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Air Canada Flight and Luggage Delays

Discussion in 'Airlines' started by Bob L, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Bob L

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    I was scheduled to fly LIS - YYZ - SYR on Aug 13 of this year with a ~4.5 hr connection in Toronto. LIS - YYZ was delayed by 200 minutes and upon arrival in Toronto, I found my YYZ - SYR flight was canceled for lack of crew. I was rebooked the next morning (that flight was also delayed 133 minutes due to lack of aircraft). I was put in a hotel in Toronto and provided meal vouchers etc. I did inquire if I was eligible for EC 261 compensation as my delayed arrival into Toronto put me under the Intl to US minimum connection time of 90 minutes. I also was not provided with meals or given information of my rights in Lisbon. I wrote to them on Aug 15 with no reply regarding that issue. Again, I'm not sure if I'm entitled to any compensation, but the lack of reply is frustrating.

    The second issue is that my luggage did not arrive with me in Syracuse on Aug 14. I ultimately received my luggage on Sep 27. This was after several frustrating phone calls, sending in the detailed baggage claim and ultimately having to deal with customs and importations issues on my end to obtain my bag (it was shipped via Fedex). The lack of available updates and information was extremely frustrating with phone and airport staff being generally clueless. I recently received an email from Air Canada offering me a 20% off code. After this experience, I have no desire to use Air Canada again. My understanding is after 21 days, a bag is treated as "lost" and the airline has to pay out compensation regardless of the final disposition of the luggage. While I'm grateful to receive my baggage, I still don't feel as if this has been addressed appropriately.

    My question is, do I have any recourse in this matter and what would be the best way to proceed? Thank you for reading and for your help!
     
    #1
  2. George M

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    You can Google EC 261 and you'll find that Wikipedia has a good summary of your rights. I'm pasting a rather long section from that site. Yours was a type 3 flight and your takeoff was delayed by between 3 and 4 hours (200 minutes). If your pilot didn't make up time in the air and your arrival was between 3 and 4 hours late then you may be entitled to 300 Euros.

    Regarding your luggage, I think the terms of the Montreal Convention would apply.


    Flight types
    Compensation is specified at different thresholds:

    1. A flight of less than 1500 km in distance
    2. A flight within the EU of greater than 1500 km in distance, or any other flight of greater than 1500 km but less than 3500 km in distance
    3. A flight not within EU of greater than 3500 km in distance

    with the great circle method being used to determine distance.


    Note: In the rest of this article, we use type 1, 2, and 3 to refer to the above thresholds.


    Delays

    [​IMG]
    This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
    If an airline expects a flight to be delayed, passengers are entitled to refreshments and communication if the expected delay is more than:[3]


    • two hours, in the case of a type 1 flight
    • three hours, in the case of a type 2 flight
    • four hours, in the case of a type 3 flight

    Additionally, if the flight is expected to depart on the day after the original scheduled departure time, passengers are entitled to accommodation.


    If a flight is delayed by five hours, passengers are additionally entitled to abandon their journey and receive a refund for all unused tickets, a refund on tickets used already if the flight no longer serves any purpose in relation to their original travel plan, and, if relevant, a flight back to their original point of departure at the earliest opportunity.


    Finally, various court decisions (see below) have established that a passenger experiencing a loss of time equivalent to three hours or more at the final destination is entitled to compensation as though their flight had been cancelled.


    Flight delay is based on the scheduled arrival time. This is defined as when the doors are opened on the plane and not when it lands (as some airlines may claim).[4]


    In case of an arrival delay of more than 3 hours, passengers are entitled to cash compensation, unless the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances.[5]


    Compensation and assistance

    [​IMG]
    This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
    There are three broad categories where airlines may be required to make payments or otherwise assist passengers, in cases of delays, flight changes/cancellations or denied boarding.


    Cash compensation
    Cash compensation is a payment of:[6]


    1. 250, in the case of a type 1 flight
    2. 400, in the case of a type 2 flight
    3. 600, in the case of a type 3 flight

    The above amounts are payable for type 1 and 2 flights delayed by over three hours, and for type 3 flights delayed by over four hours. For type 3 flights delayed by between three and four hours, the compensation is halved to 300. Compensation is not payable where the passenger takes their booked flight and is delayed by less than 3 hours.


    Where a passenger has been rerouted due to cancellation or denied boarding, the above amounts are payable if the passenger's actual arrival time is delayed beyond the scheduled arrival of their originally booked flights, by two/three/four hours for type 1/2/3 flights respectively. But if rerouting only delays the passenger by less than these thresholds, half of the specified amounts are payable as compensation.


    Payments are strictly compensation for customers' inconvenience and do not replace or form a part of any potential reimbursements for unused tickets, trips in vain, additional transport costs, meals and accommodation.


    Airlines are not obliged to provide cash compensation in the case of extraordinary circumstances which could not have been foreseen even if the airline took all reasonable precautions, according to Article 5, Paragraph 3.
     
    #2
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  3. Bob L

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    Thanks for your reply. I've looked over those regulations before and we did in fact arrive 200 minutes late (departed 190 minutes late). The reason I've asked is because it is a bit of a gray area as EC 261 refers specifically to one's final ticketed destination, which in my case is SYR.

    Regarding baggage, I've also looked over the Montreal Convention, which does not necessarily specify at what point a piece of luggage is considered lost from my reading of it.

    And I've already reached out to Air Canada with no reply for EC261 and 20% off coupon for my luggage. Would it help to reach out to the company contacts found on the Elliott website?
     
    #3
  4. Neil

    Neil Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

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    Yes. Start at the bottom of the list and move up
    one by one. Leave a week in between each letter.
     
    #4
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  5. George M

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    My reading of EC 261 is that in order to be eligible for reimbursement the flight in question must originate in a member country of the EU, which would only include your flight from LIS to YYZ. If the carrier that you flew from LIS to YYZ to SYR were based in the EU then I think you'd have a case but Air Canada is not. I think you're definitely entitled to 300 Euros each because of the 3 hour 20 minutes delay in arriving at YYZ but beyond that and regarding your luggage question I'll defer to other more knowledgeable forum contributors.
     
    #5
  6. Just A Guy

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    This is a bit of a grey area, but the EU courts have generally ruled that, if the delay to the final destination was due to the delay of the ex-EU flight, then compensation is owed. So, if you're flying LHR-JFK-XYZ, with a two hour connection at JFK, and your LHR-JFK flight is 2.5 hours late, so you miss your connection, and your arrival at XYZ is at least four hours later than you should have been, then you're entitled to compensation. What's less clear is if the LHR-JFK flight got you to JFK in time to make your scheduled connection, but the JFK-XYZ flight is cancelled. Sounds like the latter is what happened in your case.
     
    #6
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  7. Bob L

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    Well, I received an email this afternoon stating they will send me a check for 300 euros for the delayed flight.

    Interestingly, they used the following language: "In this instance, on a goodwill, without prejudice basis, we are offering compensation equivalent to EUR300.00....
    Please note any goodwill compensation provided previously has been cancelled in consideration of this payment."

    I'm not sure if the prior "goodwill compensation" refers to the 20% discount they offered for my delayed luggage. I submitted the baggage claim (final amendment on Aug 30) and EC 261 (Aug 15) as separate issues via their contact forms. Certainly an acceptable resolution regarding the flight delay. Still curious whether any compensation is due under the Montreal Convention and the ~6 week delay in luggage.
     
    #7

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