"Holiday hell": Many Canadians want airlines to face fines over recent travel chaos

Jan 18 2023, 5:45 pm

An abundance of flight delays and trip cancellations over the holidays resulted in many travellers being stranded in other countries while winter storms raged on back home.

The travel chaos has since left a lot of Canadians with ill feelings towards airlines, railways, and politicians alike.

According to a newly published survey from the Angus Reid Institute, the majority of Canadians blame the weather (70%) along with airlines and rail companies (68%) for the fiasco. Meanwhile, one in three (33%) say the responsibility lies on the federal government.

Finally, a minority of respondents (30%) blame the travellers themselves for getting themselves into the situation.

In a sample size that included people who never travel and those who board planes regularly, roughly three out of five respondents agreed that “the major travel operators don’t care about their customers.”

Interestingly, those who travel often were more likely to believe that operators care about their customers

Angus Reid Institute

As for consequences, half (47%) of frequent travellers believe the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) should levy fines against the airlines even if it means the companies raise ticket prices to cover the fines. Two in five (42%) of Canadians who travel less frequently agree as well.

The CTA can fine airlines up to $25,000 per passenger in the event the agency believes the airline violated air passenger protection rights.

Despite all the craziness, travel enthusiasm in Canada is still relatively high with two in five (43%) participants saying they plan to travel more in 2023 than they did the previous year.

To read the full Angus Reid report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

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