1. Problem with your luggage? You can be compensated
Don’t lose your mind over lost luggage. If your bag gets lost, damaged or delayed, airlines are required to compensate you for reasonable costs until they can get your bag to you.
So, if you’re on your way to a business meeting, and the airline loses your suit, you should be able to buy a new one and have the airline reimburse you.
How much you get can vary: It can be up to about $1,900 for international flights; the amount for domestic flights varies by carrier. Air Canada, for example, offers up to $1,500 for reasonable costs for domestic flights.
2. Sitting on the plane for more than 90 minutes? You may be able to disembark
Few things are as frustrating as sitting on the runway or at the gate waiting for a takeoff that keeps getting delayed.
Next time that happens, know this: If you’re stuck at the gate or on the tarmac and your flight is delayed more than 90 minutes, you may have the right to get off the plane, as long as it’s safe to disembark. It depends on the carrier, but all the major Canadian airlines have this condition in their tariff, which is their contract with the passenger.
3. Bumped due to overbooking? You may be able to get cash back for that
You get to the airport and your flight is overbooked. What do you do? Getting bumped is one of the greatest grievances that air passengers can face.
What some passengers don’t realize is that airlines are required to offer you some compensation depending on the length of the delay, and they have to offer you the choice of cash or a travel voucher.
For lengthy delays, most airlines are also required to give you food or accommodation vouchers as well under their ticket agreement.
The specifics of what you can get should be laid out in the airline’s tariff, which is its contract with you. For Air Canada, a delay of more than six hours means you could get compensated for up to $800; with WestJet and Sunwing, that figure jumps to as much as $1,300.
4. Delayed luggage? The airline has to hand deliver it to you
If your luggage ends up taking the scenic route, the airline is responsible for hand delivering it to you. So breathe easy, even if your holiday is disrupted because your bag didn’t arrive on time, at least you don’t have to go back to the airport to get it.
5. Problem with your flight and the airline won’t help? There’s another place you can go
In Canada, if you feel an airline has not adequately resolved a complaint, you can take the matter to the Canadian Transportation Agency.