Flight Rights Canada


The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today launched Flight Rights Canada, to provide Canadian air travelers and carriers with a clear documentation of the rights and obligations they both have.



  • Air passengers in Canada are entitled to easy access to information regarding their rights with respect to air transportation services, including but not limited to such things as denied boardings, cancellations, and long delays. Passengers are also entitled to information about services for air travellers with various disabilities.
  • Carriers are obligated to make their terms and conditions of carriage easily available to passengers.
  • Air transportation regulations specify what elements must be addressed in a carrier’s terms and conditions of carriage.
  • Carriers are required to address matters such as compensation for denied boarding as a result of overbooking, delays, cancellations, passenger re-routing, and lost and damaged baggage.
  • The terms and conditions of carriage are legally binding on carriers.
  • Passengers have recourse to a complaints resolution process that begins with the air carrier. Under this process, passengers should seek direct redress or remedy first from the carrier for any breach of service commitments or obligations.
  • Passengers may seek corrective measures or a refund of direct expenses incurred, if they believe an air carrier has not lived up to the commitments in its published tariffs.
  • If a complaint is not resolved between a passenger and the air carrier, the passenger can contact the Canadian Transportation Agency at 1-888-222-2592 or by e-mail at info@cta-otc.gc.ca. The Agency is an administrative tribunal with quasi-judicial powers. It is responsible for a wide range of adjudicative and economic matters pertaining to federally regulated air transportation.
  • The Agency initially uses an informal approach to manage complaints. If passengers are unsatisfied with the informal process, they can launch a formal complaint to the Agency.

September 2008


Passengers have a right to information on flight times and schedule changes. Airlines must make reasonable efforts to inform passengers of delays and schedule changes and to the extent possible, the reason for the delay or change.

Passengers have a right to take the flight they paid for. If the plane is over-booked or cancelled, the airline must:
a) find the passenger a seat on another flight operated by that airline;
b) buy the passenger a seat on another carrier with whom it has a mutual interline traffic agreement; or
c) refund the unused portion of the passenger’s ticket.

Passengers have a right to punctuality.
a) If a flight is delayed and the delay between the scheduled departure of the flight and the actual departure of the flight exceeds 4 hours, the airline will provide the passenger with a meal voucher.
b) If a flight is delayed by more than 8 hours and the delay involves an overnight stay, the airline will pay for overnight hotel stay and airport transfers for passengers who did not start their travel at that airport.
c) If the passenger is already on the aircraft when a delay occurs, the airline will offer drinks and snacks if it is safe, practical and timely to do so. If the delay exceeds 90 minutes and circumstances permit, the airline will offer passengers the option of disembarking from the aircraft until it is time to depart.

Passengers have a right to retrieve their luggage quickly. If the luggage does not arrive on the same flight as the passenger, the airline will take steps to deliver the luggage to the passenger’s residence/hotel as soon as possible. The airline will take steps to inform the passenger on the status of the luggage and will provide the passenger with an over-night kit as required. Compensation will be provided as per their tariffs.

Nothing in Flight Rights Canada would make the airline responsible for acts of nature or the acts of third parties. Airlines are legally obligated to maintain the highest standards of aviation safety and cannot be encouraged to fly when it is not safe to do so. Similarly, airlines cannot be held responsible for inclement weather or the actions of third parties such as acts of government or air traffic control, airport authorities, security agencies, law enforcement or Customs and Immigration officials.

Flight Rights Canada does not exclude additional rights you may have under the tariffs filed by your airline with the Canadian Transportation Agency, or legal rights that international and trans-border passengers have pursuant to international conventions (e.g., the Warsaw Convention) and related treaties.

Long overdue.