Air Canada Denied Boarding

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Apr 23, 2019
6
0
1
67
#1
My husband and I had a trip booked with AirCanada from Maui, through Vancouver, and then home to Regina. Our flight leaving Maui was late, so we arrived in Vancouver later then planned. After security checks, we arrived at the Terminal to leave Vancouver at about 9:00 which was the departure time for that flight. We stood in line to board behind several other passengers, but when we were next in line, we were told that we cannot board. The agent was apparantly told to shut the gate. We had seats that were assigned to us. Rather than leaving Vancouver at 9:00 am. we left at 6:00 pm on a different flight which they admitted was overbooked.
We contend that the flight was overbooked and that is why we were denied boarding. We have requested a $800 Denied Boarding payment as per Rule 90 E(2).
We were offered $150.
Air Canada has indicated that the Minimum Connection time was not met. It should be noted however, that there was plenty of time, if the flight from Maui was not delayed. We should not be penalized for the late flight.
Your thoughts??
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,532
15,857
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
Were you at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass? If you weren’t they most likely called your name several times and when you weren’t there they have your seat away to someone on the standby list.

You have to be at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass.

You should never book a connection of less than two hours - anything less than that if your initial flight is delayed even 15 minutes- this is what can happen.

I am assuming the flights were on the same PNR - otherwise they would have charged you for the new flight.

Unfortunately they don’t owe you anything more than putting you in the next flight. If they gave you a credit that’s more than they had to do. You really weren’t denied boarding- you weren’t at the gate by the check in time on your boarding pass.
 
Likes: VoR61
Apr 23, 2019
6
0
1
67
#7
Were you at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass? If you weren’t they most likely called your name several times and when you weren’t there they have your seat away to someone on the standby list.

You have to be at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass.

You should never book a connection of less than two hours - anything less than that if your initial flight is delayed even 15 minutes- this is what can happen.

I am assuming the flights were on the same PNR - otherwise they would have charged you for the new flight.

Unfortunately they don’t owe you anything more than putting you in the next flight. If they gave you a credit that’s more than they had to do. You really weren’t denied boarding- you weren’t at the gate by the check in time on your boarding pass.
Air canada allowed for the original booking that showed a 1 hour and 40 minute connection.
We were not at the gate as stated, however they allowed several people in front of us to board. They were on the same flight as us, but we were near the back of the plane so it took us longer to go through security.
We did not get to the boarding gate in time because of the delayed AC flight from Maui which we had no control over.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,419
5,803
113
48
#8
If you arrived at the gate at departure time it is likely that you were too late.

From the air passenger rights website for Canada

Although the delay was not your fault, you were not at the boarding gate on time and the seats were likely given away.

You are not entitled to any compensation, rerouting, or care if:
  • you fail to present yourself for check-in and boarding before the cut-off times specified by the airline; or
  • you do not have appropriate travel documents; or
  • you act in a manner that creates a threat to the safety of the flight.

I do not believe that you were truly involuntarily denied boarding because you were not at the gate at boarding time.
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,532
15,857
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
They probably had given our seats away at that point.

As Christina said- if you aren’t at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass what you experienced isn’t involuntary denied boarding.

Look at this as a learning experience. If you had left 2 hours in between - you would have made the flight.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jul 2, 2018
29
15
3
45
#10
They probably had given our seats away at that point.

As Christina said- if you aren’t at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass what you experienced isn’t involuntary denied boarding.

Look at this as a learning experience. If you had left 2 hours in between - you would have made the flight.
But if they let the people ahead of them board the flight (who were on the same connecting flight) but not them, how can it not be involuntary denied boarding?
 
Feb 12, 2019
100
98
28
33
#11
Depends on how much "longer" could be. Where they racing in on their heels or were they 10 minutes behind them? I've been on flights where the back gets off 10 minutes after the front and if customs increased the gap that could be the difference.
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,532
15,857
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
But if they let the people ahead of them board the flight (who were on the same connecting flight) but not them, how can it not be involuntary denied boarding?
It doesn’t matter- if they weren’t at the gate at the boarding pass time they fall into insufficient time to complete the boarding process. The people in front of them were lucky. And her seats might have already been given away to someone else. If you aren’t there when boarding starts the airline starts de several rounds of calling your name to come to the desk. If you don’t show up, your seats are given away.

Even if they hadn’t cut off in front of her, if her seats were already given to someone else they wouldn’t have allowed her to board.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,419
5,803
113
48
#13
But if they let the people ahead of them board the flight (who were on the same connecting flight) but not them, how can it not be involuntary denied boarding?
Because the other people made it to the gate earlier.

The OP stated that they were in the back of the plane so it took longer to get off and go through customs.

15 minutes can be the difference between boarding and not boarding.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,560
113
#14
Per their Denied Boarding FAQ:

"Involuntary denied boarding” is a situation where the airline refuses to carry a passenger on the flight on which the​
passenger holds a confirmed booking, even though they presented themselves for check-in and boarding on time . . . "​

and their Check-in and Boarding Times page:

Boarding gate closes​
Within Canada: 15 minutes​

then combining those with Norma's statement:

"they allowed several people in front of us to board. They were on the same flight as us,​
but we were near the back of the plane so it took us longer to go through security."​

it seems plausible that the others were permitted to board because they met the 15 minute rule, but Norma and her husband missed that cutoff . . .
 
Apr 23, 2019
6
0
1
67
#16
Per their Denied Boarding FAQ:

"Involuntary denied boarding” is a situation where the airline refuses to carry a passenger on the flight on which the​
passenger holds a confirmed booking, even though they presented themselves for check-in and boarding on time . . . "​

and their Check-in and Boarding Times page:

Boarding gate closes​
Within Canada: 15 minutes​

then combining those with Norma's statement:

"they allowed several people in front of us to board. They were on the same flight as us,​
but we were near the back of the plane so it took us longer to go through security."​

it seems plausible that the others were permitted to board because they met the 15 minute rule, but Norma and her husband missed that cutoff . . .
The other people were right in front of us to board the plane. They were 30 seconds ahead of us, so they didn’t meet the 15 minute rule either. When we arrived at the gate, there was 11 of us. 7 people were allowed to board. There was us and 2 people behind us that were not permitted to board.
 
Sep 19, 2015
4,419
5,803
113
48
#17
Our schedule showed a connection time of 1hr, 40 minutes.
A delay of even 20-30 minutes could put the connection at risk. If one is in the back of the plane, or gets pulled aside for agricultural screening at customs, or is caught in a slow security line, add that to a short delay and then the passenger is really out of luck.

Sometimes the computers lock out and you and the other two people may have been the ones that the computer shut down on. Were the other people in line before or behind you?
 
Apr 23, 2018
23
12
3
66
#19
I can recall in the past when an appeal to security gate keepers ,showing a boarding pass with a cut off time quickly approaching,might have gotten a in transit passenger a priority place in line for screening. And when airlines knew the situation with late arrivals on connecting flights and were accommodating. I guess that has all changed?
 
Likes: FrankL183

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,532
15,857
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#20
Never book a domestic connection less then two hours and international is best to leave three hours when possible. All it takes is a flight to get in 10 minute late and you can miss your connection.

What the airline say is a legal connection and what in reality you need are two totally different things. You need to be at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass and you weren’t.
 
Likes: VoR61