Travellers faced with cancelled flights at Pearson Airport in Mississauga will be compensated faster


Published April 24, 2023 at 10:31 am

Pearson Airport in Mississauga

Travellers forced to deal with cancelled and delayed flights at Pearson Airport in Mississauga and other airports across Canada will now have an easier time getting financial compensation under proposed new rules announced this morning (April 24) in Ottawa.

Federal Transport Minister and Mississauga Centre MP Omar Alghabra unveiled a plan that will make it more difficult for airlines to dodge responsibility for travel disruptions.

Essentially, the transport minister said, Ottawa is streamlining the traveller complaint process so that more matters are resolved to passengers’ satisfaction directly with the airlines.

Currently, too many complaints are not resolved in quick fashion and get sent for final adjudication to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), where a huge backlog exists.

Alghabra said the new system, which must still receive final approval in Ottawa, will entitle many more travellers who experience flight disruptions to financial compensation.

“This means no more loopholes where airlines” can say a cancelled/delayed flight was beyond their control, he said.

Under the new rules, travellers will be eligible for financial compensation under most all circumstances: a disruption within airline’s control, disruption within airline’s control but necessary for safety, and outside control of the airline.

Furthermore, the burden of proof related to traveller complaints will now be on the airlines, and not the passengers.

Alghabra added that new rules dealing with delayed and lost baggage are also on the way in the next few weeks.

Transport Minister and Mississauga Centre MP Omar Alghabra speaks to the media this morning in Ottawa, where he unveiled a new plan to help air passengers get financial compensation for cancelled flights.

Alghabra noted that while airlines might complain they’re being unfairly targeted by Ottawa, that is not the case.

“These measures are not meant to demonize airlines,” the minister insisted, adding that the majority of airline employees have been “doing their best under extraordinary circumstances.”

However, he added, “the airlines must uphold their responsibility to customers.”

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of plans from Ottawa as efforts continue to help Pearson and other airports recover from a chaotic 2022 characterized by numerous cancelled and delayed flights, huge lineups and troubles connecting people with their luggage.

Last month, Alghabra was at Pearson to announce that $76 million and some 200 new workers at Pearson and other airports across Canada are on the way to help greatly reduce stress for millions of air travellers.

Currently, there’s an 18-month wait list to deal with a record number of passenger complaints lodged against airlines at Pearson and other airports across Canada.

New rules will see that those complaints are dealt with much more quickly, Ottawa says.

For much of 2022, particularly the busy summer season and Christmas travel rush, chaos, at times, plagued Pearson and other airports across the country as travellers dealt with delayed/cancelled flights, long lineups inside terminals and lost or delayed luggage.

Airport officials have said they’re confident the troubles are behind them and that systems are now in place to move the tens of millions of travellers each year through Pearson much more smoothly.

Alghabra has also come under fire for the situation at Pearson and other major Canadian airports.

He, too, has indicated that the situation has already improved at the airports, specifically Pearson, and that things will continue on that path.

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