Some travellers across Canada are having a hard time launching their summer plans.
Delayed and cancelled flights are on the rise as Air Canada reduces just over 150 flights a day across the country.
Many people have been getting stuck at airports and hotels for hours on end with no other option but to cancel their trips, rebook flights for a later date or stay put for days.
Ron Paul was hoping to fly to Vancouver from Saskatoon for an event but he was informed his flight was no longer available.
“I was told that it was just completely cancelled and they were trying to book me to other flights but they’re all booked and some of them are cancelled,” said Paul.
Air Canada supposedly offered to put him on a WestJet flight, but was not able to find him one that was not full. They also offered to let him keep him ticket for up to a year, but he declined.
“I was kind of disappointed,” said Paul.
Airports in Saskatchewan are not seeing as many issues as Toronto Pearson Airport or Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, with only seven per cent of flights being cancelled in Saskatoon.
However, president and CEO of Skyxe Stephen Maybury said Saskatoon International Airport is still feeling the effects on a smaller scale.
“There’s a natural and inherent ripple effect that occurs throughout the network so impacts in large hubs will certainly impact the flights here,” said Maybury.
Mayberry added there are a few reasons for delays such as pre-board screening, labour shortages and an increase in travellers. The demand is also higher than what airlines can accommodate as travel picks up post-pandemic.
In a statement, Air Canada Media said, “As has been widely reported airport and airline industry operations have been impacted by resource issues at third-party service providers. The operating environment globally has changed from prior to the pandemic, notably the well-documented issues such as security and customs lines, aircraft being held at gates unable to unload passengers at airports, airport baggage systems issues and limitations on the number of flights imposed by air traffic control in both Canada and the U.S. that force airlines to make last minute cancellations.
“Air Canada has taken measures to improve the customer journey and more recently adjusted its schedule, reducing it by 77 round trips (or 154 flights) per day on average for July and August. Most of the flights affected are to and from its Toronto and Montreal hubs. These will be predominantly frequency reductions, affecting primarily evening and late-night flights by smaller aircraft, on transborder and domestic routes. International flights are unaffected, except for limited timing changes to reduce flying at peak times and even out the customer flow.”
“Air Canada has committed to working with airports, government and its other industry partners to further stabilize and improve all aspects of the air transport ecosystem. Air Canada fully appreciates the disappointment and inconvenience schedule changes cause customers, and does its utmost to mitigate these regrettable situations. Customers are notified automatically when flights are cancelled. Where possible, they are rebooked immediately, while for others Air Canada will continue searching for alternatives and advise if options become available. Customers can also request a refund to original form of payment at any time and where compensation is due Air Canada will abide by its APPR obligations.”
Flight concerns are expected to last in to August, so a lot more travellers could end up facing the same issues.