"Mechanical Difficulties" & "Weather Delays"

Tracy Stewart, December 12, 2007
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. Over the course of the past few months, I've had numerous Air Canada flights, departing from Vancouver, to be cancelled. And associates have reported the same trouble with their AC flights out of Calgary.

    Seems like, after check-in, Air Canada decides that there aren't enough
    passengers on a particular flight, so they just go ahead and cancel it.
    They then put you on the next flight. If there are still not enough
    passengers on that flight, they say 'mechanical difficulties' and then
    cancel that flight too. By this time, the flight is very full and I've wasted hours of my day.

    Is this a common occurence with Air Canada and other airlines? Is
    there any recourse for passengers to take when this happens?

    A. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time we've heard this. If it were a matter of empty seats, they should have had the foresight to alert passengers of the cancellation in advance, instead of forcing you to mill around for hours on end after showing up on time. In Europe, carriers are required to compensate passengers for cancellations that occur within 14 days of departure. Round these parts? We're not as lucky. Your best bet is to call attention to these less than honest procedures and make a fuss.

    Anyone else have this happen to you, with Air Canada or other airlines? Please leave a comment below.

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