Travel plans are often made and paid for in advance. This can pose a risk to the travel purchaser. Over the years, thousands of Canadians have had to cope with the sudden failure of travel providers. Be prepared—make sure you don't become one of them!
When a carrier fails:
- travelers may be affected mid-journey;
- travelers may be forced to abandon or reschedule travel plans; and
- travelers may have difficulty recovering value paid for travel (cash, credit, travel points).
Protecting your travel investment
You can take action to reduce your risk:
- Pay by credit card whenever you can. If the services are not supplied, you may be able to recover your payment by having the charge reversed.
- Travel with reputable carriers—they will not encourage you to pay by cash or cheque instead of by credit card.
- Keep a copy of all paperwork on hand, including contact information for your carrier or travel agent.
- Consider buying travel insurance that covers carrier failure. Being stranded at a vacation destination can be expensive.
- Find out in advance whether your credit card company provides travel insurance as a perk or an option.
- When buying travel services online, web sites registered in Ontario, Quebec or British Columbia can provide you with access to compensation funds when airlines or tour companies shut down.
Ontario: Travel Industry Council of Ontario
Quebec: Quebec Travel Compensation Fund
BC: BC Travel Compensation Fund
Flight Rights Canada
Transport Canada requires that air carriers prominently display their terms and conditions of carriage at their business offices and to post this information on their web sites. As well, prominent signage at key airports will remind travelers that they are entitled to ask for and receive a carrier's terms and conditions, and explains the complaint mechanisms in place to ensure carriers are held accountable for their commitments. For more information please visit Flight Rights Canada or the Canadian Transportation Agency.