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Ontario family waited months to receive compensation for their 12-year-old son's flight delay, cancellation

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An Ontario father was caught up in a bureaucratic loop trying to get compensation for his 12-year-old son’s delayed and then cancelled flight.

“I have over 60 communications back and forth with the airline and it still hasn’t been resolved,” Ian Thompson, of Stoney Creek, told CTV News Toronto.

In February of this year, Thompson’s son, Nathan, flew to Florida to see his grandparents. As he was an unaccompanied minor under his booking reservation, he was considered a solo passenger, but he flew down south with his older cousins.

Nathan said he a great trip, but when he was flying back, his flight was delayed multiple times and then cancelled and rescheduled for the next day.

“It was a little bit nerve wracking, I was just overall ready to come home and we were just trying to find out for a long time if it was cancelled or if it was just delayed,” said Nathan.

Once he was advised his flight rescheduled, his grandparents returned to the airport to pick him up so he wouldn’t be stuck there overnight.

“We were lucky enough that his grandparents were still in Fort Lauderdale so he could stay there. If they weren’t, he’d be staying at the airport,” Thompson explained.

Under the new Air Passenger Protection rules, if you flight is delayed three to six hours, you deserve to be compensated $400. If it is between six and nine hours, passengers receive $700, and for delays longer than nine hours, you can receive $1,000 in compensation.

Nathan flew with Flair Airlines and when his family applied for compensation, the airline agreed he should receive it.

“Once I went through the whole process they did admit it was their fault and they said we would get compensation of $1,000,” said Thompson.

The family was told they would receive their compensation within a month, but almost four months went by and they didn’t get it.

“We are just at a point where they won’t fulfill their commitment. There is just excuse upon excuse not wanting to pay what they admitted it was their fault,” said Thompson.

When CTV News reached out to Flair Airlines, a spokesperson said: “Regrettably, the voucher was a system error, and we are investigating the root cause. Due to privacy, we cannot comment on individual [cases], but in the case as outlined, a customer would receive $1000 as per Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) and once submitted, will be included on our scheduled outgoing payments.

“Passengers receive an automated email when payment is issued. I believe that that passenger would have received their payment by EOD yesterday.”

Not long after contacting CTV News, the Thompson’s said they finally got the compensation they deserved.

“A couple of days after we spoke, it was magically there,” said Ian Thompson and his son Nathan added “It looked like it wasn’t going to come so I feel pretty good about it.”

If you are on a delayed or cancelled flight and feel you deserve compensation, there is a process that you have to go through. If your claim ends up being denied by the airline, you can also complain to the Canadian Transportation Agency. 

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