What can I do if my flight is cancelled or delayed? BCAA tool aims to help

With Spring Break around the corner, BCAA has launched an online service aimed at helping you navigate through possible flight disruptions.

Alana Udovicic, a marketing manager at BCAA, says the Air Passenger Help Guide will help you understand the rules, your rights, and what compensation is available should flights be cancelled or delayed.

“As much as we hope for smooth travels, things don’t always go as planned. In a recent survey, actually, more than half of British Columbians told us that they’ve actually experienced a travel disruption in the last couple of years, and that could include having a flight delayed or cancelled, getting bumped from their flight, or even their luggage being lost,” she explained.

Udovicic says three quarters of survey respondents said they don’t know their rights or what compensation they could be entitled to if things derail.

“Up until now, travellers facing an air travel disruption, they’d have to sift through more than 60 pages to try and determine what compensation they may be entitled to because the rules governing our air passenger rights … they’re really complicated and hard to absorb quickly, especially during a stressful situation,” she added.

The advice from BCAA is only general and, in some cases, province-specific avenues can be taken by passengers who are seeking compensation.

Travellers are encouraged to check the federal government’s website and review the Air Passenger Protection Regulations to ensure they know what they are entitled to in case of travel disruptions.

The group Air Passenger Rights also provides travellers with resources to understand what steps they can take if they are faced with situations like cancelled or delayed flights, or lost baggage.

Meanwhile, the BCAA tool, which can be accessed at bcaa.com/travelhelp, presents a traveller with a series of questions to answer. Based on your answers, BCAA then provides advice, such as telling you to file a claim with the airline.

A number of prompts are available, with travellers able to navigate scenarios like being denied boarding or having challenges with child seating.

Some of the prompts on the BCAA Air Passenger Help Guide
Some of the prompts on the BCAA Air Passenger Help Guide.

“We really encourage travellers to save the link on their phone before leaving on their vacation just as part of their travel preparation,” Udovicic said.

The launch of BCAA’s latest tool comes after yet another budget airline ceased operations in Canada. Lynx Air cited several factors in its announcement last week, including rising operating costs, high fuel prices, exchange rates, increasing airport charges, and a complex economic and regulatory environment.

Operations for Lynx Air ceased as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, Feb. 26. The airline directed passengers to its website, adding anyone affected by cancelled flights would be contacted by email.

Lynx also advised customers to contact their credit card company for a refund, noting the airline’ contact centre will not be available to help with refunds, and that vouchers will no longer be accepted once operations ceased.

With files from Lucas Casaletto and Michael Ranger

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