Customer Service Plan (For Flight Disruptions and Other Commitments)

Air Canada cares about your safety and comfort.  We are committed to making your travel experience as smooth and pleasant as possible. Our Customer Service Plan outlines our policies and addresses key service elements that most affect our customers so that you know what to expect. Our full terms and conditions of carriage can be found in our applicable tariffs.

We value and appreciate your business and loyalty and we look forward to serving you.

1.   Purchase, Cancellations and Refunds

a.   Lowest Price Guarantee

Air Canada offers the lowest fare available in its computer reservation system, based on the date and flight you request. You may select a higher fare in order to upgrade the class of service or to have greater flexibility. It is important to note that certain fares (e.g. promotional fares) are not accessible through Air Canada Reservations or Air Canada airports ticket counters and can only be purchased online.

More information on Air Canada's Lowest Price Guarantee

b.   Reservations can be Cancelled Without Penalty for 24 hours After Purchase

You may cancel your purchase of tickets up to 24 hours after purchase and Air Canada will provide you with a full refund without penalty. This policy applies to refundable as well as non-refundable fares. Please ensure you verify your booking confirmation for any error as soon as it is received in order to avail yourself of this free cancellation. If you wish to cancel, or if you did not receive an itinerary receipt, simply contact Air Canada within 24 hours after purchase for assistance.

Changes made to itineraries more than 24 hours after purchase will be assessed the current change fee regardless of when the tickets were purchased and regardless of the reason for the cancellation or change (subject to certain limited exceptions). Such changes could also be subject to fare differentials.

Air Canada will itself process the refund for tickets purchased directly from Air Canada. For tickets issued via a travel agency or another airline, you must cancel and request your refund through the travel agency or that airline.

c.   Provide prompt ticket refunds

Air Canada will itself process eligible refunds, including refunding fees charged to you for optional services that you were unable to use due to an oversell situation or a flight cancellation, back to the original method of payment (this may mean refund to the travel agency from whom you purchased the ticket). In the case of cash and Interac Online payments, you may receive a cheque in the mail. Unless otherwise mandated by law, refund processing times are as follows:

a.   Credit card purchases: within 7 business days of receipt of your refund request accompanied by all documents required to complete the refund claim;

b.   Cash and cheque purchases: within 20 business days of receiving the refund request accompanied by all documents required to complete the refund claim; and

c.   Interac: within 5 business days of receiving the refund request accompanied by all documents required to complete the refund claim.

Details and contact information on requesting a refund   are available on our website or upon request at an Air Canada or Air Canada Express counter at all Canadian airports at which we operate.

2.   Flight Disruptions

Note: This section applies to flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, and Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP, Sky Regional, Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd., and Air Georgian Ltd.

a.   Notifications of Delays, Cancellations and Diversions

In the event that a flight is delayed, cancelled or diverted due to an unforeseen problem, we will make efforts to keep you well informed at the airport and onboard the affected aircraft.

Based on the information we have, we will promptly provide timely updates, within 15 minutes of becoming aware of such a cancellation, delay or diversion, and then at regular intervals to keep you informed and to the extent possible, explain the reason for the delay, cancellation or diversion through various channels. Such information will be available:

  • On our website through our Daily Travel Outlook  or our Flight Status tool;
  • Via onboard/gate announcements;
  • Through our Flight Notification Service, for which you may register online to receive notifications on any delay, cancellation or gate change information through your text-messaging-enabled phone or your email address. (You can also have notifications sent to others interested in your travel plans);
  • On airport Flight Information Display Systems;
  • By calling the Air Canada automated Flight Information System at 1-888-422-7533 (Canada or U.S.). For calls from all other countries.

b.   Services Provided in Case of Flight Disruptions

Cancellations prior to departure date

We will make every effort to contact you if your flight is cancelled prior to day of departure. You will be rebooked and advised of your protection flight(s). To facilitate our communication of time-sensitive information, we strongly encourage you to register for our Flight Notification service.

Flight Cancellations or Missed Connections at the Airport

Some cancellations are within an airline's control, whereas others, like those caused by severe weather or airport and air traffic disruptions, are simply not and are out of our hands. Air Canada's first and foremost priority is your safety. Whatever the reason for the cancellation, we will be there to assist you.

If your Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express flight is cancelled, our agents will do everything they can to assist you. In an effort to accommodate your travel plans, we will:

  • Rebook you*:
    • on the next available Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express flight (in the cabin you originally purchased) within 7 days of your original travel date - we can also change your return to match the same length of stay if necessary; or
    • at Air Canada's option and if circumstances permit, on a flight with another airline with which Air Canada has an agreement for such transportation, or with Via Rail when an eligible train segment matching your itinerary is available.

      * Please note that all flight changes are subject to availability.
  • If the next available flight doesn't depart until the next day, provide vouchers or compensation for certain expenses to eligible customers when a flight is cancelled due to reasons within Air Canada's control. Please check with an airport agent to see if you qualify for meal vouchers, hotel accommodation and transportation to / from the airport.
  • If you prefer to not be rebooked, we can cancel your booking and offer you the option of:

When an Air Canada flight is cancelled or you miss your connecting flight due to reasons within our control, we will provide you with:

  • snacks or meal allowances in accordance with the delay;
  • hotel accommodations, if available, if you are away from home and we are unable to provide you with same day transportation to your final destination;
  • ground transportation to/from your hotel if shuttle service is not provided by the hotel; and
  • an overnight amenity kit (if required).

Flight Delays

Some delays are within an airline's control, whereas others, like those caused by severe weather or airport and air traffic disruptions, are not and are simply out of our hands. But whatever the reason for the delay, we will be there to assist you.

In the case of an extended delay to an Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express flight which is expected to last:

  • 2 hours or more:
    • You can change your reservation* at no cost by choosing a new departure date within 7 days of your original travel date. If you change your departing flight, you can also, at the same time, choose a new return flight to match the same length of stay, if necessary.
    • You can retain the unused portion of your ticket and use it toward future travel on Air Canada.
    • You can request a refund for the unused portion of your ticket.

      * Please note that all flight changes are subject to availability.
  • 4 hours or more:
    • When the delay is caused by circumstances within Air Canada's control, an Air Canada airport agent will offer you a meal voucher for use at an airport restaurant or for our Air Canada Café service.
  • 8 hours or more:
    • For circumstances within Air Canada's control - If your flight has been rescheduled to depart the next day, you may be entitled to meal vouchers, transportation to / from the airport as well as hotel accommodations (subject to availability). Ask an Air Canada airport agent for assistance.
    • For circumstances outside Air Canada's control - If your flight has been rescheduled to depart the next day, Air Canada representatives will provide you with hotel contact information where you can obtain valued customer rates in the available hotels.

In the event of an extended delay caused by a major disruption (e.g. a travel alert has been issued), we will offer you the option of travelling by Via Rail when a train segment matching your itinerary is available.

See more information on delayed flights and cancellations, or review our domestic tariff (Rule 90) and international tariff (Rule 80).

The Montreal Convention or the Warsaw Convention system may be applicable to your journey. These Conventions govern and may limit the liability of air carriers for damage, delay or loss of baggage, delays incurred by passengers , as well as death or bodily injury.

Where the Montreal Convention applies, the limits of liability for damage occasioned by delay to your journey, 4,694 Special Drawing Rights (which is approximately EUR 5,655; US $6,786) per passenger in most cases.

3.   Deliver Baggage on Time

We work hard to ensure your checked baggage arrives with you. In the event that your checked baggage is delayed, we will make every reasonable effort to deliver it within 24 hours. You must advise an Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express agent if you cannot locate your checked baggage upon arrival from a flight operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Jazz Aviation LP, Sky Regional, Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd., or Air Georgian Ltd.

You may check the status of delayed baggage online or by calling 1-888-689-2247.

You will be reimbursed for reasonable interim out-of-pocket expenses upon submitting your receipts. Read more about our delayed and damaged baggage policies and limits of compensation.

Where the Montreal Convention applies, the limit of liability in respect of destruction, loss of, or damage to or delay of baggage, is 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (which is approximately EUR 1,357; US $1,663) per passenger in most cases.

See more information on delayed and damaged baggage, or review our domestic tariffs (Rule 65) and international tariffs (Rule 60).

4.   Meeting Essential Needs During Tarmac Delays

Note: This section applies to flights operated by Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge.

It is never our intention to cause stress or harm to our customers. However, if due to unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances, an aircraft is either unable to take off or be gated upon arrival and must wait for a gate to become available, a contingency plan has been developed to meet the needs of our customers onboard both arriving and departing aircraft.

Air Canada will not permit an aircraft to remain on the tarmac at a Canadian or US airport for more than four (4) hours. Prior to reaching four (4) hours, Air Canada will return the aircraft to the gate or another suitable disembarkation point, where passengers will be allowed to deplane.

Delays longer than the above time limit may be necessary if:

1. The pilot-in-command determines there is a safety-related or security-related reason why the aircraft cannot leave its position on the tarmac to deplane passengers; or

2. Air Traffic Control advises the pilot-in-command that returning to the gate or another disembarkation point elsewhere in order to deplane passengers would significantly disrupt airport operations.

During such delay, Air Canada will provide passengers with adequate food and potable water no later than two (2) hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of departure) or touches down (in the case of arrival and diversions) if the aircraft remains on the tarmac, unless the pilot-in-command determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service.

For all flights departing Canada and the U.S., Air Canada will ensure that operable lavatory facilities will remain available while the aircraft remains on the tarmac. Air Canada will also ensure adequate medical attention is available, if needed.

Passengers will receive notifications regarding the status of the tarmac delay every 30 minutes while the aircraft is delayed, including the reason for the delay, if known.

During ground operations, passengers will be offered a deplaning opportunity before a delay of four hours has occurred (either at a gate or a parking stand which has appropriate transport or walkways to a terminal facility) as soon as one presents itself.

During long "on-aircraft" delays, pilots communicate frequently with Air Canada's Operations Control Center, Station Operations and/or the Ramp Control Tower to obtain updated information and keep customers informed throughout the delay.

5.   Denied Boarding Situations Are Handled with Fairness and Consistency

Note: This section applies to flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, and Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP, Sky Regional, Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd., and Air Georgian Ltd.

It is never our intention to cause you to be inconvenienced and certainly not when you hold a confirmed reservation on an Air Canada flight. However, due to operational requirements, inventory control policies and a varying degree of "no-show" customers, there will be times when you cannot be accommodated on your booked flight.

During a denied boarding situation, Air Canada will first solicit volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for compensation. If we do not receive enough volunteers, we may deny boarding involuntarily to passengers holding a confirmed reservation in accordance with our policy on denied boarding priority, as found in our domestic tariff (Rule 100) and international tariff(Rule 90). The amount of compensation varies based on country of departure and can be found in our domestic and international tariffs, or in applicable local law.

When a passenger is denied boarding involuntarily, we will arrange the next available alternate accommodation as efficiently as possible and/or compensate eligible customers in accordance with existing Air Canada Tariffs.

As a passenger who is denied boarding involuntarily, you will be entitled to a payment of "denied boarding compensation" from Air Canada, unless:

1. You have not fully complied with the Air Canada ticketing and check-in requirements, or you are not acceptable for transportation under Air Canada' rules and practices. For more information on refusal to transport, see our domestic tariff (Rule 85) and international tariff (Rule 75);

2. The flight is canceled;

3. A smaller capacity aircraft was substituted for safety or operational reasons.

4. A flight operating with an aircraft having 60 or fewer seats has safety-related weight/balance restrictions that limit payload;

5. You are offered accommodations in a section of the aircraft other than specified on your ticket, at no extra charge; or

6. Air Canada is able to place you on another flight or flights that are planned to reach your final destination within four (4) hours of the scheduled arrival of your original flight.

Read more about travelling on a different flight for compensation. The complete rules explaining your rights, the payment of compensation and boarding priorities are available at all airport counters and boarding locations, as well as in our domestic tariff (Rule 100) and international tariff (Rule 90).

6. Passengers with Disabilities and Special Needs

Note: This section applies to flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, and Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP, Sky Regional, Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd., and Air Georgian Ltd.

Air Canada is dedicated to the safety and comfort of our customers. In addition to providing special meals and assistance to unaccompanied minors, Air Canada looks after the special needs of customers who require assistance because of a disability or medical condition.

Please refer to the relevant section of our website for specific information regarding the following issues, or by contacting Air Canada Reservations:

Special Assistance

  Travelling with Children

  Travelling with your Pet

  Special Meals

  Bereavement Fares

Medical / Mobility

  Advance Notice and Medical Approval

  Travelling with an Attendant

  Customers with Allergies

  Visually or Hearing Impaired Customers

  Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids

  Special Seating Needs

  Service Animals

  Travelling with Oxygen

  Washroom Accessibility

  Portable Battery-Powered Medical Devices

Some circumstances and medical conditions require that certain requests be made in advance. If you have a special need, it is important that, before booking a flight, you carefully review Air Canada's Advance Notice and Medical Approval for Travel requirements, as well as our domestic tariff (Rules 45 and 50) and our international tariff (Rules 40 and 45).

7.   Check-in Requirements and Cancellation of Reservations

Note: This section applies to flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, and Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP, Sky Regional, Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd., and Air Georgian Ltd.

All reservations are subject to cancellation without notice in the following circumstances:

  • You have failed to meet the check-in deadlines as stated on our website;
  • You have not purchased a validated ticket indicating confirmed seat(s) at least forty-five (45) minutes prior to scheduled departure of a domestic flight, sixty (60) minutes for an international or transborder flight, or earlier if a greater time limit is specified as a check-in deadline;
  • You fail to fulfill the requirements of the fare type to which the reservation applies, or have performed a prohibited practice, such as throwaway ticketing (when round-trip fares are used to for one-way travel). Please refer to our domestic tariff (Rule 30) and our international tariff (Rule 25);
  • You are not present at the boarding gate at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time (30 minutes for flights departing Algiers, Casablanca and Tel Aviv), even if you have already checked-in for your flight at a place or via a method designated for check-in (e.g. online, on your mobile device, at a Self-service check-in kiosk or at an airport counter);
  • You do not have the required travel documentation for your journey; If such action is necessary to comply with any governmental regulation, or to comply with any governmental request for emergency transportation in connection with the national defense, or whenever such action is necessary or advisable by reason of weather or other conditions beyond Air Canada' control; or
  • If Air Canada refuses to transport you for any of the reasons stated in the Rules of the relevant domestic tariff (Rule 85) or our international tariff (Rule 75).

In such circumstances, Air Canada will use reasonable efforts to find you an alternate solution to get you to your destination, subject to any applicable change fees and fare differentials. However, customers will not be entitled to a refund when their reservation is cancelled for one of reasons stated above.

8. Disclosing Key Information

Information about our policies and procedures is available on our website or upon request through Air Canada Reservations or our airport representatives. This includes providing you with details on:

  • Important terms and conditions that apply to your ticket and travel, including cancellation policies, on your ticket;
  • Information regarding our aircraft configuration and lavatory availability which is available on Our Fleet page or by contacting Air Canada Reservations and
  • Altitude, Air Canada's program for loyal frequent flying customers. Read detailed information about Altitude, including terms and conditions.

9. Seating Families Travelling with Children

Note: This section applies to flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, and Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz Aviation LP, Sky Regional, Exploits Valley Air Services Ltd., and Air Georgian Ltd.

Air Canada will do all everything reasonable to ensure children 12 years and younger are seated next to their accompanying family member. However, it is not always possible to automate this function when families travel on a fare that does not allow advance seat selection or when traveling on separate reservations. As well, from a safety perspective, Air Canada cannot allow more than one infant without an assigned seat to sit in a bank of seats due to the number of oxygen masks available at each row.

Air Canada has a comprehensive policy that ensures that, for families travelling on Tango fares who have opted not to pay the advance seat selection fee, as well as those holding higher fare tickets but who were not able to select adjoining seats, every reasonable effort is made by Air Canada's airport staff, flight attendants and through onboard procedures, to seat children under the age of 12 next to their accompanying adult.

10. Respond to Customer Complaints

Air Canada will immediately acknowledge receipt of each customer complaint regarding its scheduled service and will send a response to the complainant within 45 days of receiving it.

For information on filing a complaint, please see an Air Canada or Air Canada Express airport representative or contact Customer Relations by completing our online form, or writing to:

Air Canada - Customer Relations
PO Box 64239,
RPO Thorncliffe - Calgary, AB
Canada T2K 6J7

Fax: 1-866-584-0380

For a Baggage Claim

Tel.: 1 888 689-BAGS (2247)
Toll free within North America
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Air Canada Baggage Claims
Air Canada ZIP 1116
P.O. Box 8000, station Airport
Dorval, Quebec
H4Y 1C3

11. Official Languages

Offering service to our customers in the official language of choice is an integral part of how well we do our job. Air Canada's goal is to make sure that every customer gets the most consistent, enjoyable and safe travel experience and leaves with a positive lasting impression.

Please refer to Air Canada's Official Languages Action Plan for more information.

12. Complaints, Comments and Feedback

Consumers wishing to submit a complaint or comment or give us feedback about Air Canada's service (other than those related to safety or security) may do so by contacting us at:

You may also complete our online form, or write to:

Air Canada - Customer Relations
PO Box 64239,
RPO Thorncliffe - Calgary, AB
Canada T2K 6J7

Fax: 1-866-584-0380

For a Baggage Claim

Tel.: 1 888 689-BAGS (2247)
Toll free within North America
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Air Canada Baggage Claims
Air Canada ZIP 1116
P.O. Box 8000, station Airport
Dorval, Quebec
H4Y 1C3

If your complaint concerns air travel within, to and from Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency may have jurisdiction to assist you. For more information, visit the Canadian Transportation Agency website or contact them at:

Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N9

Office:
Canadian Transportation Agency
15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec J8X 4B3

Phone, Fax, and Email

Tel.: 1-888-222-2592 
Fax: 819-997-6727 
TTY: 1-800-669-5575
Email: info@otc-cta.gc.ca

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