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More Air Canada, WestJet passengers baffled by reasons for denied compensation – CBC News



For Scott Aalgaard, it doesn’t add up.

On the morning of July 5, Air Canada informed Aalgaard by email his flight that day from Toronto to Hartford, Conn., had been delayed due to “an unforeseen maintenance issue.”

That afternoon, the reason had changed to either “staffing constraints” or “health and safety initiatives.”


Three days later, Air Canada informed Aalgaard he doesn’t qualify for compensation because his flight was cancelled (instead of delayed) due to a “labour dispute” that was outside the airline’s control. 

Aalgaard, a Canadian from B.C. currently living in Middletown, Conn., says the new explanation makes no sense. 

“There was no indication that there was any sort of labour dispute,” he said. “It feels to me like the company is throwing darts at a big poster on the wall, trying to pick out reasons and see what will stick.”

The recent travel chaos at some Canadian airports has led to a spate of flight delays and cancellations. And that has sparked a spate of complaints from passengers that some airlines are providing suspect reasons why they were denied compensation for flight disruptions. 

Under federal regulations, airlines must compensate passengers up to $1,000 for flight delays of three hours or more. 

Because Aalgaard’s flight was delayed by six hours, he, his wife and daughter, whom he was travelling with, would each get $700. However, airlines only have to pay up if the reason for the delay was within their control and not for safety reasons, such as unforeseen mechanical problems.

Aalgaard has filed for compensation with Air Canada despite its claim his flight isn’t eligible. If that doesn’t work out, he plans to file a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

“I don’t want Canada to be a place where big companies can just make up the story as they go along,” he said. 

When Scott Aalgaard used Air Canada’s online compensation eligibility tool to find out if he qualified for compensation, the airline told him he didn’t quallify because his flight was cancelled due to a labour dispute. (Air Canada)

A demand for more details

Aalgaard’s not alone. Shortly after Canada launched its flight delay compensation rules in 2019, thousands of air passengers flooded the Canadian Transportation Agency with complaints they received inadequate reasons for denied compensation. 

In November 2021, following a lengthy inquiry that involved all of Canada’s major airlines, the CTA announced it found no evidence the airlines “intentionally misled passengers.” However, the agency said much of the information provided to passengers explaining their flight delays “was inadequate, terse and unclear.”

As a result, the CTA clarified that airlines must explain in “sufficient detail” the reason for a flight delay. 

Consumer advocate Tahira Dawood says passengers need that information to assess whether they should dispute their case. 

“They cannot challenge [the airlines] if they have limited information, or they do not themselves understand what they’re hearing from the air carriers,” said Dawood, a lawyer with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. 

Tahira Dawood, a lawyer with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, say it’s important that air passengers get adequate information about why they were denied compensation for delayed flights. (CBC)

Connie DeMelo of Brantford, Ont., was upset when WestJet rejected her claim for compensation. DeMelo and her husband’s flight from Honolulu to Toronto on May 28 was delayed for almost six hours. 

If the delay was caused by WestJet, DeMelo and her husband would each get $400. However, the airline told her in an email that the flight disruption “was outside WestJet’s control.”

WestJet provided no specific reason for the delay.

“They don’t want to take responsibility,” said DeMelo. “If they did give me a reason, I may pursue it even further. But at this point, I don’t know what I’m pursuing.”

Connie DeMelo and her husband, Antonio, were delayed by almost six hours when flying from Honolulu to Toronto. WestJet denied them compensation for their delay. (Submitted by Connie DeMelo)

Air Canada passenger Joshua Cohen received a more detailed explanation why his May 21 flight from Chicago to Toronto was cancelled, but he’s still dissatisfied.

Cohen was rebooked on a flight the following day. He said an Air Canada employee at the Chicago airport assured him the airline would cover his hotel and food costs for the night.

However, when Cohen submitted his expenses for $533.73 US, Air Canada responded by email that he wasn’t eligible for compensation. The airline said his flight cancellation was due to “unforeseen staffing issues” that arose due to the impact of COVID-19, and were outside the airline’s control. 

He was offered instead a $100 flight voucher.

“That’s an absolute slap in the face,” said Cohen, who lives in Toronto. He argues staffing issues are within an airline’s control. 

“They’re trying everything not to compensate their passengers and try and save some money. It’s just not acceptable.”

CTA says file a complaint

WestJet and Air Canada declined to comment on the specific cases in this story. Both airlines said they adhere to Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations and that they’re currently operating in a challenging environment as the travel industry recovers. 

The Canadian Transportation Agency said dissatisfied passengers can file a complaint, the outcome of which may help add clarity to the compensation regulations.

“An important part of our regime is the CTA making decisions on cases and airlines taking account of those decisions in their future actions,” said CTA spokesperson Tom Oomen.

WATCH | Missing baggage adds to travel chaos: 

Luggage delays add to Canadian travel woes

17 days ago

Duration 1:54

Luggage delays are adding to the problems Canadian air travellers face, with some airports seeing mounds of bags piled up and some travellers not getting their luggage during an entire trip.

This week, the CTA issued a decision in a compensation case, ordering WestJet to pay $1,000 to a passenger following a 21-hour flight delay.

According to the CTA’s decision, WestJet had previously told the passenger he wasn’t entitled to compensation because his original flight had been cancelled for safety reasons due to a crew shortage. 

The CTA concluded that crew shortages are generally within the airline’s control and that WestJet “did not sufficiently establish” that the flight cancellation “was unavoidable despite proper planning.”

Cohen says he plans to file a complaint with the CTA, demanding compensation from Air Canada for both his expenses and $1,000 for a flight delay of more than nine hours.

Passenger DeMelo has already filed a CTA complaint.

They may have to wait a while for results. According to the agency, since Dec. 15, 2019, it has received more than 5,154 complaints on the issue, and 70 per cent (3,606) of them have yet to be resolved.

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Story from the Cyber Frontlines



Long ago, but not too far away, in one of my past lives, I used to manage the online operations for a bustling retail brand. It was a colorful, kid-friendly virtual wonderland known for its cheeky prints, chirpy characters, and evergreen joie de vivre. However, there was another side to this fun façade, an unseen realm perpetually under siege. Among the numerous safety protocols and countless lines of code, we fought an incessant cyber-war, forever alight with skirmishes and strategic defenses.

Armoring the Cyber Stronghold

Selecting the right platform is the cornerstone of any secure online presence. In our story, we opted for a reputable e-commerce platform with significant market presence and advanced inbuilt safety features. Reliable platforms usually mean fewer vulnerabilities. They also come with a dedicated security team that regularly rolls out updates and patches. During my years at the helm, I witnessed a flurry of urgent midnight updates, each one addressing newly discovered vulnerabilities. The vital lesson here is to ensure you install these patches promptly and regularly.

SSL certificates, though they may sound technical, are one of the easiest yet powerful security upgrades you can adopt. This encryption tool prevented potential interception of sensitive information between the user’s browser and our site—yet another bulwark to impede the progress of cyber invaders.

We cannot talk about fortifications without discussing the potential armor breaches. Unfortunately, human error, often in the form of weak password policies, is a recurrent kink in the armor. To counter these vulnerabilities, we maintained a robust password policy requiring a mix of alphanumeric and special characters. This policy, when paired with mandatory regular updates, significantly enhanced our safety measures.


Lastly, we utilized an assortment of digital security tools. Website firewalls, security plugins, scanner tools, and even the humble CAPTCHA contributed to presenting advanced cyber deterrence. Access to these tools depended on the chosen platform, a factor to consider when setting up a secure online presence.

Lessons from the Cyber Kingdoms

One of the many retail websites that have significantly benefitted from implementing robust website security measures is well-known children’s brand. Implementing thorough security protocols, up-to-date SSL certificates, and regular security audits resulted in a drastic reduction in data breach.

The same success was echoed in another kid’s e-commerce platform that faced attempted breaches. Here, strong password policies, combined with additional layers of verification, staved off any potential security breach. You can read more about their success story here.

Navigating the Cyber Seas

Merely having top-tier security systems is not enough. The rolling out of these measures confronts two significant barriers – technical difficulties and cost issues. However, these challenges are conquerable with effective planning and strategies.

To tackle technical difficulties, investing in a dedicated IT team and providing them with the necessary resources and training is crucial. This team, capable of handling any technical issue, can implement updates and fixes diligently, securing your website from potential breaches.

In addressing cost issues, consider it an investment. Remember that the potential harm a security breach can wreak ranges from financial losses to irreversible damages to reputation. Adopt a tiered implementation approach, starting with affordable solutions such as strong password policies, gradual enhancements to SSL certificates, and eventually a holistic security system.

Being prepared always makes a world of difference. In today’s world where the cyber realm goes hand in hand with our physical space, the same holds for the security of our digital strongholds.

An Unforgettable Lesson in Website Security

Let me share an anecdote about a time when one of my clients, a prominent retailer in the children’s fashion industry, faced a massive security issue that nearly brought their brand to its knees. It was a typical Tuesday afternoon when I received a frantic call from the client. Their online store had been hacked, and customer data was compromised. It was a nightmare situation, one that they never foresaw. This experience was a wake-up call, not just for them, but for me as well, about the importance of website security, especially in the realm of kids’ retail.

The Risks of Unsecured Kids’ Retail Sites

Children are an easy target for cybercriminals. Their innocence and lack of awareness make them vulnerable to scams, fraud, and identity theft. When a kids’ retail website does not prioritize security, it exposes its young users to a host of risks.

  • Children’s Data Misuse: Personal details such as names, addresses, and even photos can be harvested and used for malicious purposes. This can range from creating fake profiles to conducting targeted scams.
  • Consequences of a Security Breach: In a worst-case scenario, credit card information can be stolen resulting in financial loss. The breach can lead to legal implications, not to mention, a significant loss of customer trust and brand reputation.

Why is Security Essential for Kids’ Retail Sites?

As administrators, owners, or marketers of kids’ retail sites, it is our responsibility to ensure a safe online shopping experience for our young customers. Let’s explore a few reasons why website security should be non-negotiable.

  • Protecting Users’ Sensitive Information: A secure website uses encryption to protect sensitive information, ensuring that even if data is intercepted, it cannot be read or misused.
  • Maintaining Brand Reputation: A secure shopping environment builds customer trust. In contrast, a single security breach can cause irreversible damage to your brand’s reputation.

Prioritize Website Security

Understanding why website security is crucial for kids’ retail sites is the first step. The next, and arguably more important step, is to take action. It’s time to review your website security measures, identify any potential vulnerabilities, and fix them. Remember, when it comes to website security, prevention is always better than cure.

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India-Canada news: Are lentils going to be a chokepoint amid diplomatic tension | Mint – Mint



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Amid India-Canada row, Elon Musk accuses Canadian PM Justin Trudeau of ‘crushing free speech’; here’s why



Amid the ongoing India-Canada row, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has slammed the Justin Trudeau government in Canada for ‘crushing free speech’ in the country. His remark came in wake of a recent order of the Canada government which issued an order to make it compulsory for online streaming services to formally register with the government for ‘regulatory controls’.

While responding to a post by journalist and author Glenn Greenwald who was commenting on the ruling.

“The Canadian government, armed with one of the world’s most repressive online censorship schemes, announces that all “online streaming services that offer podcasts” must formally register with the government to permit regulatory controls,” Greenwald posted on X (formerly Twitter)

Responding to this, Elon Musk stated, “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful”.


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This is not the first time the Trudeau government is accused of acting against free speech. Last year, in February 2022, Trudeau had invoked emergency powers for the first time in country’s history to arm his government with more power to respond to the trucker protests, who were opposing the vaccine mandates at that time. Three days later he invoked the War Measures Act, the predecessor to the Emergencies Act, and sent troops into Quebec and other provinces. The crisis ended, but only after the separatist group killed the cabinet minister.

Meanwhile, Canadian PM has created an uproar since he alleged India’s role in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India, however, has outrightly rejected his claims, calling it ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’.

Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has suspended its visa services in Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations of Indian involvement in the killing. Canada is home to about 770,000 Sikhs, the highest population outside India’s Punjab.

Amid strained ties, India issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise “utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence” in the country.

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