Canceled future flights | Plane tickets must be refunded within 30 days

From September 8, flights canceled by airlines for reasons beyond their control will have to be refunded within 30 days. This new requirement has been added to Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

Posted yesterday at 7:00 am

Isabelle Dube

Isabelle Dube
Journalism

Amendments to regulations encourage consumer groups to contact Journalism.

The original settlement affected only cancellations attributed to the airlines. However, mods now include situations beyond their control where a passenger’s flight path cannot be completed in a reasonable time – extreme weather conditions, volcanic eruptions, bird strikes, epidemics, military conflicts, etc.

If the airline is unable to provide an alternative flight within 48 hours of the time specified on the passenger’s original ticket, it must rebook the passenger or return the passenger to the original payment method within 30 days.

“we are very happy”

“It’s a reasonable time and we’re very happy with it,” says Jacob Charbonneau, CEO of volenretard.com, who has a reservation though. “If the airline does not reimburse the costs within 30 days, the file will have to be submitted to Transport Canada [OTC], which have very long lead times. If it takes a year and a half for OTC to resolve issues, there is no point in setting a 30-day deadline, because the customer will get their money back in a year and a half. »

Option partners, which also welcomes changes, specify that the Civil Code has already provided for the obligation to pay in case of force majeure.

“The obligation to pay is not provided for in this regulation. If the amendments clarify the situation, it is much better, provided that they provide no less than the law, than the civil law.”

All consumers who purchase their plane tickets online or through a travel agency may be reimbursed under Air Passenger Protection Regulations. For accommodations and other items included in holiday packages, travel agency clients will have to rely on the Travel Agent Customer Compensation Fund (FICAV), explains Sylvie de Belleville, attorney, budget and legal advisor at Option consommateurs.

Goodbye, travel credits

Criticized by many consumers, carriers can no longer tax travel credits. The passenger is entitled to be compensated in cash for the full price of the unused ticket, including additional services such as seat reservations, checked baggage and a special meal.

Jacob Charbonneau says: “We raised the issue of travel credits before the regulations came into effect in 2019 and Transport Canada did not hold them. It creates multi-thousand-dollar bets on landing planes. So we are very happy that it is finally found in the regulations. »

“This law has no retroactive effect, however it defines Sylvie de Belleville. It will not solve the situation of all those people who have experienced the problem during the pandemic. This applies to future disruptions, after September 8, even if you bought your plane ticket two months ago.”

Consultation and general reviews

The first version of the regulation went into effect in 2019. It was created to address denial of boarding, problems with flight delays or cancellations and long waiting hours on the tarmac before being able to take off or get off the plane.

In December 2020, the Minister of Transport asked the OTC to review the regulations in order to adapt them to the new problems highlighted by the pandemic. After a consultation process, a draft of the amendments was published in 2021 for public review and comment. The latest changes to the regulations were introduced on Wednesday.

During the process, elected officials from all political parties criticized the CTA for its positions in favor of the airlines, particularly regarding travel credits, which the agency said it considered adequate, and the suspension of compensation in the event of flight delays or cancellations.



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