There are several protections in place if your Canadian flight is cancelled or delayed, including the Montreal Convention or EC 261. If you’re travelling to or from Europe, you are covered under EC 261, helping you claim up to €600 in additional compensation from your airline. Here’s all you need to know.
About Canada Passengers EC 261 Eligibility
In order for your flight to qualify for compensation under EC 261, you need to be departing from the European Union. You can also take an EU-based airline from anywhere in the world, just as long as it arrives in or takes off from Europe. If not, other regulations may apply.
What are Your Passengers Rights?
Under EC 261, you have rights as long as your flight qualifies or you are flying on an EU-based air carrier. Some of your rights start to kick in after two hours, while others don’t apply until four hours.
In addition to compensation, you are also entitled to care. This includes meals, refreshments, and access to communication. In some cases, you will also be eligible for overnight accommodations and transport to those accommodations. What you are eligible for depends on the length of your flight, destination, and circumstances surrounding your issue. If your delay is more than 5 hours, you can get a full or partial refund.
Flight Delay Compensation
If your flight is delayed, take a deep breath. Depending on the length of your delay and your flight, you could be eligible for compensation under EC 261. If it’s at least two hours, you can claim some compensation in addition to basic care.
- Flights under 1,500 km – Up to €250 per passenger
- Internal EU flights more than 1,500 km – Up to €400 per passenger
- Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km – Up to €400 per passenger
- Non-internal EU flights more than 3,500 km – Up to €600 per passenger
If your delay is more than five hours, you can request a refund.
Flight Cancellation Compensation
If your flight was cancelled, you have options for your next steps as part of EC 261. Ultimately, you have three choices.
- Work with customer service to get on the next available flight.
- Request a new ticket to your final destination at a later date of your choosing, though keep in mind this is subject to availability.
- Request a full or partial refund. If you are not at your point of origin, you can also request a return flight home.
In addition, if your flight was cancelled within 14 days of the original departure, you are eligible for up to €600 in compensation under EC 261. This is on top of the reworked travel arrangements. You can claim both.
Overbooked Flight Compensation
The Canada has some protections in place when it comes to overbooking regardless of where you’re travelling, but if you’re in Europe, your best bet is to claim under EC 261. Here’s what qualifies.
- You were involuntarily denied boarding. This does not apply if you missed your flight or lacked the proper documentation to get on the flight. The issue could not have been in your control.
- You didn’t volunteer to give up your seat, often in exchange for travel vouchers, miles or other benefits.
- Your flight either arrived or departed in the EU.
You can file a claim in any of these circumstances.
Calculate your compensation
What to Do in Case of Delays or Cancellations?
It can be difficult to know where to start when your flight is cancelled, so here are several steps to take to get your trip back on track and claim the compensation you are owed.
- Contact customer service. Whether you want to get on the next available flight or book for a later date, you want to get the details surrounding your trip squared away. This also applies if you want to request a refund.
If your flight was cancelled within 14 days of your original departure, you are eligible for compensation under EC 261. Here’s how to file a claim.
- Gather your documentation. This includes boarding passes, reasons for delays, and any information related to your flight.
- Submit your documentation to your airline for consideration. Sometimes they will try to deny your claim, so be prepared to resubmit with documentation several times.
- If that doesn’t work, you can work with a flight compensation company to help you get your compensation. They will take a flat fee from your winnings, but they can help you recover your losses.
At the end of the day, if your flight is cancelled, you have rights. You are not required to take what they offer you just because they offered it.
Disrupted Flight Statistics
Thousands of flights are disrupted each year, either cancelled or delayed, and many of these could have been avoided. EC 261 strives to keep these numbers trending down by providing compensation to affected passengers, on top of any refunds or other travel credits. You could receive up to €600, depending on the disruption.
Canadian flights may face delays and cancellations, but if they are avoidable, you can get compensated for your troubles under EC 261. All you have to do is file a claim directly with your airline to get it. It’s the only way to hold airline’s accountable and stop it from happening in the future. This article was updated in 2023.