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Picture this familiar scenario: you’ve booked a flight with Air Canada. You get to the airport on time, check your bags, and make it through security – only to wait at the gate for far longer than you thought.

Air Canada flight delays are a common reality for many travelers, and they can be more than just an inconvenience. Flight delays may mean rebooking a hotel stay, rescheduling meetings, missing a connecting flight, or cancelling a part of a trip you were looking forward to.

Until the early 2000s, air travelers were mostly out of luck when airlines delayed or cancelled flights. But since 2005, EU laws have required airlines to compensate passengers for flight delays longer than 3 hours – and Canadian transportation laws have followed suit.

If a flight is delayed flying from an EU airport, you may be eligible for compensation under EU-261 law. If it’s delayed from a Canadian airport, you may be covered under Canadian law. After Brexit, the UK adopted the EU laws, which provide similar rights to air passengers. This is called UK261.

Many passengers are still unaware of these laws, which are often hidden in the fine print of their airline tickets. But if your Air Canada flight has been delayed, you can claim compensation.

Below, we’ll cover what you need to know to claim compensation for Air Canada flight delays.

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How much can I claim for an Air Canada flight delay?

How much compensation you can claim depends on a few things: whether you’re covered under EU/UK or Canadian law, and the circumstances surrounding the delay. It’s worth noting that this is in addition to, not a replacement for, ticket reimbursements and refunds. The fine is meant to compensate for the inconvenience of the delay itself.

Below are some of the most common situations that might make you eligible for a claim:

You arrive at your destination more than 3 hours late.

Regardless of whether the delay was in the air or on the ground, you’re eligible for compensation if the flight delay made you arrive more than 3 hours late at your destination, and the situation was within the airline’s control.

Air Canada fights leaving from EU and UK airports are covered under EU/UK law, which entitles you to anywhere between €250 and €600 per person (£220 and (£520), depending on the length of the flight.

Air Canada flights leaving from Canadian airports are covered under Canadian law, which entitles you to anywhere between $400 and $1,000 CAD, depending on the length of the delay.

Note: Under both Canadian and EU/UK law, airlines must also provide you with food, refreshments and accommodation depending on the length of the delay. That means if your Air Canada flight was delayed overnight, the airline is legally required to put you up in a hotel.

Your flight was overbooked, and Air Canada didn’t give you a comparable ticket.

Air Canada, like many other large airlines, often overbooks flights because usually not everyone shows up to claim their seat. This saves the airline money – but when everyone does show up, it’s a huge inconvenience for some passengers.

If your flight is overbooked and you involuntarily opt to take a new ticket, you’re entitled to the same compensation if you arrive at your destination more than 3 hours late. That compensation is in addition to the replacement ticket.

If you didn’t voluntarily take a new ticket but had to because the flight was overbooked, Canadian law entitles you to compensation of at least $900 even if the new flight arrives at the same time. That amount can be up to $2,400 if your flight is delayed more than 9 hours. If the alternate travel arrangements don’t meet your needs and you didn’t volunteer to take an alternate route, you’re entitled to a refund.

As with other types of delays, Air Canada must provide you with refreshments and accommodation proportional to the length of your stay.

Air Canada cancels your flight less than two weeks before departure.

Airlines that cancel at the last minute force passengers to scramble to make new travel arrangements. Even if they reimburse you for the ticket, you’ll still be entitled to compensation for the inconvenience the same way you would be for a delayed flight.

Under EU/UK law, flights that are rescheduled to leave more than one hour earlier (and less than two weeks before departure) count as a cancelled flight.

You miss a connecting flight due to an Air Canada flight delay.

Air Canada is obligated to help you complete your itinerary as soon as possible. That means if you miss a connecting flight due to a delay, they’re responsible for finding you a comparable flight to your destination, even if it’s with a competing airline.

If missing a connecting flight means you arrive at your destination 3 hours late, you’re entitled to the same compensation you would be for a delayed flight.

For example, a delay of 2 hours might mean you miss a connecting flight due to a very short layover at the connecting airport. If the airline books you on a different flight that arrives at your destination more than 3 hours late, that counts as a delay.

Air Canada loses or delays your luggage.

Canadian law states that you can get compensation of up to $2,350 CAD for lost or delayed luggage. You’ll have to claim expenses for luggage in writing and file them within 7 days in order to be compensated – so If you don’t see your luggage, document everything and act fast.

What circumstances might affect my claim for an Air Canada flight delay?

There are some circumstances when Air Canada might not be liable for compensating you for a delay.

If the delay is due to circumstances outside of the airline’s control, they may not be liable. That includes things like strong weather and political events that prevent airlines from operating.

Note: airlines tend to avoid paying out fines by claiming that they did not have control over the delay – so it’s good to know your rights, and double check them with an expert to make sure you’re fairly compensated.

If you were denied boarding because you were late checking in, you may not have a claim, even if you were late due to traffic or another unforeseen circumstance. That’s because whatever made you late is also outside of the airline’s control.

If Air Canada notifies you 2 weeks or more in advance about cancellation or a re-route that delays your flight, they won’t have to pay you. If they cancel and re-route your flight less than 2 weeks before, your arrival time needs to be less than two hours later under EU law.

Air Canada flight delays in the news

This summer, a couple from Kelowna was awarded over $2,000 for an Air Canada flight that was delayed for two hours en route to Egypt. Although the first leg was only two hours late, it caused them to miss a connecting flight.

In this case, it went to small claims court. Air Canada claimed the delay was due to Nav Canada and not to their own staffing issues – but they didn’t have enough evidence for this, and ultimately the couple was awarded their compensation.

Another passenger was recently awarded $1,400 when he found out his seats were cancelled on an Air Canada flight. Air Canada tried to claim that they sent him an email, but he hadn’t received it, so he was awarded the compensation claim.

EU vs. Canadian law for delayed and cancelled flights

While both the EU and Canada have very similar laws for delayed and cancelled flights, there are some important differences.

Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations have been in place since 2019, and apply to all flights to, from, and within Canada. So as long as either your departure or arrival is at a Canadian airport, the Canadian laws apply.

While Canadian laws have already been useful for compensating passengers, they’re still relatively new. That leaves more uncertainty as to what situations count as being under the airline’s control.

EU/UK Air Passengers Rights Regulation 261/2004 has been around since 2004. These laws only apply if your Air Canada flight is either within the EU or departing from an EU/UK airport. If you’re arriving in the EU from a Canadian airport, you’ll have to seek compensation under Canadian law.

However, if your delay is covered by EU/UK law, you may be in luck: EU/UK laws tend to be more strictly enforced because they’ve been around longer, so it won’t be as difficult to claim compensation. This is because there has been more time for the EU/UK to set strict guidelines about what airline companies can and can’t claim as outside of their control.

A few other notable differences are:

• EU/UK regulations compensate flight delays based on the length of the journey, while Canadian regulations compensate flight delays based on the length of the delay:

EU/UK Air Passengers Rights Regulation 261/2004

Flights under 1,500 km: up to €250 (£220) per person
Flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km: up to €400 (£350) per person
Flights over 3,500 km: up to €600 (£520) per person.

Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations

Delays of 3-6 hours: $400 CAD
Delays of 6-9 hours: $700 CAD
Delays of 9+ hours: $1,000 CAD

• Canadian regulations have increased flight delay compensation rates for when passengers are denied boarding:

Delays of 0-6 hours: $900 CAD
Delays of 6-9 hours: $1,800 CAD
Delays of 9+ hours $2,400 CAD

• EU regulations allow you to claim compensation for flight delays for up to three years (6 years in the UK, 5 years in Spain) after the booking, while Canadian law only gives you one year

• There are some differences in terms of what EU/UK and Canadian regulations count as “within the airline’s control” and therefore what situations are eligible for compensation. For example, airline staff strikes are seen as within the airline’s control in the EU, but outside of the airline’s control in Canada.

Another important detail to note is that if you’re covered by both EU/UK and Canadian laws, you will have to pick one. EU/UK law won’t cover you if you have already received compensation from the Canadian air carrier for your flight delay or cancellation.

How to get compensation if your Air Canada flight has been delayed

If your Air Canada flight has been delayed, there are a few important things you can do to improve your chances of getting compensated:

Make sure you keep your flight records

In particular, make note of the arrival time if it’s different than the scheduled arrival time. Air Canada must keep flight logs by law, but it’s good to have your own records as well.

Keep records of any expenses

If you’re waiting around in the airport and your flight has been delayed, you might decide to get a snack. When you do, keep the receipt! You may be able to claim compensation for it later. That’s also true for hotel stays.

Double-check your claim

Airline regulations are confusing for most passengers. Many people just accept when airlines claim that delays are beyond their control, without double-checking to see if they’re entitled to a refund. Checking your claim with Click2Refund can help you get compensation without the hassle. We’ll advocate for you on your behalf, and you’ll only be charged if you win your claim.

A final note: Air Canada flight delay compensation

When you’re travelling, the last thing you want to do is deal with the administrative hassle of trying to get compensated. But remember, you don’t have to!

Click2Refund has you covered with legal experts at your service. We can seek compensation for your delayed flight while you enjoy the rest of your trip.

All too often, passengers forego compensation because they don’t understand their rights. They take vouchers instead of compensation, or get a refund and walk away. Understanding your rights can help you reclaim some of the expenses that come with flight delays, and ensure that you get the service you’re entitled to.

If you’re looking to claim compensation for a delayed Air Canada flight, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’ll be happy to getting you the compensation you deserve, so you can enjoy your holidays!

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About  Air Canada

Air Canada was founded in 1937, and is Canada’s largest airline. It was originally known as Trans-Canada Air Lines, and was renamed Air Canada in 1965. After privatizing in 1988, the airline acquired Canadian Airlines in 2001. It currently offers both domestic flights and flights to 158 international destinations.

Air Canada’s headquarters are currently located in Montreal and the main base in Toronto Pearson International Airport. Air Canada is a star alliance member. The company has 4 stars on Skytrax rating and has won the Skytrax awards Best Airline in North America, Best Business Class in North America and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America. Calin Rovinescu leads the company as the CEO. Its subsidiaries include Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada Cargo, Air Canada Capital Limited, Sky Regional Airlines, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Jetz.

Air Canada employs more than 30,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 169 aircraft. It has declared $ 2,921,960,000 in revenue. Air Canada offers service to 210 destinations in 56 countries and they have carried more than 41 million passengers in 2017. Boston-Toronto,Vancouver-Los Angeles,Newark-Montreal,Edmonton-Toronto,Toronto-Montreal are some of the main flight destinations.

Air Canada’s fleet consists of Airbus A320 model aircrafts. The average age of the fleet is 13.1 years. The youngest aircrafts are the Boeing 737 Next Gen at 0.4 years old. They rank 1 among 249 airlines operating this type of aircraft. The most common aircraft in the fleet is the Airbus A320 with 39 of them at hand. They rank 243 among 259 airlines operating this type of aircraft.

Air Canada have 2 accident reports to date. The most recent one is in 2015 at Halifax, Canada with Airbus A320 aircraft.

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