AIR TRAVELERS’ RIGHTS are protected in Canada by the Airline Passenger Charter which has been approved by most of the Canadian airlines. In 2007 the Parliament of Canada adopted Bill C-11 whose aim was to strengthen the Canada Transportation Act. This statutory document laid down the airline passengers’ rights in Canada.
Tickets vs. tariffs
The most important thing to consider in this case is the fact that the plane ticket is to be regarded as a contract. You should consider that you entered into a contract with the carrier the minute you purchased the ticket.
Therefore, whenever a carrier is not able to offer the services you paid for, the law compels them to keep you informed, to give you a fair treatment as well as to offer you an alternative solution. This is usually called the AIR CARRIER’S TARIFF which is, as we have already pointed out, a contract concluded between you and the airline.
This sort of AGREEMENT settles your rights and obligations as well as the airline’s rights and responsibilities to you. You should also pay attention to the provisions that are applicable in your case before confirming the purchase.
Beware of the rules that apply to your ticket before confirming your purchase, particularly on-line. It is a wise idea to print a copy for yourself and keep it for later use. It is true that airlines are required by Canadian law to clearly display their tariffs both at their points of business as well as on their websites. Furthermore, according to the same regulation, airlines need to obey their tariffs all the time.
They also need to be just as well as non-discriminatory and should not produce any barriers to PASSENGERS WITH REDUCED MOBILITY. Thus, tariffs will deal with comprehensive issues which may apply to any passenger.
They also have to evidently mention its RESPONSIBILITY in case of delays, cancelled flights, oversold plane tickets as well as lost or mishandled luggage. So, indeed, the information that is printed on the reverse of you ticket may be regarded as a contract concluded between you and the carrier.
But you should be aware that not everything about your trip is printed there. The ticket merely talks about basic information about the trip, i.e. which route you as an air passenger will be transported. You will also find information referring to the date and time of the flight alongside with the number of the flight. The ticket demonstrates that you paid for their services.
The contract, on the other hand, is represented by the airline’s tariff. It is here that you’ll find all the information you need, i.e. rates, fares as well as terms and conditions of carriage.
Consequently, a ticket is a sort of summary of a tariff, or in other words, a ticket is a fragment of a tariff. And to make matters more interesting, you need to know that in case the information printed on the ticket contradicts the stipulations provided by the tariffs, the latter applies in all cases.
Delays, cancellations and denied boarding
It’s a fact, something like a general truth, that schedules are inexact and that no airline company will ever assume responsibility for guaranteeing that their own clients will catch their connections of other flight. The same applies to delays or cancellations – they happen due to a various number of reasons and should be taken as such.
According to Canadian law, airlines are not responsible for any expenses related to flights that are delayed or cancelled as a result of events that are beyond their control such as WEATHER– however, they will always re-route you so that you may reach your intended destination in due time. If this is impossible, than you’ll be given back the amount of money corresponding to the part of the ticket that was not used.
Nevertheless, you’ll not receive any extra payments of you choose to make your own preparations. Furthermore, airlines do not have to compensate for any psychical inconveniences which you’ll certainly experience in such circumstances. They will, however, compensate you with FOOD and ACCOMMODATION VOUCHERS in case of tarmac delays.
For instance if you fly with Air Canada and your flight is delayed for four hours or more an Air Canada airport official will provide you with a meal voucher.
If, on the other hand, the delay lasts for 8 hours or more, and the airline is responsible for such a delay, than you may be entitled to meal vouchers, transportation to and from the airport as well as hotel accommodations (subject to availability). Nonetheless, in case the delay is due to circumstances that are outside Air Canada’s control, you’ll only be provided with hotel contact information where you can get lower rates.
Canadian airlines follow the same procedures as any other international carriers when it comes to OVER-BOOKED SEATS. In case there isn’t a sufficient number of volunteers to give up their seats, they will consider the persons with disabilities as well as the unaccompanied minors. All the passengers that are bumped, either voluntarily or involuntarily, are helped to find a seat on the subsequent available flight AT NO EXTRA COST. Still, financial compensation depends on each carrier’s individual tariff.