It’s an understatement to say that the COVID-19 pandemic (not sure if you’ve heard of it…) had a serious impact on the way we travel. If you, like many passengers globally, were affected by cancelled flights, you likely had a pretty unfulfilling wait tangled up in call centre phone lines to get your money back or receive the appropriate credit. And even those credits might’ve expired within the pandemic’s clutches. The truth is, the word ‘unprecedented’ didn’t even begin to describe what was going on, and airlines were rushing to create applicable terms and conditions in an effort to keep business afloat.
It has taken some time, but a response from the federal government has officially been issued. Today, Canada’s minister of transport, Omar Alghabra, announced new regulations in place to protect both passengers and airlines when flights are cancelled for reasons out of the airline’s control. These regulations (which can be found in full here) essentially outline that an airline is now responsible for placing you on the next available flight, within 48 hours of your original scheduled departure. If they can’t follow through – you will be allowed to select a refund or rebooking credit instead. This is big news for those of us who have been subjected to the mercy of existing policies around flight cancellations, receiving small credit amounts and being forced to pay rebooking fees, which end up eating into that sacred travel budget.
On the matter, Alghabra confidently stated “Whether due to a large-scale cancellation or a small incident, we know that sometimes travel doesn’t go according to plan. These new regulations will protect travellers in these unexpected situations. Our government will continue to protect the interests of passengers.” Thanks, Canada!
These new regulations come into effect on September 8th, so make sure you’re still well settled with cancellation insurance for that summer vacation.