With the ongoing surge of Omicron cases, winter weather delays and staffing shortages, travelling plans can be much more complicated. Here's what you need to know relating to flight cancellations.

If you choose to cancel your flight

What you are entitled to when you choose to cancel a reservation depends on the terms and conditions that apply to your ticket. Your entitlements can vary according to the ticket that you purchased. Always check what cancellation rules apply to your ticket when making a reservation.

If the airline cancels your flight

When an airline cancels a flight, their obligations towards you depends on their level of responsibility over the situation, as set out in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR).

For more information about airline obligations and their level of control over flight cancellations, consult Types and Categories of Flight Disruption: A Guide.

The obligations established by the APPR are considered to form part of the terms and conditions of an airline ticket. Airlines cannot offer passengers less than what the APPR requires, but if an airline chooses, it can offer passengers conditions that go beyond the minimum requirements.

If an airline refuses to let you travel

Under the terms and conditions of your ticket, airlines may refuse to transport you in certain situations. These could include:

  • missing travel documentation (including proof that you meet any requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic), or
  • missing deadlines for airline check-in, baggage drop-off or boarding deadlines.

In such situations, even if you hold a valid ticket/itinerary, the airline may not allow you to travel. What you are entitled to depends on the terms and conditions that apply to your ticket.

Related notices:

Applicable deadlines and travel requirements during the COVID-19

Government-issued travel bans

If flights are cancelled for reasons outside airlines' control, for example, when the Government of Canada and\or other governments issue travel bans, airlines must follow the requirements of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) or the terms and conditions set out in the airlines' tariffs, whichever obligations are more advantageous for the passenger. The APPR require airlines to provide alternate travel arrangements including, if necessary, to book passengers travel on other airlines. Other passenger entitlements would arise from the tariffs of the airlines in question. Airlines are not required to pay compensation for any inconvenience arising from a flight cancellation due to situations outside their control.

Any passenger who believes an airline did not respect their obligations can file a complaint with the Agency. All complaints are dealt with on their merits.