CTA To Investigate How Airlines Communicate Flight Delays & Cancellations

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has opened an inquiry into complaints from air passengers alleging that airlines are not accurately communicating the reasons for flight delays or cancellations. 

On 15DEC, 2019, the flight delay and cancellation provisions of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) came into force. 

The APPR include a requirement that airlines tell passengers the reason for a flight delay or cancellation. This is important because the reason for a flight disruption affects passenger entitlements: 

  • If a flight is delayed or cancelled for reasons fully within the airline's control, passengers have a right to compensation for inconvenience and standards of treatment like food and water. 
  • If a flight is delayed or cancelled for reasons within the airline's control but required for safety – such as a mechanical issue that could not have been identified and fixed during regular maintenance – passengers have a right to standards of treatment, but not compensation. 
  • If the flight is delayed or cancelled for reasons outside the airline's control – like bad weather – the airline only has to ensure that passengers can complete their journeys. 

The CTA has received multiple complaints regarding flights operated since 15DEC alleging that airlines have failed to accurately communicate the reasons for delays or cancellations. 

"Airlines have an obligation, under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, to provide timely, accurate information to passengers on the reasons for flight delays and cancellations. This inquiry will look into allegations that in some cases, airlines haven't lived up to this obligation," said Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency.

"If the evidence shows that happened, we'll take appropriate action. The CTA is committed to ensuring that passengers and airlines understand what the rules are when there's a flight disruption – and that those rules are followed." 

The CTA's Chief Compliance Officer has been appointed as an inquiry officer for this process. Over the next six weeks, he will collect and analyze evidence, including evidence from airlines on the delays and cancellations that are the subject of the complaints. 

Decisions on next steps will be made once the inquiry officer's report is submitted.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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