Monday,  March 20, 2023  11:58 pm

Ottawa launches portal to help travellers with delays, lost luggage; ArriveCAN change speeds up screening

Ottawa launches portal to help travellers with delays, lost luggage; ArriveCAN change speeds up screening
The Canadian Transportation Agency has launched an information portal to help passengers who are experiencing flight & luggage delivery disruptions.(Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images).
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Unsure of where to direct your clients if they’re experiencing a flight delay, cancellation or misplaced luggage?

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has launched a new info portal to help passengers who are experiencing flight and luggage delivery disruptions.

The “airport congestion and flight issues” page, which can be accessed here, outlines what travellers should do if their flight is delayed or cancelled or if their luggage is lost, damaged or delayed.

The resource, linked to the CTA’s “Air Passenger Protection” guidance, also outlines what compensation options are available to inconvenienced passengers.

“Be aware that delays and cancellations are often complex,” the CTA writes. “What happened and what you are entitled to can sometimes only be confirmed after your travel journey is over, after contacting the airline, or after making a complaint to the Agency.”

For example: if a flight is delayed or cancelled, the CTA advises passengers to take note of “what you have been told by the airline,” as well how much time has passed since the departure time on the ticket, what time you arrived at your destination, and reasons for the delay or cancellation.

READ MORE: Toronto Pearson again ranks no. 1 in delays worldwide

The agency also advises passengers to keep copies of their ticket, notifications from the airline and receipts if goods or services (like meals, hotel rooms and taxis) were purchased.

For delayed, damaged or lost baggagethe CTA recommends keeping copies of baggage information and baggage tags and to file a claim with the airline within set time limits.


On compensation: when an airline delays or cancels a flight, “what you are entitled to depends on the level of control that the airline has over the reason for the delay or cancellation,” the CTA says.

“The situation can either be within the airline's control, within the airline's control but required for safety, or outside the airline's control.”

The amount of compensation owed depends on how late a traveller arrived at destination and on the size of the airline. You may be eligible to receive compensation even if your flight was refunded by the airline.”

READ MORE: Feds announce “improvements” to ArriveCAN so it’s “faster & easier”

An airline may also issue credit instead of cash, but only if certain conditions are met by the airline, and a carrier will not pay the compensation immediately, the CTA says.

“They will only do so after they receive your request and if they determine that the flight disruption was fully within its control,” the agency said. “The airline has 30 days to respond to your request.”

ArriveCAN update speeds things up 

The portal comes as the Government of Canada scrambles to bring on more employees to bolster airport operations amid a surge in demand for air travel.

In an update shared Wednesday (July 6), federal officials noted that roughly 1,200 CATSA screening officers have been hired across Canada since April.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which manages Toronto Pearson airport, is working with CBSA to add kiosks and eGates at customs hall areas.

READ MORE: Trying to explain delays, wait times to clients? ACTA has free templates & content for that

Mandatory random COVID-19 testing has also been temporarily suspended at all airports until mid-July.

Additionally, travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson or Vancouver International are now able to save time by using the Advance Canada Border Services Agency Declaration optional feature in ArriveCAN (which is still mandatory) to submit their customs and immigration declaration in advance.

The Government of Canada's ArriveCAN app. (File photo)

This change to ArriveCAN is already speeding up wait times at airports, the government claims.

Early usage data shows that it is 30 per cent faster at the kiosk when travellers use ArriveCAN to declare in advance instead of paper – “shaving approximately 40 seconds off a two-minute transaction,” officials said yesterday.

“With the thousands of travellers who go through Toronto Pearson International Airport and use the Advance CBSA Declaration option in ArriveCAN, this has the potential of saving hours of processing time each day,” officials said.

Frequent travellers are also urged to take use of the "saved traveller" function in ArriveCAN. This allows a user to save travel documents and proof of vaccination information to reuse on future trips.

The update comes as June 2022 air departure traffic in Canada was 58 times higher than it was in spring 2020, according to federal stats.

In comparison, global travel volumes are up more than eight times since the low point during the pandemic, and “airports across the world are feeling the impact,” officials said yesterday.

Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!  Click here to follow PAX on Facebook.