Complaints over denied compensation for flight delays still unresolved following lengthy inquiry

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Nearly two years after the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) began investigating thousands of complaints from airline passengers claiming they were denied compensation for delayed flights, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has issued a decision. .

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However, the affected passengers will still have to wait for a solution.

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This is because instead of attempting to resolve complaints, the CTA has instructed airlines to reconsider requests for passengers’ compensation based on new guidance provided by the agency.

The controversy stems from the Federal Air Passenger Protection Regulation (APPR) introduced in 2019. The rules state that passengers receive up to $1,000 in compensation for flights that are delayed or canceled for reasons within the airline’s control, such as routine maintenance issues or overbooking.

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Soon after the Regulations took full effect on 15 December of the same year, the CTA was flooded Complaints from more than 3,000 passengers, claiming the reasons the airlines had provided for refusing compensation to them were either insufficient or unfounded.

on February 13, 2020 CTA started investigation Which focused on 567 complaints involving all major Canadian airlines: Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, Sunwing and Swoop.

As a result of that investigation, the CTA Now airlines have issued guidance What situations are considered under the control of an airline, including matters such as crew shortages, computer outages and maintenance.

The CTA said passengers whose cases remain unresolved despite the new guidance can contact the agency by February 15, 2022, to help them reach a solution.

‘It’s disappointing’

Complainant Michael Kerr is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation. He filed a complaint with the CTA in February 2020 after Air Canada rejected his compensation claim after an eight-hour delay on a Halifax-to-Toronto flight.

He hasn’t got any resolution yet.

“It’s disappointing,” said Kerr, who is from Toronto but currently living in Fargo, ND. “It would be nice to have some closure with this, as opposed to [the CTA] Compulsory closing it.”

Passenger rights expert Ian Jack agrees. He said he is glad that the CTA has provided more clarity on what types of flight delays warrant compensation, however, he is concerned with the continued delay in providing a solution to the complainants.

Jack, a spokesman for the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), a non-profit that serves Canadian travelers, said: “People will wait for a very long time for a decision and it’s still not resolved – and it’s very frustrating. “

“At a certain point, justice delayed is justice denied.”

The CTA told businesshala News in an email that the investigation had been temporarily suspended during the pandemic. The agency also said the investigation was a “complex and large-scale process” that involved seeking feedback from parties involved, including airlines.

Airlines did not mislead passengers: CTA

According to the APPR of Canada, Airlines should compensate passengers For flight delay of three hours or more.

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

Before the new rules went into effect, some industry experts expressed concern that airlines might try to minimize the reason for flight delays to avoid paying compensation.

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

look | Inspection of air passenger rights regulations begins:

Kerr said he felt entitled to compensation because during the delay of his flight, Air Canada’s crew promised compensation to passengers and even passed out compensation-information booklets.

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

If Air Canada refuses to offer him compensation after a CTA investigation, Kerr said he plans to give up and not pursue his claim.

“After waiting over a year and a half, I’m just tired of having to deal with it,” he said.

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