Flight cancellations meant missed Christmas celebrations for some travellers in Ontario

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Published December 27, 2023 at 3:35 pm

flights cancelled christmas ontario
Photo: Josh Sorenson

Flight cancellations meant many people missed Christmas holiday celebrations this year.

While not as disruptive as last year, there were several flight cancellations around Christmas in Ontario.

Nearly 200 people were delayed over the Christmas holidays due to Mexico flight cancellations by Flair Airlines, City News reported.

A Flair flight was supposed to leave the Region of Waterloo International Airport for Puerto Vallarta at 7 a.m. on Sunday (Dec. 24) but was forced to land at Pearson Airport in Mississauga due to fog. The flight was eventually cancelled due to a maintenance issue and no available pilot, according to the City News report.

The flight cancellation also stranded Canadians looking to return home from a pre-Christmas vacation in Mexico, City News noted.

One person posted on Flair Airlines Nightmares on Dec. 26 that their flight was delayed three times from Cancun.

“I’m so mad right now I just wanna cry,” the person posted. “No compensation, no snacks or nothing are going to be provided. We get water an hour before our flight takes off tomorrow. This is the worst experience I’ve ever had travelling. I will NEVER fly or recommend this airline to anyone ever again.what a horrible way to end my Christmas vacation with my 10 year old child.”

In a post on X, another customer complained how Flair ruined three children’s vacations on Dec. 26.

But in a statement to insauga.com, Flair said their customer care team did reach out to affected customers with meal and hotel vouchers for delays.

Along with the hotel and meal vouchers, there was a recovery flight scheduled for affected customers on the following day, Dec. 25, the statement said.

Flair isn’t the only airline that faced issues over the holidays.

According to flight tracker FlightAware, there were six flights cancelled out of Pearson Airport on Dec. 24. Airlines Air Canada and WestJet had cancelled flights.

But air travellers who have had plans upended now have more protections as of Sept. 8, 2022.

Previously,  Air Passenger Protection Regulations required refunds for flight disruptions within the control of airlines. Now, airlines are required to provide passengers with either a refund or rebooking, at the passenger’s choice, when there is a flight cancellation, or a lengthy delay, due to a situation outside the airline’s control, according to the Travel Industry Council of Ontario.

If a delay of three hours or more or a cancellation is outside the airline’s controland the airline cannot provide the passenger with a confirmed reservation leaving within 48 hours of the departure time on the passenger’s original ticket, the airline will be required to either provide a refund or make alternate travel arrangements for the passenger, free of charge.

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