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Recently, Global News reported that Air Transat flight attendants might go on strike heading into the holiday season. If that happens, Air Transat flights might get cancelled or delayed. The story has made headlines recently as passengers question whether they’d be entitled to compensation for their cancelled flights under Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

While Canadian law does require airlines to compensate passengers for delays, it only applies to circumstances that are within the airline’s control.

And under Canadian law, strikes are considered outside of the airline’s control – meaning that delays and cancellations caused by strikes aren’t eligible for compensation.

But did you know that EU laws state the opposite? If you’re on a flight from an EU or UK airport to Canada and your flight is delayed due to a strike, you may still be eligible for compensation for the delay under EU or UK law.

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Sound confusing?

Many passengers don’t claim compensation for flights because they don’t know what their rights are, but there are several situations where you can claim compensation for flight delays under Canadian or EU/UK passenger rights regulations. You might be entitled to up to $2,400 depending on the circumstances, so it’s important to understand your rights.

That’s especially true for Air Transat flight complaints, as they’re a company with a history of denying passengers the cash refunds they’re entitled to. According to some UK experts, Air Transat is one of the worst airlines for compensating customers.

That means you may need a bit of extra guidance about your passenger’s rights under EU/UK and Canadian law, especially if you’re flying with Air Transat. Here, we’ll cover what your rights are, and what to do if your Air Transat flight is delayed or cancelled.

How does Air Transat flight delay compensation work?

The European Union, the UK and the Canadian governments have laws that dictate when and how much airlines should compensate passengers for flight delays. When your flight is delayed for 3 hours or more for reasons that are within the airline’s control, they’re legally required to compensate you for flight delays.

How much compensation you get is dictated by the laws of the country you’re flying out of whether EU, UK or Canada.

Air Transat is bound to the same regulations that other airlines are – so it’s not a company policy, or up to Air Transat, to decide how much they owe you.

Which national laws apply on Air Transat flights to the EU?

If you’re flying to or from Canada, you’re covered by Canada’s Air Passenger Protection regulations. However, you are also be covered by EU Air Passengers Rights Regulation 261/2004 or UK Regulation 261 if you’re departing from an EU/UK airport, even if it’s with a Canadian airline like Air Transat.

I bought my ticket with Air Transat, but one leg of the flight is operated by another airline. Will that affect my compensation?

No. Air Transat has codeshare agreements with Porter Airlines and WestJet, which means that they sell seats on these airlines under their own flight code. When you are on a codeshare flight, the operating airline’s name will appear on your flight ticket next to the flight number.

The operating airline will be responsible for your compensation if the flight is delayed or cancelled, but it won’t affect the amount of compensation you’re owed.

However, you’re covered under EU rules if you’re flying with any airline operated by an EU company – so if your Air Transat ticket had an EU operator on one leg of the flight from Canada, the latter would be responsible for your compensation under EU law.

How much compensation can I get for a delayed Air Transat flight?

The amount of compensation will vary depending on whether you’re covered by EU/UK or Canadian laws. Here’s a breakdown of the amounts you may be able to claim:

For flights delayed more than 3 hours:

Under EU Air Passengers Rights Regulation 261/2004 or Regulation UK-261:

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.

Under Canada’s 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

When you’re denied boarding due to overbooking (Canada Regulation):

Delays of 0-6 hours: $900 CAD

Delays of 6-9 hours: $1,800 CAD

Delays of 9+ hours $2,400 CAD

When the airline has lost or delayed luggage on an international flight (Canada):

Up to $2,350 with a written claim within 7 days.

In both the EU/UK and Canada, Air Transat and other airlines are also legally obligated to provide you with food and accommodation that’s appropriate for delays of more than 2 hours.

Below are some answers to common questions about compensation that outline the details of where, when, and how you can get reimbursed for your flight delay.

If my flight is delayed due to a delayed landing, does it still qualify?

Yes, as long as the event was in the airline’s control. For example, if the airline was forced to delay a landing due to a storm, you may not be entitled to compensation. However, if the landing was delayed due to a mistake the airline made, you’d be entitled to compensation.

If a flight is cancelled at the last minute and I get a refund, am I still entitled to compensation?

In many cases, yes! The compensation that airlines legally owe is intended to make up for the inconvenience of reorganizing your travel plans – not in place of a refund or other compensation.

However, there are certain situations where a refund may not entitle you to compensation.

For example, when airlines overbook flights and too many passengers show up, they’re legally required to see if there are any volunteers who are willing to take an alternate flight. If you voluntarily choose an alternate flight and the airline offers you a comparable ticket that does not delay your arrival by more than 3 hours, you might not be entitled to additional compensation.

Can I claim compensation if I missed a connecting flight?

Yes, if you missed the connecting flight due to a flight delay on the previous leg of your journey, the airline must provide an alternate ticket. If the missed connecting flight was within the airline’s control and your arrival is delayed more than 3 hours, you’re entitled to compensation as listed above.

How long do I have to claim compensation after my flight is delayed or cancelled?

If you’re claiming compensation under EU/UK law, you have up to three years (six years in the UK, five years in Spain) to make a claim. Under Canadian law, you have up to one year.

Compensation for lost or delayed luggage is a different story – you have to submit a written claim within seven days of losing your luggage.

What happens if my flight is re-routed?

Airlines also must notify you of any major changes to your itinerary two weeks in advance – otherwise you may be eligible for compensation. If the re-route is a delay of more than 5 hours, under EU law you can opt to cancel for a full refund.

If your flight is more than one hour early, it is also considered cancelled so passengers can opt for a full refund if the ticket no longer works with their travel plans.

However, airlines can still re-route flights less than one week in advance if the changes are more minor. If your re-routed flight is less than one hour in advance or less than two hours later than your original flight, they won’t have to compensate you.

Are there circumstances when Air Transat doesn’t have to pay for a flight delay?

Yes – if the flight delay was caused by an event outside of Air Transat’s control, they don’t have to compensate you for flight delays.

They do still have to offer refunds and alternate tickets when flights are affected by safety concerns, but wouldn’t be liable for additional compensation, hotels, and meals.

But while that definition may seem cut and dry, it can get tricky. For example:

  • Staffing issues are within the airline’s control, such as when staff call in sick. But in Canada, strikes count as outside of the airline’s control – while in the EU/UK, passengers are compensated for delays due to strikes.
  • Weather issues are outside of the airline’s control. However, the onus is on the airline to provide a weather report as proof if a passenger contests this claim.
  • Medical emergencies are outside of the airline’s control. For example, if a passenger has a heart attack and the flight is delayed due to an emergency landing, the airline wouldn’t be responsible for compensating passengers. However, staff calling in sick isn’t generally a medical emergency that would exempt an airline from compensating passengers.

In October 2023, CBC news reported that almost half of flight delays in Canada were the airlines’ fault – and that the Canadian government wants to amend the law to put the onus on airlines to prove when they are exempt from compensating passengers.

For now, EU/UK laws tend to be more easily enforced since the legislation has been around for 19 years. Canada, on the other hand, has only had equivalent laws since 2019.

Seek advice when your Air Transat flight is delayed

Often, airlines will tend to view delays as outside of their control, even when they may in fact be legally required to compensate passengers. That’s especially true in situations that fall under Canadian law.

When your flight is delayed, you may not be able to rely on Air Transat to tell you whether or not you’re entitled to compensation. Check your claim status with Click2Refund for expertise on whether or not you have a claim and how much you may be entitled to.

Sometimes in the rush of travel, you won’t have time to check your claim right away. If you think you have a claim that you’d like to check later, it’s ideal to:

Document the details of your flight, especially the difference between the estimated time of arrival and the actual time you arrived at your destination.

Record and additional expenses you incurred when you were delayed, including meals, hotel stays, and transportation.

Keep a file of communications the airline has sent you, including emails, boarding passes, and other important documentation.

One final note: don’t panic! If you don’t need the compensation right away, enjoy your flight and claim your compensation when you get back home. It’s ideal to claim sooner rather than later, but you will have enough time to do it.

Air Transat flight delays? You might be entitled to compensation in other countries too

Both the EU/UK and Canadian laws are based on international standards for passenger protection called The Montreal Convention. Many countries have similar laws that protect air passengers from flight delays and last-minute cancellations. If you’re travelling to a destination other than the EU/UK, it’s worth looking up what your rights are in your destination country.

However, the EU/UK laws have set an important standard that many countries in the world are still catching up with – including Canada. If you’re flying Air Transat or any other Canadian airline, you’ll still be entitled to the same compensation under Canadian and EU/UK law.

Don’t wait too long to make your Air Transat claim

The longer you wait, the easier it can be to forget and lose out on hundreds of dollars worth of compensation. Instead, check your claim with Click2Refund as soon as you can.

We make it as easy as possible to claim flight delay compensation with Air Transat, since our experts will deal with the airline on your behalf. You’ll only be charged if your claim is approved. In the meantime, you can get comfortable on your flight knowing that you have passengers rights that count in many places around the world. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard!

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About  Air Transat

Air Transat was founded in 1986 by Transat A.T. in Canada. Air Transat is a Montreal-based Canadian airline. They operate year-round flights to Europe from Montreal and Toronto, as well as flights to locations like the Caribbean, Mexico, and the US.

Air Transat is not a star alliance member. The company has won the Skytrax awards World's Best Leisure Airline. Jean-Marc Eustache leads the company as the CEO.

It has declared $ 3,005,345,000 in revenue. Air Transat offers service to 63 destinations in 26 countries and they have carried more than 4.5 million passengers in 2017.

Air Transat’s fleet consists of Airbus A330 model aircrafts. The average age of the fleet is 18.1 years. The youngest aircrafts are the Airbus A321 at 8.8 years old. They rank 62 among 116 airlines operating this type of aircraft. The most common aircraft in the fleet is the Airbus A330 with 20 of them at hand. They rank 113 among 129 airlines operating this type of aircraft.

Air Transat have 1 accident reports to date. The most recent one is in 2001 at Lyon, France with Lockheed L-1011 TriStar aircraft.