Preparing for flight delays and cancellations

Flight delays are an annoying but inevitable experience for travellers. In 2023, an average of about one in five flights were delayed in the U.S. — the top international travel destination for Canadians — and between 1% and 2% were cancelled.

Delays and cancellations are caused by a number of reasons: poor weather, scheduling issues, missed connections and mechanical issues are common causes. At the start of 2024, thousands of flights across Canada and the U.S. have been cancelled or delayed due to snow, fog and other winter weather. The recent grounding of the Boeing 737 Max hasn’t helped things either.

Chances are high that you may experience a snag in your flight plans this year, but you can stay ahead of any problems. Here are precautions you can take ahead of time to better deal with cancellations and delays.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you may be entitled to certain compensation by the airline, depending on the circumstance. The Canadian Transportation Agency has details on levels of compensation and under which circumstances passengers can receive compensation, which depends on whether the airline was at fault for the delay or cancellation. If you feel the airline has not followed CTA guidance on compensation, you can file a complaint with the CTA to pursue enforcement.

Your airline may offer you a travel voucher instead of a refund, but you can ask for a refund for the cost of your ticket if a voucher doesn’t work for you. Vouchers seem attractive to many customers because they can be applied to future travel with the same airline or partner airlines to lower airfare. You should also remember that airline compensation obligations extend beyond the ticket costs to reimbursement for inconvenience and expenses incurred.

Let’s say you plan to take a cruise leaving the Port of Montreal for France. Your plane is scheduled to arrive the day before the ship leaves port but a severe, icy storm cancels the flight. The boat sails without you.

Purchasing travel insurance can make the difference between postponing your trip with no money lost, or losing your investment. Allianz Global Assistance offers annual and one-time plans, with benefits that cover non-refundable expenses if your trip is cancelled, delayed or interrupted midway for a covered reason. Insurance is the most effective way to protect your travel investment.

As a world leader in travel protection, we help Canadians and visitors to Canada answer the call of adventure with confidence every year. Let us be there for you too.

Travel protected with Allianz Global Assistance
Or call us at 1-844-310-1578 
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