Compensation for flight delays and cancellations

Airlines must provide compensation for the inconvenience of flight delays and cancellations if the disruption is within their control and not related to safety, and if the airline notified you of the disruption 14 days or less in advance.

Airlines must pay you compensation based on the length of your delay, which is determined by your arrival time at the final destination on your ticket.

If you are flying on a large airline and the length of the delay is:

  • from 3 to 6 hours, your compensation is $400;
  • from 6 to 9 hours, your compensation is $700;
  • 9 hours or more, your compensation is $1000.

If you are flying on a small airline and the length of the delay is:

  • from 3 to 6 hours, your compensation is $125;
  • from 6 to 9 hours, your compensation is $250;
  • 9 hours or more, your compensation is $500.

All compensation amounts are in Canadian dollars.

You have one year to make a compensation claim with the airline in writing. The airline has 30 days to respond by issuing a payment or telling you why it believes compensation is not owed.

If you have already received compensation for the same event under the passenger protection rules of another country, you cannot receive further compensation under these Canadian regulations.

Airlines must offer you compensation in monetary form - for example cash, cheque, or a deposit into your bank account. Airlines can also offer you other forms of compensation such as vouchers or rebates. Other forms of compensation offered must:

  • have a higher value than the monetary compensation required, and
  • cannot expire.

The airline must tell you in writing the amount of compensation you are owed and the value of any other form of compensation that they offer. You always have the right to choose between monetary compensation and other form(s) offered by the airline. If you choose another form, you must confirm in writing that you know that monetary compensation is available.

Airline obligations for flight delays and cancellations are set out in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

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