Air Canada Announces New Connection Time And Luggage Policies As Travel Chaos Continues

Last week, Air Canada announced that it was cancelling more than 9000 flights (which amounts to over 150 flights a day) in July and August in an effort to reduce unprecedented strain on the airline industry.

Flight Disruptions

It’s important to note that Air Canada must abide by The Canadian Transportation Agency’s rules under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations that determine when you are eligible for compensation due to a flight delay that causes a late arrival at your final destination. The carrier now has a handy one-stop reference page on its website that details all the various compensation passengers would be eligible for in the case of a delay or cancellation. You can read more on the site.

Minimum Connection Times

  • Minimum Connection Times for flights from international and transborder destinations connecting to domestic destinations have been increased by 30 minutes for new bookings in Toronto and Montreal, giving customers (and their baggage) additional time to connect. More information about exact minimum connection times is available on the Air Canada website;
  • The schedule has been refined to reduce peak times at the Toronto-Pearson and Montreal-Trudeau airports by retiming and cancelling certain flights, or reducing frequencies, where protection is available to customers the same day. This will conserve resources and reduce stress on third-party service providers by smoothing passenger flows and be more convenient for customers;
  • Aircraft gating at airports has been reconfigured. For example, widebody aircraft in Montreal travelling internationally and to the U.S. are being more conveniently located to achieve efficiencies during peak hours for added operational flexibility.

Lost Luggage

If you can’t locate your checked baggage upon arrival, your first step is to notify a baggage service agent of the airline with which your flight terminates. You’ll need to provide your contact information, a detailed description of your luggage and your baggage claim stubs and boarding passes.

This information will be used to create a WorldTracer incident report. You can then visit the WorldTracer website to see the status of your lost luggage. You can read more about what to do on the Air Canada’s website.

According to a press release, Air Canada’s new measures also include:

  • New self-service re-accommodation tools will allow customers who have schedule changes, delays, or cancellations to request a refund if eligible or rebook their itineraries in a few minutes through its mobile app or website. This includes getting up to 20 alternative flight options (based on availability), choosing to fly to nearby airports instead, and the ability to search for flights in a three-day window. It will be available for customers regardless of how and where they booked their tickets;
  • A goodwill policy has been implemented for passengers traveling via Toronto-Pearson to allow them to voluntarily increase their connection time at no cost for more flexibility when travelling. This policy can be applied within 48 hours of the original travel time;
  • A second new policy will allow customers free, same-day stand-by options for earlier flights within Canada/Transborder regardless of fare brand or booking class;

In Airports:

  • In addition to the recall of virtually all available employees, more than 2,000 front-line airport employees (and 774 more people to work in call centres) have been hired and extensively trained over the last six months, with additional overtime and ongoing hiring, including drawing upon recently retired employees with special expertise;
  • Employees have been reassigned from other bases to augment specific airports, including the cross-utilization of cargo employees to assist with airport passenger operations;
  • The airline has redeployed aircraft from its Jetz charter fleet to move delayed baggage, which has increased in large part due to air transport processing and infrastructure issues outside its control;
  • The airline is working closely with airport authorities, government and third-party agencies to enhance and expedite the processing of customers throughout their journey;
  • Additional ground equipment has been acquired to improve airport operations.

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