Holding airlines accountable

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Canada’s airlines and airports, the government has launched an investigation into the flight cancellations making headlines

What happened: The House of Commons is looking into how airlines ramped up flight schedules to cash in on the rebound in travel, without, you know, making sure there was enough staff to ensure things ran smoothly (so don’t feel too bad for Air Canada). 

  • Airlines didn’t understand what the impact would be on the infrastructure and aviation ecosystems actually handling the traffic, John Gradek told The Financial Post. 

Why it matters: Delays are declining and airlines are proactively cancelling flights, but the solutions that come out of the House of Commons investigation will aim to make sure that airports don’t completely fall apart the next time the country faces a pandemic-like crisis. 

Wait, there’s more: Air Canada, the country’s largest airline, is also getting heat for refusing to compensate passengers for recent cancellations caused by staffing shortages.

  • As they stand, Air Passenger Protection Regulations require airlines to pay up $1,000 for cancellations or significant delays that are within the carrier's control. 
  • But Air Canada is classifying cancellations caused by staff shortages as a ‘safety’ problem, which excludes travellers from being compensated under the law. 

Bottom line: The Canadian Transportation Agency said the classification violates current federal rules and is implementing a new set of regulations next month that will give passengers the option of a full refund if a flight is cancelled or delayed by over three hours.