Concerns over air passenger rights after Calgary student TikTok gets nearly a million views

A TikTok video with a million views, a Calgary University student vents her frustrations about a canceled flight. Danina Falkenberg finds out more in this report.

By Danina Falkenberg

A Calgary university student’s TikTok video expressing frustration with a cancelled flight has nearly a million views, sparking air passenger rights concerns.

Jessica Quiring tells CityNews she loves to fly Flair Airlines. It’s cheap for the Mount Royal University student to get back home to Abbotsford.

But when she arrived for a recent departure from the Calgary airport, she discovered her flight was cancelled.

“I went on over to the airline counter and I saw a bunch of other frustrated and confused-looking passengers,” Quiring said.

She then vented her frustration in a TikTok video, which has about one million views.

In the process of figuring out what to do, the young student says she got in touch with a customer service representative and was told the next flight would be two days later.

“I turned around after begging and saying no there is laws that outline that you have to rebook me on another flight, that I have to have another ticket. Once they refused to, I ended up paying out of pocket,” Quiring said.

The flight was cancelled because of crew unavailability, an issue within the airline’s control, and guidelines need to be followed through the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

“The airline is required to rebook the passenger on its own or partner flights within nine hours of the original departure,” said Gabor Lukacs, president of Airline Passenger Rights.

“If it is not possible then on a flight of any carrier it departs within 48 hours it has to be as soon as possible, so basically the next available flight.”

Quiring has since received a direct apology and reimbursement, but she says other passengers didn’t and she thinks that is the bigger problem.

“There was a lack of representation at the airport, a lack of consistency across the messaging of how I got reimbursed for my ticket,” she said.

“There was some ladies that had to wait the two days, there was a guy from my university that got on the competitor’s flight for free.”

Flair Airlines sent a statement to CityNews in regard to Quiring’s flight, confirming her fund was processed on Feb. 18.

“All passengers on this flight were offered a re-accommodation onto a flair flight however, anyone who did not find that suitable was able to request an alternate carrier booking through the contact centre,” the statement reads.

“If they rebooked themselves, they may be entitled to reimbursement and can submit a claim through our disruption claim form on our site.”

Meanwhile, Lukacs wants to look at the overall problem of airlines not following air passenger protection regulations, he sees a lack of enforcement.

“Canadian transportation agency — the federal regulator — is the federal government, whose job it would be to actually enforce passenger rights and to issue hefty fines to Flair for breaking the law,” he said.

“Over the past two years flair was issued a little over $100,000 in fines for breaking passenger rights, which is, really, a very small amount.”

As for Quiring, she will still fly Flair Airlines, her next trip home is for easter, and she hopes the flight will go as planned since, aside from her most recent trip the flights, have gone well.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today