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Claiming compensation from AC under APPR (Air Passenger Protection Regulations)

Claiming compensation from AC under APPR (Air Passenger Protection Regulations)

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Old Aug 24, 22, 6:47 am   -   Wikipost
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AC Delayed/Cancelled Flight Compensation Threads

There are several threads on compensation for delayed/cancelled flights operated by AC.

If your question is about APPR (Canadian regulations), this is the correct thread.

For information regarding which regime(s) you're eligible for compensation under, or which would be more favourable, please see: Air Canada Compensation For Delayed/Cancelled Flights

For information on claiming compensation under EU rules (a.k.a. EU261 or EC261), please see: Claiming EU261 Compensation from AC
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Old Aug 10, 22, 10:38 am
  #211  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Many seem to forget that it took years for EU261 to become what it is now, as courts interpreted bits of the regulation that hadn't been fully fleshed out, such as what was with an airline's control and what was outside of it, as relates to things like maintenance.

While I agree that Canadian politicians aimed lower than they should have when crafting the regulations, there's still potential for some aspects to be clarified in consumers' favour.

AC's current ludicrous approach that nothing is their fault will hopefully be resoundingly rejected by the CTA and/or courts, and we'll establish some sort of useful precedent about what circumstances require the airline to pay out.
While I agree with both the analogy and sentiment here Adam, I also recognize that airlines like AC went out of their way to make sure that the APPR was born effectively toothless, and then tried to extract the few teeth it did have via legal actions as recent as April 2022 in the Federal Court of Appeal.

Now, with Air Canada yet again publicly thumbing their noses at the law of the land (coz COVID!), I would be shocked if the CTA (which is more trade group than anything else) has the wherewithal to effectively battle a large, belligerent corporation with far more resources.

I say belligerent deliberately, since Air Canada has made no secret about overtly instructing their minions to codify staff scheduling issues as safety-related in an attempt to avoid paying compensation, much as they did when refusing to give passenger’s money back for cancellations a while ago.

I am equally skeptical that Air Canada will refuse to honour the ‘new’ rules that the CTA is introducing in the Fall – or at least for the general masses.

We need to remind ourselves that we on Flyer Talk are an exceptional bunch.

Many of us here would gleefully pursue Air Canada for not providing what we think was either promised or owed to us by the airline, including taking legal action against them if necessary. This is less about “DYKWIA” than “Give me G**dam money!”. I feel this can sometimes be a disproportionate effort on our part for relatively small gains.

But while the squeaky wheel sometimes does get the grease, the rest of the flying public will likely continue to get the shaft. After all, when has Air Canada ever really cared about PR?

So yeah, the APPR might continue to incrementally evolve, but will AC feel a need to comply? Their corporate culture would seem to suggest “No”.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 12:13 pm
  #212  
 
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Cant compare Canada with EU.

The cost of running an airline is much higher in Canada than EU, due to the lower population density, weather, airport infrastructures, regulations, etc.This results in higher price, less/worse service, or a combination of both.

There are also much more airlines in EU, which means people have choice, and airlines are in a more competitive environment. In Canada, AC is top notch in domestic market.

And of course, the legal and regulatory environment are also different in Canada, as mentioned above.

When airlines spent much more time and effort to lobby the government on the new APPR than the travelling public, its pretty clear who the new rules would favour. While I dont disagree that there are still some possibilities for the new APPR to be interpreted in a way more favourable to passengers, lets be honest, how many passengers are going to bring the issue to Supreme Court or above, causing real dents to airlines? Airlines dont care about Small Claim Court cases.

The bottom line is, AC and other airlines continues to fill their planes, regardless of how bad people think they are. AC is a vital part of transportation in Canada, there simply arent many alternatives. How many passengers can really never fly AC/WS again as they once said? As long as enough people keep flying, there is no need to improve.

My point being, I dont expect airlines in Canada to drastically improve their service unless there are some significant changes, such as allowing foreign airlines to compete domestically, building alternative forms of transportations, Canadians drastically change their travel habits, some major reforms to consumer laws, etc, but how realistic are those changes, and, do we really want those changes?
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Old Aug 10, 22, 3:52 pm
  #213  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Many seem to forget that it took years for EU261 to become what it is now, as courts interpreted bits of the regulation that hadn't been fully fleshed out, such as what was with an airline's control and what was outside of it, as relates to things like maintenance.

While I agree that Canadian politicians aimed lower than they should have when crafting the regulations, there's still potential for some aspects to be clarified in consumers' favour.

AC's current ludicrous approach that nothing is their fault will hopefully be resoundingly rejected by the CTA and/or courts, and we'll establish some sort of useful precedent about what circumstances require the airline to pay out.
Its true that the EU261 model was developed over years, but it is a tried and tested model that other countries have adopted almost verbatim (amounts/currency changes notwithstanding). I believe (correct me if Im wrong) third countries like India, Turkey and Switzerland (and possibly now the UK and probably more) have done copy and pastes.

In the Canadian case, its been deliberately ignored in favour of being fairer to airlines. See this interesting exchange between CBC and Marc Garneau (Im being generous - I believe the kids today would call his insistence that these APPRs are world leading, gaslighting). See 10:50 onwards here:


Nobody in Ottawa needed to reinvent the wheel. There was one available all along. So when they did, we got unsurprising results:

When consumer protection is the intended outcome of a regulatory regime, it should be assumed the regime will be in plain language, easy to understand and supports a simple claims process, Pink wrote. The APPR, which was intended to accomplish enhanced passenger rights, accomplishes none of these.

The language is complex and legalistic; one needs detailed or specific knowledge to invoke the claims system; and the process to seek compensation, once invoked, does not lend itself to quick resolution, the adjudicator said. Few individuals would undertake such efforts to seek a few hundred dollars in compensation. Even if they wanted to, fewer could undertake such a claim.

https://financialpost.com/transporta...b5977ce5f/amp/

And then there was the CTAs approach (which, notably, was also at odds with the EU) to refunds, thats called its fitness for purpose into question:

https://beta.ctvnews.ca/national/pol...1_5429284.html

This common sense that applies elsewhere doesnt apply to us mentality is a defining trait of insular small towns. Its fairly clear that the folk responsible for APPRs dont seem to know what theyre doing. Or are beholden to an outside force, in a manner inconsistent with good government. That isnt going to change unless the whole thing is overhauled top to bottom. Till then, we need to manage our own expectations because, frankly, garbage in = garbage out.
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Last edited by yulred; Aug 10, 22 at 3:57 pm
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Old Aug 10, 22, 5:08 pm
  #214  
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Hold on a second. I need to put my moderator hat on and note that this thread is about claiming APPR compensation from AC. For a general discussion about the cost of flying in Canada or APPR itself, the Canada forum would be the correct venue (e.g. this thread on a National Post article a few months back on the cost of flying in Canada). I would encourage those looking to continue the broader discussion about APPR and cost of flying in Canada to do so over there, as I'm sure there are many insights to be had from this group.

To be clear, my comments earlier were in response to @kangarooflyer88's situation, and noting that these things are not as black and white as @yulred suggested. AC is clearly taking a very aggressive interpretation, and the CTA or the courts may support them, or they may not. But there's very little precedent around APPR. and it's unclear how @kangarooflyer88's might be decided.
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Old Aug 10, 22, 6:12 pm
  #215  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Hold on a second. I need to put my moderator hat on and note that this thread is about claiming APPR compensation from AC. For a general discussion about the cost of flying in Canada or APPR itself, the Canada forum would be the correct venue (e.g. this thread on a National Post article a few months back on the cost of flying in Canada). I would encourage those looking to continue the broader discussion about APPR and cost of flying in Canada to do so over there, as I'm sure there are many insights to be had from this group.

To be clear, my comments earlier were in response to @kangarooflyer88's situation, and noting that these things are not as black and white as @yulred suggested. AC is clearly taking a very aggressive interpretation, and the CTA or the courts may support them, or they may not. But there's very little precedent around APPR. and it's unclear how @kangarooflyer88's might be decided.
I know better than to argue with a Mod but :P kangarooflyer88s issue involved crew scheduling. Crew scheduling is explicitly mentioned by Garneau in the video as grounds for compensation.

That said, the financial post article I linked (which Im pretty sure is about an APPR adjudication, not airfares), also mentions that the APPRs are, well, garbage.

Consider this - verbatim in this sequence from the APPRs

Day-to-day operations

Flight disruptions caused by the following would generally be within an airline's control.
  • Staff and flight crew scheduling and availability;
  • Flight preparation activities like aircraft cleaning, baggage loading, and aircraft fueling; and
  • Scheduled maintenance, including any subsequent repairs or required activities.
Please note: While these examples are generally considered to be within the airlines control, there may still be some specific cases where they might be considered either within the airlines control but required for safety, or outside the airlines control.

In effect - on crew scheduling - the rules have a 380-sized hole that AC has driven a 777 through.

I think the Financial Post article is also relevant because it includes some important considerations, namely that there appears to be an onus on kangarooflyer88 to show that AC controlled the crew-scheduling situation (see Geddes should have provided more evidence supporting his claim the (maintenance) work (on an airplane) could have been completed faster, Pink said.). If the APPRs require that passengers demonstrate how quickly an airline should be able to carry out maintenance work on an airplane I think you get my drift.

Thats an adjudicators decision based on the way the APPRs are currently written, and -notwithstanding that hes bound by them - he doesnt mince words about how bad they are. I wish kangarooflyer88 all the best - and I want him to prevail - but I think its clear that hes fighting against the odds precisely because the APPRs themselves are garbage.

I therefore dont think AC is being ludicrous. Its calculating - rationally, I think - that folk like kangarooflyer88 are going to struggle to prove that:

a) COVID isnt a safety issue
b) the absence of a COVID-free crew isnt a safety issue for the safe operation of a flight (i.e. should infected staff be on the plane?)
c) AC controls the degree to which its staff get COVID.

That couldve been preempted by not inserting the safety caveat into issues with the airlines control (e.g. like in the EU), but Garneau made a decision to sign off on precisely that.

Now were left hoping that CTA dials that back - or at least rules in kangarooflyer88s favour, which common sense dictates it should, but we need to be realistic: the likelihood of the CTA doing even that is lowered by the fact that theyre bound by the need to keep an eye on AC profitability, which isnt great right now.

So Ill apologize for the third link, which was probably off topic (beyond demonstrating the systemic problem with CTA), but I think the clip and the FP story apply to kangarooflyer88s case - the clip identifies crew scheduling as requiring compensation, while the FP article highlights the general mess that these rules are, and more importantly, the thresholds at play here, with the onus on passengers to prove them without access to much information.

Not saying kangarooflyer88 is guaranteed to lose, but would bet on him losing. Because of the APPRs.
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Last edited by yulred; Aug 10, 22 at 6:17 pm
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Old Aug 11, 22, 1:00 pm
  #216  
 
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Originally Posted by yulred View Post
I think the Financial Post article is also relevant because it includes some important considerations, namely that there appears to be an onus on kangarooflyer88 to show that AC controlled the crew-scheduling situation (see “Geddes should have provided more evidence supporting his claim the (maintenance) work (on an airplane) could have been completed faster, Pink said.). If the APPRs require that passengers demonstrate how quickly an airline should be able to carry out maintenance work on an airplane… I think you get my drift.

That’s an adjudicators decision based on the way the APPRs are currently written, and -notwithstanding that he’s bound by them - he doesn’t mince words about how bad they are. I wish kangarooflyer88 all the best - and I want him to prevail - but I think it’s clear that he’s fighting against the odds precisely because the APPRs themselves are garbage.

I therefore don’t think AC is being ludicrous. It’s calculating - rationally, I think - that folk like kangarooflyer88 are going to struggle to prove that:

a) COVID isn’t a safety issue
b) the absence of a COVID-free crew isn’t a safety issue for the safe operation of a flight (i.e. should infected staff be on the plane?)
c) AC controls the degree to which its staff get COVID.

That could’ve been preempted by not inserting the “safety” caveat into issues with the airlines control (e.g. like in the EU), but Garneau made a decision to sign off on precisely that.

Now we’re left hoping that CTA dials that back - or at least rules in kangarooflyer88’s favour, which common sense dictates it should, but we need to be realistic: the likelihood of the CTA doing even that is lowered by the fact that they’re bound by the need to keep an eye on AC profitability, which isn’t great right now.

So I’ll apologize for the third link, which was probably off topic (beyond demonstrating the systemic problem with CTA), but I think the clip and the FP story apply to kangarooflyer88’s case - the clip identifies crew scheduling as requiring compensation, while the FP article highlights the general mess that these rules are, and more importantly, the thresholds at play here, with the onus on passengers to prove them without access to much information.
Based on my reading, the Financial Post article covers an individual's APPR claim who took it through small claims court, not the CTA's dispute resolution process. As such, the plaintiff wasn't able to provide sufficient evidence that the repairs should have been completed in time.

In contrast, the CTA's adjudication process doesn't seem to rely on passengers proving how fast repairs should be done, or if all measures to staff the flight were taken. Rather, the airline is expected to provide the evidence regarding the categorization of the disruption, since they're the ones with the evidence. WestJet provided insufficient evidence in CTA Case 22-03571 to justify an insufficiently staffed flight was outside their control, and for that reason, I'd be interested to see how the CTA rules on an AC "COVID" case, and what evidence AC scrounges up to prove it was unavoidable.
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Old Aug 12, 22, 10:28 am
  #217  
 
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Originally Posted by zappy312 View Post
Based on my reading, the Financial Post article covers an individual's APPR claim who took it through small claims court, not the CTA's dispute resolution process. As such, the plaintiff wasn't able to provide sufficient evidence that the repairs should have been completed in time.

In contrast, the CTA's adjudication process doesn't seem to rely on passengers proving how fast repairs should be done, or if all measures to staff the flight were taken. Rather, the airline is expected to provide the evidence regarding the categorization of the disruption, since they're the ones with the evidence. WestJet provided insufficient evidence in CTA Case 22-03571 to justify an insufficiently staffed flight was outside their control, and for that reason, I'd be interested to see how the CTA rules on an AC "COVID" case, and what evidence AC scrounges up to prove it was unavoidable.
Thanks for that - particularly this:

[7] While the onus is on the applicant to establish, on a balance of probabilities, that the carrier failed to properly apply the rules applicable to their ticket, when a carrier claims that a disruption was within its control but required for safety purposes, or outside its control, it must establish this claim. As the relevant information is in the possession of the carrier, they have the responsibility to provide evidence to support their categorization of a disruption.

Thats an interesting shift away from the onus is on the applicant (passenger)/ CTAs adversarial approach to consumers. Havent been keeping an eye on their decisions ever since that National Airline Council of Canada guy got appointed to the CTA and made the complaints process so nonsensical and futile, that anyone with half a brain went to small claims instead (and got better outcomes too). Probably the case with this NS guy too.

Its a positive shift (and perusing through the cases, a few more cases going in favour of consumers nowadays than whatever was going on with that NACC guy).

That said, I still dont expect this to go kangarooflyer88s way. The WS ruling simply says WS didnt really bother doing any homework (likely based on their own past experience with the CTA). AC isnt going to make that mistake (doesnt take much to be more competent than WS), which means CTA is left with the following questions:

- does AC have to show that it tried to find a replacement crew, but none were available on just that day/time?
- or does this become a bigger question about whether AC has enough aircrew to actually operate all of its scheduled flights at any given time - which means it will rarely have back up crews available (which feeds back into the first question).

I dont think AC will have a hard time proving the former (no one was available at that time - entirely believable given the ongoing delays and flight duty hours etc), and I dont think the CTA has the wit (or stomach) to dive into the latter question. If they did, they wouldnt have put out this heavily caveated APPR regime in the first place. Which, it should be noted, has been dismissed as a terrible piece of work by a court, and presumably imposes the same limits that the courts faced - on the CTA too.

Im admittedly still inclined to encourage others/ personally go to small claims over the CTA, but heres hoping they prove me wrong.
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Old Aug 15, 22, 1:20 pm
  #218  
 
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Flight Disruption Claim unanswered for more than 30 days?

I submitted a flight disruption claim to Air Canada on July 3rd 2022 and promptly got an automated reply saying they'd get back to me within 30 days (as the law says too I believe?):

We are in receipt of your claim under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations for flight 131 on 2022-07-03. You can rest assured that we will get back to you within 30 days.

Thank you for your patience as you wait to hear from us.

Please note that this automated message confirms we have received your message and there is no need to re-submit your information.
We were a group of four people flying (all booked separately) and only one of us heard back two weeks ago and got a 25% discount voucher.

For the other three of us it has been radio silence.

Any advice on what we should do?

thank you!
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Old Aug 18, 22, 6:07 am
  #219  
 
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It's been 31 days since I filed a claim with Air Canada but haven't heard back. What should I do?
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Old Aug 18, 22, 6:11 am
  #220  
 
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Originally Posted by skiier97 View Post
It's been 31 days since I filed a claim with Air Canada but haven't heard back. What should I do?
Sit on your hands?! 🤣

Joking aside, I'm in a similar boat as you having lodged my APPR claims in late June and early July. What you can do is take the case number from the email AC sent you confirming they received your claim, and head to AirCanada.com. Click on Customer support at the upper menu of the site. Once the page loads you'll see this red dot on the lower right of the screen. Click it and a chatbot will appear. Paste the case number into the chat and it'll tell you the current status. 9 times out of 10 it is still under investigation.

-RooFlyer88
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Old Aug 18, 22, 12:26 pm
  #221  
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I have a question - I am certain that you will know the answer. We were on an AC flight from Quebec to Toronto on 28th May. AC cancelled the flight that was due to go at 18.25 approx. We went to the airport and were told that they could not fly us until 05,00. There was no availability via YUL that evening. We chose not to fly at 05.00 but at 10.00 the same day. Our minimum delay is in my eyes 10hr 35 min. We had not choice but to fly the next day. Air Canada refused us accommodation as it was not their fault but there was work going on at YYZ and ATC had ordered airlines to cancel flights. Thus it was not their fault - GoodBye Madame Galore.

Are there any grounds for compensation under Canadian rules?

If in your opinion it is not, then I will not waste my time. I thank you in advance/
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Old Aug 18, 22, 12:38 pm
  #222  
 
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
I have a question - I am certain that you will know the answer. We were on an AC flight from Quebec to Toronto on 28th May. AC cancelled the flight that was due to go at 18.25 approx. We went to the airport and were told that they could not fly us until 05,00. There was no availability via YUL that evening. We chose not to fly at 05.00 but at 10.00 the same day. Our minimum delay is in my eyes 10hr 35 min. We had not choice but to fly the next day. Air Canada refused us accommodation as it was not their fault but there was work going on at YYZ and ATC had ordered airlines to cancel flights. Thus it was not their fault - GoodBye Madame Galore.

Are there any grounds for compensation under Canadian rules?

If in your opinion it is not, then I will not waste my time. I thank you in advance/
I will not question what the 'real' cause was here, but issues related to air traffic control are explicitly excluded for compensation. So, if that is what AC claims happened, then you are out of luck.

This is one of those situations where if you have a premium credit card, you can at least claim the hotel fees etc. But the APPR won't help you.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 1:25 pm
  #223  
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
I will not question what the 'real' cause was here, but issues related to air traffic control are explicitly excluded for compensation. So, if that is what AC claims happened, then you are out of luck.

This is one of those situations where if you have a premium credit card, you can at least claim the hotel fees etc. But the APPR won't help you.
Thank you - I have an answer. Indeed yes American Express have paid for the hotel so I am only slightly out of pocket - Again thank you.
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Old Aug 18, 22, 3:33 pm
  #224  
 
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE View Post
... there was work going on at YYZ and ATC had ordered airlines to cancel flights.
What kind of work in YYZ?
Runway construction?
Was there one less runway than usual?
ATC in Canada can't order airlines to cancel flights.
It can issue delays so that cancelling may have been the most viable solution.
AC chose to cancel YQB-YYZ over a different flight or accepting a lengthy delay.

Last edited by Adam Smith; Aug 19, 22 at 9:38 am Reason: Fixed formatting
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Old Aug 19, 22, 6:23 am
  #225  
 
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Originally Posted by kangarooflyer88 View Post
Sit on your hands?! 🤣

Joking aside, I'm in a similar boat as you having lodged my APPR claims in late June and early July. What you can do is take the case number from the email AC sent you confirming they received your claim, and head to AirCanada.com. Click on Customer support at the upper menu of the site. Once the page loads you'll see this red dot on the lower right of the screen. Click it and a chatbot will appear. Paste the case number into the chat and it'll tell you the current status. 9 times out of 10 it is still under investigation.

-RooFlyer88
Yah it just says it's still under investigation.
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