YOUR RIGHTS

YOUR RIGHTS

Your rights in case of flight cancellation, delays or overbooking

Civil air transport law
Lorsque vous voyagez en avion, vous êtes protégé par des lois et des conventions internationales qui établissent des droits en votre faveur. Ces droits consistent, entre autres, au versement d’une indemnisation en cas de vol retardé, annulé ou de surréservation. Le montant de cette indemnisation dépend de la distance du vol, et le droit au montant dépend quant à lui de la provenance et de la destination du vol, ainsi que du pays d’incorporation juridique de la compagnie aérienne. Nous vous expliquerons les modalités plus loin.

 

De plus, en fonction de certains critères inscrits dans les lois et les conventions, la compagnie aérienne peut vous devoir une prise en charge sous forme de rafraîchissements, repas, hébergement, transport et communications.

La plupart des passagers aériens n’ont pas connaissance de leurs droits et ne possèdent pas assez d’informations afin de déposer une demande d’indemnisation auprès des compagnies aériennes. Les statistiques démontrent qu’à peine 2% des passagers aériens concernés vont compléter un processus de réclamation. Et comme le processus peut s’avérer long et fastidieux, plusieurs se découragent et laissent tomber. En effet, en plus d’étirer les délais de règlement, plusieurs compagnies aériennes sont réticentes à verser les indemnisations et refusent les réclamations en invoquant des « circonstances extraordinaires ».

 

What are extraordinary circumstances?
Les compagnies aériennes ne sont pas toujours responsables des retards ou des annulations de vol. Les causes telles que les mauvaises conditions météorologiques, les grèves (encore faut-il voir la nature de la grève), les restrictions au niveau du contrôle aérien, ne peuvent être imputées aux compagnies aériennes.

 

Lorsque les compagnies aériennes invoquent des problèmes mécaniques à titre de « circonstances extraordinaires », nous contestons automatiquement la décision, en vertu de l’arrêt STURGEON rendu le 19 novembre 1999 (affaires jointes C-402/07 et C-432/07 Sturgeon / Condor Flugdienst GmbH et Böck e.a. / Air France SA). Dans cette décision, la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne a affirmé qu’ « un problème technique survenu à un aéronef ne peut être considéré comme une circonstance extraordinaire, sauf si ce problème découle d’événements qui, par leur nature ou leur origine, ne sont pas inhérents à l’exercice normal de l’activité de la compagnie aérienne concernée et échappent à sa maîtrise effective. »

Or, la réparation d’une panne n’est pas une circonstance extraordinaire, car l’entretien des avions fait partie des activités régulières des compagnies aériennes.

How we can help you
Dans un premier temps, Volenretard.ca analysera la situation de vol que vous nous aurez déclarée. Si nous jugeons qu’il y a matière ou une chance de vous obtenir une compensation, notre équipe prendra en charge le processus de réclamation auprès de la compagnie aérienne, en votre nom et au moyen d’une procuration légale. Notre équipe défendra votre réclamation en utilisant l’ensemble des lois et règlements en vigueur, tout en nous appuyant sur les cas ayant fait jurisprudence.

 

Trois (3) issues sont envisageables suite à la réception de la décision de la compagnie aérienne:

  • Soit que nous aurons obtenu gain de cause en votre faveur; ou
  • Soit que nous serons dans l’obligation de fermer votre dossier, car au final, la situation de vol n’est pas de la responsabilité de la compagnie aérienne; ou
  • Soit que nous entamerons des procédures judiciaires ou extrajudiciaires suite à la décision rendue par la compagnie aérienne.

Faisons maintenant un survol des lois et des conventions internationales.

Legislation in the European Union

Regulation (EC) 261/2004 of the European Parliament and Council, which entered into force on February 17th, 2005, lays down common rules regarding compensation and assistance for passengers in case of:

    • denial of boarding in case of overbooking;
    • flight cancellation;
    • (significant) flight delay; and
    • when a passenger is transferred to a lower class than that for which the ticket was purchased.

Regulation (EC) 261/2004 applies to flights departing:

  • from an airport located within the European Union (EU), bound for an airport located outside the EU, for all airlines; and
  • from an airport located within the European Union (EU), bound for an airport located within the EU, for all airlines; and
  • from an airport located outside the EU, bound for an airport located within the EU, only for airlines under European jurisdiction.

To put things into context:

We’ve prepared the following table, using AIR CANADA, a Canadian airline, and LUFTHANSA, an airline with a head office in Germany, as examples to better clarify the applicability of the Regulation:

FLIGHT ORIGIN AIR CANADA LUFTHANSA
From within the EU
to within the EU
Applicable Applicable
From within the EU
to outside the EU
Applicable Applicable
From outside the EU
to within the EU
Non-applicable Applicable
From outside the EU
to outside the EU
Non-applicable Non-applicable

Assistance specified in case of a delayed flight (in addition to applicable compensation)

The airline may have to take care of you in the form of meals, refreshments, accommodation, transportation, and communications. Don’t hesitate to inquire at the customer service desk to claim assistance and learn more about your rights.

We’ve prepared the following tables to better explain the assistance specified in case of a delayed flight:

FLIGHT DISTANCE EXPECTED DELAY
1500 to 3500 km Delay of 2 or more hours with respect to the specified departure time
1500 to 3500 km Delay of 3 or more hours with respect to the specified departure time
Over 3500 km Delay of 4 or more hours with respect to the specified departure time
  • Refreshments and sufficient meals given the waiting time; and
  • Two phone calls or sending two telexes, two faxes, or two emails free of charge.

 

FLIGHT DISTANCE

EXPECTED DELAY

For all flights:

  • Under 1500 km
  • 1500 to 3500 km
  • Over 3500 km

Delay of at least 5 hours with respect to the specified departure time

 

  • In addition to the assistance specified above, a refund of the ticket for the part(s) of the trip not carried out and for the part(s) of the trip already carried out that have become pointless with respect to the initial trip plan, and, if applicable,
  • A return flight to the initial point of departure as soon as possible.

FLIGHT DISTANCE

EXPECTED DELAY

FOR ALL FLIGHTS

  • Under 1500 km
  • 1500 to 3500 km
  • Over 3500 km
When the departure time is at least the day after the initially specified departure time

 

  • In addition to the assistance specified above, a refund of the ticket for the part(s) of the trip not carried out and for the part(s) of the trip already carried out that have become pointless with respect to the initial trip plan, and, if applicable,
  • A return flight to the initial point of departure as soon as possible.

Assistance specified in case of a cancelled flight (in addition to applicable compensation)

In case of a cancelled flight, passengers are entitled to be offered the following assistance by the airline:

  • Refreshment and sufficient meals given the waiting time; and
  • Two phone calls or sending two telexes, two faxes, or two emails free of charge; and
  • Accommodation at a hotel for one or more night(s), if necessary.
  • Passengers are also entitled to be offered by the airline the choice between:

  • A refund of the ticket for the part(s) of the trip not carried out and for the part(s) of the trip already carried out that have become pointless with respect to the initial trip plan, and, if applicable, a return flight to the initial point of departure as soon as possible; or <>Re-routing to their final destination, under comparable transport conditions and as soon as possible; or
  • Re-routing to their final destination, under comparable transport conditions at a later date, at their convenience and subject to the availability of seats.

Compensation specified in case of a delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flight (in addition to assistance)

The specified compensation ranges from 125 to 600 Euros, depending on the distance of your flight and the number of hours that you were delayed in reaching your final destination.
In February 2013, the Air France v. Folkerts ruling clarified that it is the delay on arrival that prevails, not the delay on departure. In addition, this principle also applies to flights with stopovers. If all stages of the trip were booked with and carried out by the same airline, it’s not important to determine which segment of the trip caused the delay.
It should be noted that it’s the time that the doors are opened on arrival that determines the duration of the delay.

FLIGHT SITUATION

COMPENSATION

Delayed flight

Under 1500 km 250 Euros
1500 to 3500 km 250 Euros
Over 3500 km 600 euros * / 300 euros **

*for a delay of four or more hours;
**for a delay of between three and four hours with re-routing..

 

FLIGHT SITUATION

FLIGHT DISTANCE

COMPENSATION

Cancelled flight

WITHRE-ROUTING* *

Vol de 1500 km ou moins 125 euros
1500 to 3500 km

200 euros

Over 3500 km

300 euros

 

* * When a passenger is offered re-routing to their final destination on another flight, the arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the initially booked flight:

  1. a)   by two hours for flights under 1500 km;
  2. b)   by three hours for flights between 1500 and 3500 km;
  3. c)   by four hours for flights over 3500 km.

 

It’s important to note that if the passenger was informed of the cancellation of the flight at least two weeks before departure or if the airline offered re-routing with a virtually identical flight schedule, the passenger is therefore not entitled to any compensation.

FLIGHT SITUATION

FLIGHT DISTANCE

COMPENSATION

Denial of boarding

(overbooking)

Under 1500 km 250 euros
1500 to 3500 km>

400 euros

Over 3500 km

600 euros

 

  • When an air carrier plans to deny boarding on a flight, it will first ask for volunteers who agree to give up their reservation in exchange for certain advantages, to be negotiated between the parties. Volunteers can also take advantage of the assistance specified above.
  • When the number of volunteers is insufficient, the air carrier can deny boarding to passengers against their will. The air carrier must then compensate the passengers according to the specified compensation levels, in addition to offering them the abovementioned assistance.

The Montréal Convention

The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, commonly referred to as the “Montréal Convention,” entered into force on June 28th, 2004 with regard to the member states of the European Union. This convention allows us to obtain compensation for expenses incurred (meals, accommodation, etc.) or losses sustained (damage to luggage, lost work or vacation days).
Since this convention does not specify a fixed amount for this purpose, we must refer our clients to small claims court in order to obtain a judgment. We will also offer a preparation service shortly.

Legislation in the United States

Delayed or cancelled flight

The legislation does not specify any rights for air travellers in case of delayed or cancelled flights. However, affected passengers may be offered services as compensation, such as meals, drinks, and hotel rooms, primarily in cases of flights that have been delayed or cancelled due to mechanical problems and – very rarely – in situations of poor weather conditions.

Overbooking

Involuntary denial of boarding

In the United States, the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14, Aeronautics and Space, Part 250 establishes rules relating to cases of involuntary denial of boarding as well as the conditions that an air traveller must meet in order to qualify for compensation in such cases.
If the passenger qualifies, the compensation offered is the same whether it’s a domestic or an international flight:

Si le passager se qualifie, les compensations offertes sont les mêmes, qu’il s’agisse d’un vol intérieur ou d’un vol international:

0 to 1-hour delay

If the carrier offers re-routing to the scheduled destination to arrive at the passenger’s final destination or first scheduled stopover no later than one hour after the scheduled arrival time of the passenger’s original flight.

No compensation
1 to 4-hour delay

If the carrier offers re-routing to the scheduled destination to arrive at the passenger’s final destination or first scheduled stopover more than one hour but less than four hours after the scheduled arrival time of the passenger’s original flight.

 200% of the fare to the passenger’s final destination or first stopover, to a maximum of $675 US
4-hour + delay

If the carrier offers re-routing to the scheduled destination to arrive at the passenger’s final destination or first scheduled stopover more than four hours after the scheduled arrival time of the passenger’s original flight.

 400% of the fare to the passenger’s final destination or first stopover, to a maximum of $1,350 US

Legislation in Canada

Canada will soon have an air passengers’ bill of rights, , which will enter into force in 2018. .

This bill of rights will establish uniform rules applicable to all airlines in Canada, as well as a process for claiming compensation, along the same lines as Regulation (EC) 261/2004 in the European Union.

This law will establish, among other things, the rights of passengers in the following situations:

  • Denial of boarding in case of overbooking
  • Cancelled flights;
  • Delayed flights;
  • Waiting on the tarmac;
  • Lost or damaged luggage.

Please note: rules relating to the transportation of musical instruments will be created and additional charges for allowing children to be seated with their parents will be abolished.

NO CHARGE WITHOUT CAUSE

Put your trust in us
close-link