Denied Boarding: Flights Departing to and from Canada

If you are denied boarding on any flight departing to or from Canada, the airline must pay you compensation in the amount set out in the airline’s appropriate Tariff (see exceptions). In addition, the airline must offer you:

  • transportation (rerouting) onward or to your point of origin; and
  • full refund of your airfare, if you choose to return to your point of origin.

Applicable law

Your rights are governed by:

  • section 67-67.2 of the Canada Transportation Act and section 107 of the Air Transportation Regulations (for domestic flights); and
  • section 110-113.1 and 122 of the Air Transportation Regulations (for international flights).

You may be entitled to additional compensation under the Montreal Convention, if applicable.

Amount of Denied Boarding Compensation

The amount of compensation depends on the airline, the final destination, and the length of the delay caused by the denied boarding.

  • Air Canada
  • Porter
    • Flights within Canada:
      • CAD$200 (delay of 0-2 hours);
      • CAD$400 (delay of 2-6 hours);
      • CAD$800 (delay of over 6 hours);
    • International/US flights:
      • $0 (delay of less than 1 hour);
      • 200% of the fare to the next stopover, up to a maximum of US/CAD$675 (delay of 1-4 hours);
      • 400% of the fare to the next stopover, up to a maximum of US/CAD$1,350 (delay of over 4 hours).
  • WestJet
    • Flights within Canada:
      • $0 (delay of 0-1 hour);
      • 200% of the fare to the next stopover, up to a maximum of CAD$675 (delay of 1-2 hours);
      • 400% of the fare to the next stopover, up to a maximum of CAD$1,350 (delay of over 2 hours).
    • International/US flights (other than flights departing from the EU):
      • $0 (delay of less than 1 hour);
      • 200% of the fare to the next stopover, up to a maximum of US/CAD$675 (delay of 1-4 hours);
      • 400% of the fare to the next stopover, up to a maximum of US/CAD$1,350 (delay of over 4 hours).
    • See flights departing from the European Union and Economic Area.

Denied boarding compensation must be paid immediately, at the airport where the incident takes place.

Form of Payment

  • The airline must pay denied boarding compensation in cash or equivalent (electronic bank transfer, bank orders, or bank cheques).
  • If you agree, in writing, the airline may provide travel vouchers and/or other services in lieu of denied boarding compensation. You can insist on payment in cash or equivalent.

Your options: continue or cancel trip

The airline must offer you the choice between continuing or cancelling your trip.

  • If you choose to continue your travel, the airline must offer you transportation to your destination, regardless of class of service.
  • If you choose to cancel your trip, the airline must transport you to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity, and refund your ticket.

Refund (if you choose not to travel)

If you choose to cancel your trip, the airline must refund you:

  • part or parts of the trip not made; and
  • part or parts of the trip already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to your original travel plan.

Exceptions

  • You are not entitled to any compensation, rerouting, or care if:
    • you fail to present yourself for check-in and boarding before the cut-off times specified by the airline; or
    • you do not have appropriate travel documents; or
    • you act in a manner that creates a threat to the safety of the flight.
  • You are not entitled to the standard amount of denied boarding compensation if you volunteer to give up your seat.
  • You are not entitled to compensation if you were denied boarding on a flight departing from Canada due to “operational or safety reasons” requiring:
    • replacement of the aircraft with one of a smaller capacity, if the airline is able to demonstrate that all reasonable measures were taken to avoid substitution or it was impossible to take such measures; or
    • leaving seats empty due to weight/balance restrictions on an aircraft with 60 or fewer seats.