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‘I would have just paid for a rental car and drove back’: Passenger says Air Canada canceled their flight and rebooked it 5 days later. They got no compensation

'I have never had a good Air Canada experience.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Aug 20, 2023

A user on TikTok is calling out Air Canada after claiming that the airline canceled her flight and rebooked her on another flight five days later. The airline, she says, did not offer her any compensation or coverage for food and lodging costs.

In a video with over 408,000 views as of Sunday, TikTok user Chloe Shi (@chloeshi2) writes, “When Air Canada cancels your return flight from NYC to Toronto and rebooks you on their earliest flight back aka 5 days later.”

“Also btw no compensation for food or hotel,” she concludes.

@chloeshi2 Cries in airport #fyp #toronto #aircanada #cancelledflights ♬ original sound – Joshua Allen

In the comments section, Shi says she was told the delay was due to the bad weather. If this is true, her ability to receive compensation is affected, as Canada’s laws regarding issues like these differ based on whether the delay was within the airline’s control.

“In the case of a cancellation, denial of boarding or delay of three hours or more, airlines must provide passengers with alternate travel arrangements or a refund,” reads an article for CTVNews by Megan DeLaire. “If passengers opt for alternative travel arrangements, airlines must provide a seat on their next available flight or one operated by an airline with which they have a commercial agreement, within 48 hours of the original departure time.”

Given that Shi’s flight was five days later, it’s possible that the airline was in violation of this law. That said, it appears that she is not required to receive any compensation, as “if the cause of the cancellation, delay or denial of boarding is outside an airline’s control, the airline is not legally obligated to cover the cost of food or lodging for affected passengers, nor offer any financial compensation.”

However, Air Canada’s own rules would seem to imply that Shi has a right to food and accommodation.

In a document on their site regarding long delays and cancellations, the airline writes, “If, due to a situation within Air Canada’s control or required for safety purposes…we’ll provide you with the following.” The list that follows includes “food and drink in reasonable quantities” and “hotel or comparable accommodations within reasonable distance from the airport for overnight delays for out-of-town passengers, subject to availability.”

Many users in the comments section claimed that, in order to actually receive these benefits, one must reach out to Air Canada.

“File on Air Canada,” a user wrote. “They’ll probably try to reject it but then you can file with Canadian transportation agency.”

“You need to ask for compensation otherwise you won’t receive it,” echoed another. “They’re counting on you not asking.”

Other commenters simply told horror stories about their own flight delays.

“Same thing happened to me … they gave me 20% on a next flight which I’ll never be using,” alleged a user. “Worst airline ever.”

“Air Canada cancelled my flight in January and rebooked it 4 days later too,” stated a second. “It was a horrendous experience.”

Some users wondered why Shi didn’t just rent a vehicle and drive back the short distance between New York and Toronto. She shared in the comments section that she ended up booking a 13-hour Greyhound bus.

The Daily Dot reached out to Air Canada and Shi via email.

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*First Published: Aug 20, 2023, 8:07 am CDT