justice denied.”

CTA told TBEN News in an email that the investigation was temporarily put on hold during the pandemic. The agency also said the investigation was a “complex and large-scale process” that included taking into account comments from affected parties, including airlines.

Airlines did not mislead passengers: CTA

According to Canada’s APPR, airlines must compensate passengers for flight delays of three hours or more.

However, airlines do not have to pay compensation for flights delayed or canceled due to uncontrollable factors, such as bad weather or mechanical problems discovered outside of routine maintenance checks.

Before the new rules came into effect, some industry experts feared airlines were trying to rig the cause of a flight delay to avoid paying compensation.

In its investigative decision, the CTA said it found no evidence that airlines “intentionally misled passengers” by denying them compensation. However, the agency said much of the information provided to passengers on the reasons for their flight delays “was inadequate, terse and unclear.”

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Kerr said he felt entitled to compensation because during his flight delay, the Air Canada crew promised compensation to passengers and even distributed information brochures about the compensation.

But the airline later rejected Kerr’s request, saying in an email that the plane was delayed due to a “safety issue.”

While Air Canada still refuses to offer him compensation following the CTA investigation, Kerr said he plans to drop and not pursue his claim.

“After more than a year and a half of waiting, I’m just a little tired of dealing with this,” he said.

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