Compensation for flight delays and cancellations
Airlines must provide compensation for the inconvenience of flight cancellations and flight delays of 3 hours or more and 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.
Large airlines must pay:
- $400 if the passenger arrives three or more hours late, but less than six hours
- $700 if the passenger arrives six or more hours late, but less than nine hours
- $1,000 if the passenger arrives nine or more hours late
If you choose to be refunded instead of rebooked, large airlines must still pay you $400.
The size of the airline is listed in the terms and conditions of your ticket (tariff). Air Canada (including Jazz) and WestJet are currently large airlines.
Small airlines must pay:
- $125 if the passenger arrives three or more hours late, but less than six hours
- $250 if the passenger arrives six or more hours late, but less than nine hours
- $500 if the passenger arrives nine or more hours late
If you choose to be refunded instead of rebooked, small airlines must still pay you $125.
The size of the airline is listed in the terms and conditions of your ticket (tariff). Sunwing Airlines, Air Transat, Porter Swoop and Flair Airlines are currently small airlines.
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.
Claims for compensation
To receive compensation for a flight delay or cancellation, you must make a claim with the airline in writing within 1 year of the incident date. The airline has 30 days to respond by issuing a payment or by telling you why it believes compensation is not owed.
If you do not receive a response from the airline within 30 days or you are not satisfied with the response, you can submit a complaint to us. We will try to facilitate a resolution between you and the airline. Learn more about the CTA's different dispute resolution processes.
Compensation for delays while travelling internationally
In addition to the minimum compensation described in this guide, a passenger who is delayed while travelling internationally may also be entitled to make a claim under the Montreal or Warsaw Conventions for any damages — such as expenses — that happened because of the delay. Passengers must make these claims with the airline in writing.
Airline obligations for flight delays and cancellations are set out in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
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