What to do if COVID-19 cancels your flight

An examination of the number of COVID-19 cases and extreme weather has revealed many recent flight cancellations and delays in Canada and abroad. Unfortunately for Canadian travelers, instead of meal vouchers, hotel stays or financial compensation, what they can most expect from their airline is a new flight.

Martin Firestone, president of Travel Secure, a Toronto-based travel insurance brokerage, told in a phone interview: “You really pay attention to airlines about getting it right. how quickly they can get you home.

Firestone says traditional travel insurance has not covered these types of flight disruptions since March 2020, when the world began to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bottom line: insurance won’t be your savior when it comes to covering hotel costs, meals, or anything like that if your flight gets cancelled.” he explained. “That’s the problem.”

According to Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations, if a flight to, from, or within Canada is canceled or delayed for reasons beyond the airline’s control (such as staff shortages due to COVID-19 ), you only have the right to rebook the flight.

Under similar rules, airlines in Canada are obligated to provide things like hotel stays and money for out-of-pocket expenses when flight delays or cancellations are within their control, although requesting additional assistance when speaking with an airline representative.

There are still some things you can do to make your life easier if you have to travel right now, such as checking the status of your flight before you arrive at the airport and, if necessary, rebooking. with your airline as soon as possible. When planning your travel, you may also consider purchasing additional travel insurance in the event that you test positive for COVID-19 while away, which can provide funds to help offset expenses. hotel and flight fees.

If you’re willing to postpone or cancel your trip and wait for the Omicron wave, many airlines like Air Canada and WestJet are now waiving some change and cancellation penalties, but be sure to check your individual airline’s policy your multiplication.

If you end up getting stuck at the airport, on a customer service line, or on an hour-long call waiting for someone to help, Firestone says you should always have “a little patience.”

“Three hours is not unusual to wait for information on the next flight,” he said. “If you go in with an aggressive attitude, you won’t get very far.”

That being said, complaints about how an airline handles flight delays or cancellations can be filed with the Transport Canada Authority. You can also challenge the airline’s explanation of the delay or cancellation in small claims court, says passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs.

He told “In practical terms, there is nothing more than forcing airlines to follow the law and respect your rights as a passenger. “The airline can say it’s COVID-19, but if they can’t prove it, the airline will have to compensate.”


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